Monday, April 13, 2009

The Legend of the Lone Ranger OST (MCA-1565, 1981)

First off, a bit of history via our ol' friend, Wikipedia:

"The Lone Ranger is an American, long-running, old-time radio and early television show created by George W. Trendle and developed by writer Fran Striker.

The eponymous character is a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West, originally played by Paul Halliwell, who gallops about righting injustices with the aid of his clever, laconic Potawatomi Native American assistant, Tonto. Departing on his white horse Silver, the Ranger would famously say "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" as the horse galloped toward the setting sun.

The first of 2,956 episodes of The Lone Ranger premiered on radio January 30, 1933 on WXYZ radio in Detroit, Michigan and later on the Mutual Broadcasting System radio network and then on NBC's Blue Network (which became ABC, which broadcast the show's last new episode on September 3, 1954). Elements of the Lone Ranger story were first used in an earlier series Fran Striker wrote for a station in Buffalo, New York. Originally, the character's true identity was not revealed, though it was hinted that behind the mask he might be a historical Western hero (such as Wild Bill Hickok). Then, after a preliminary version of the character's now-standard origin appeared in the Republic movie serial of 1938 and elements of that story were worked into the radio series, the hero was revealed to be a Texas Ranger named Reid, who was one of six Texas Rangers chasing the Cavendish Gang. After entering a canyon known as "Bryant's Gap," the party finds itself in a murderous ambush arranged by Butch Cavendish, leader of the "Hole in the Wall Gang" and a man named Collins, who has infiltrated the Rangers for the gang as a scout, that seemingly leaves every ranger dead. Then Cavendish shoots Collins in the back, reasoning that someone who would betray the Rangers could also betray his gang.

Reid's childhood friend, a Native American known as Tonto (his tribe was seldom specified, but some books say he was probably supposed to be an Apache, while the radio programs identified him as a Potawatomi), comes upon the massacre and discovers Reid is still alive. Tonto takes him to safety and nurses him back to health. Tonto reminds Reid of when they were young, and Reid had rescued Tonto after renegade Indians had murdered his mother and sister and left him for dead. Reid gave him a horse, and Tonto insisted that Reid accept a ring. It is by this ring that Tonto recognizes Reid.

Okay, now that the long-winded part is over with, let's get to a real oddity....

I can vaguely remember the HUGE push Columbia Pictures made to try and make the film that the following soundtrack/original score belongs to (I even own a few of the action figures released from the period), 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger, again with the Wikipedia:

"The film was released to massive publicity in 1981 and did poorly. Box office receipts were far short of the amount needed to recoup the costs of the film, and critical reviews were almost unanimously negative. Despite the presence of renowned actors in supporting roles, including Christopher Lloyd as villain Butch Cavendish and Jason Robards as President Ulysses S. Grant, the film vanished from theaters rapidly. The actor playing the Ranger (Klinton Spilsbury) has never appeared in another film, while the actor portraying Tonto, Michael H orse, has done somewhat better, appearing in many minor films and as a regular on the Canadian television series North of 60 as well as the American series Twin Peaks."

Track Listing:
01- Man In The Mask (Main Title)
02- The Legend Begins
03- John and Amy Meet
04- The Valley Chase
05- Brothers
06- The Cavendish Gang Strikes
07- Man In The Mask (Instrumental)
08- The Breaking of Silver
09- Ambush
10- Dynamite
11- The Final Attack
12- William Tell Overture
13- Man In The Mask (End Titles)

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