Tales of the Texas Rangers, starring
Joel McCrea as Ranger Pearson! Texas …
260,000 square miles! And the 50 men who make up the
famous and oldest law enforcement body in North
Though, the popularity of television was imminent, Westerns on both radio and television remained popular. Westerns made in the 1940's and 1950's idealistically focused on upholding American laws and patriotism, whereas the Westerns of the 1960's and 1970's themes related to individuality and focusing on a rebellious anti-hero often opposed to authority. Whereas most western-themed shows took place between the time period between Battle of the Alamo 1836 and Mexican Revolution 1920, Tales of the Texas Rangers was unique in its contemporary setting with Western-style tradition and ideals.
Stephen F. Austin unofficially created the formation of the Texas Rangers in 1823 to protect the interests of settlers. The Rangers were originally paid in land and served as scouts, guides, detectives, and small armed forces. President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston believed that relationships with the Native Americans could be peacefully negotiated; however the Texas Rangers was constitutionally created as a military force for the short lived Republic and later the State of Texas.
Their role in Texas History was especially significant during the Mexican Revolution in when ugly cross-border attacks were prominent. During the Great Depression, their number dwindled to 45 due to lack of funding—additionally, the existing rangers had to find their own horses. Texas Rangers are an important part of the mythology of the Wild West and today there are still over 100 Rangers actively serving the State of Texas.
Like Dragnet, the Tales of the Texas Rangers old time radio show was a procedural drama based on actual modern Texas Rangers. Star Joel McCrea lead as "Texas Ranger Jayce Pearson, who used the forensic science to track and identify the criminals. Joel McCrea was not only a popular Hollywood star, but he also was a proficient horseman as he worked as a ranch hand as a teen. Though most of the criminals used automobiles, the plot would often necessitate Pearson riding his faithful horse, Charcoal. The clop, clop, clop, of sound effects would indicate Charcoal much awaited gallop.
Producer-director Stacy Keach traveled to Texas and worked with Texas Rangers Captain Manuel "Lone Wolf Gonzaullas. Gonzaullas as the served as the show's advisor giving the drama a unmistaken realism. The slant would be modern: the cases would span the time from ca. 1928-48. The show is often called a Westerns version of Dragnet.
Sponsored by Wheaties, the old time radio show aired on between July 8, 1950 to September 14, 1952. The popular Television Show, mainly targeted at children, ran between 1955 and 1957.
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