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Western Adventures with Historical Figures

Over more than two decades on the air, the Masked Man ran into a good many historical figures, but the Lone Ranger never let recorded history get in the way of a good story. Old Time Radio's favorite western heroes meet real western historical figures like Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, even a young Teddy Roosevelt.

19 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 8 hours, 56 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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10 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from April 10, 1944:

"Lone Ranger meets Calamity Jane"



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These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2018 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

    Billy the Kid, US Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Buffalo Bill

    Of all the characters from the Old Western Frontier days, few are as obviously and utterly fictional than the Lone Ranger. The character was invented for juvenile listeners in Detroit, Michigan, by WXYZ station owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker. Although the show targeted a young audience, at least half of its listeners were grownups, and it was so popular that it was picked up by Mutual and eventually the NBC Blue Network which would become ABC. The Lone Ranger as a character was fleshed out over nearly 3,000 radio episodes, newspaper comic strips, comic books, a series of Big Little books, novels, appearances on the Big and the Small screen, even video games.

    Bruce Beemer Radio

    The Old West is more real to us in fiction than in history, thanks largely to Hollywood, and before that, pulp novels. Writers like Ned Buntline sold thousands, if not millions of words to publishers who made fortunes selling an image of the West and the Noble Cowboy in places like Boston and New York City. Characters like Rooster Cogburn, Matt Dillon and Chester Proudfoot, The Cisco Kid, Paladin, Ben Cartwright and his sons, Brett and Bart Maverick, Will Sonnet, Red Ryder, Josey Wales, and Jingles, Lucas McCain, Rowdy Yates, and Pecos Bill may have only existed in the media and our imaginations, but they could have been real people.

    As a literary character, the Lone Ranger has less in common with those fictional heroes and seems more closely aligned with a costumed superhero from the comics. Like Batman and Superman, the Ranger slips between his costumed persona and the guise of a regular person. Superman is his true self in his tights, while Clark Kent is the disguise, and the Ranger has a similar attachment to his mask. Beyond his disguise, Batman does not have any real "powers" beyond physical toughness and extraordinary intelligence, the Lone Ranger adds an exceptional amount of luck to the formula.

    Although he is so obviously a fictional character, throughout his radio career the Lone Ranger encounters several historical figures. These encounters have the potential to besmirch the memory of persons who actually lived, and they certainly stretch plausibility simply by involving the Lone Ranger. However, in most cases, the memory of the historical figure is treated with respect bordering on reverence. The writers even manage to find nobility in a notorious thug like Billy the Kid without wandering too far from the known facts of the outlaw's case.

    Brace Beemer

    More liberties are taken with Calamity Jane's story. Documented facts about Martha Jane Canary are few and far between, but it can be reliably supposed that her love affair with Wild Bill Hickok did not begin when the Ranger shot the guns out of her hands and she pretended to in the street, causing Hickok to give her a kiss. Bill Cody's uncanny abilities as a hunter and marksman are used in the story which culminates with Buffalo Bill getting into a scrap that prevents him from being at the side of General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

    The Ranger's relationship with Cody expands when the Masked Man helps him start his Wild West Show by introducing him to Annie Oakley. With the exception of the Ranger's involvement and a robbery attempt on Buffalo Bill, the story sticks pretty close to the script of Annie Get Your Gun (1946, Imperial Theatre, 1,147 performances), although the broadcast was two years before the curtain went up on the play.

    The historical Kit Carson did act as a guide on the trail to New Mexico, but the story of him guiding the sister of a murdered shopkeeper to Santa Fe and encountering the killers on the trail is pure fantasy, even without the help of the Lone Ranger. One of the worst bad men in the history of the West was John Wesley Hardin, and his bloody rampage from Kansas to the Ro Grande is actually toned down on The Lone Ranger. On the show, young Hardin works for a while on John Selman Sr's ranch before stealing a horse and heading out to try and join John Selman Jr's outlaw gang. When Selman Jr. laughs Hardin away, the young killer begins a crime spree and eventually winds up back at Selman Sr's ranch where he guns down the old man in cold blood. Selman Jr. tracks Hardin to El Paso, with the Ranger and a US Marshall hot on their heels. Before the marshal can act, Selman Jr. kills Hardin in a gunfight and is arrested and jailed for his troubles. History records that the real John Selman Jr. was an El Paso lawman who arrested a prostitute friend of John Wesley Hardin's for brandishing a pistol. Hardin pistol whipped young Selman and was later confronted by Selman Sr., a known outlaw. The evening, Selman Sr. entered the Acme Saloon and shot John Wesley Hardin in the head.

    id The Lone Ranger meet Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, and more historical western figures? During the 1944 season of The Lone Ranger, our hero encountered real personalities of American Western history.

    In an excellent two-part Lone Ranger episode, The Lone Ranger is joined by Teddy Roosevelt and artist Frederic Remington to fight Butch Cassidy and his gang. Also included in this collection are four Gunsmoke old time radio episodes and one Frontier Gentlemen episode featuring historical western personalities.

    The Lone Ranger was one of the most eternally noble figures of the Old West, and his creators never let recorded and documented history get in the way of a good story.

    This collection is based on the research by Tim DeForest. For more about The Lone Ranger, Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke), and J.B. Kendall (Frontier Gentlemen) meeting historical personalities of the West, please see Tim DeForest's article: Lone Ranger: Adventures with Historical Western Figures in Old Time Radio.  See also: The Lone Ranger and The Legion of the Black Arrow.

    Annie Oakley, Kit Carson, Pawnee Bill, Ben Thompson

    Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2018 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.


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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    19 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 8 hours, 56 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      19 shows - total playtime 8 hours 56 minutes
      1. Frontier Gentleman 580420 Aces And Eights.mp3
      2. Gunsmoke 520426 001 Billy The Kid.mp 3.mp3
      3. Gunsmoke 520719 013 Doc Holiday.mp3
      4. Gunsmoke 520906 020 The Brothers.mp3
      5. Gunsmoke 530725 066 Hickock.mp3
      6. Lr 440214 0941 Buffalo Bill 1 o 16.mp3
      7. Lr 440306 0956 Bat Masterson 4 o 16.mp3
      8. Lr 440313 0959 Pawnee Bill 5 o 16.mp3
      9. Lr 440327 0965 Gold For Maximillian.mp3
      10. Lr 440403 0968 Ben Thompson 6 o 16.mp3
      11. Lr 440410 0971 Calamity Jane 7 o 16.mp3
      12. Lr 440424 0977 Sam Bass 8 o 16.mp3
      13. Lr 440508 0983 Annie Oakley 9 o 16.mp3
      14. Lr 440519 0988 Teddy Roosevelt 1 10 o 16.mp3
      15. Lr 440522 0989 Teddy Roosevelt 2 11 o 16.mp3
      16. Lr 440612 0998 John Wesley Hardin 13 o 16.mp3
      17. Lr 440626 1004 Billy The Kid.mp3
      18. Lr 440717 1013 Kit Carson 14 o 16.mp3
      19. Lr 440807 1022 Al Jennings 15 o 16.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    19 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 8 hours, 56 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      19 shows - total playtime 8 hours 56 minutes
      1. Frontier Gentleman 580420 Aces And Eights.mp3
      2. Gunsmoke 520426 001 Billy The Kid.mp 3.mp3
      3. Gunsmoke 520719 013 Doc Holiday.mp3
      4. Gunsmoke 520906 020 The Brothers.mp3
      5. Gunsmoke 530725 066 Hickock.mp3
      6. Lr 440214 0941 Buffalo Bill 1 o 16.mp3
      7. Lr 440306 0956 Bat Masterson 4 o 16.mp3
      8. Lr 440313 0959 Pawnee Bill 5 o 16.mp3
      9. Lr 440327 0965 Gold For Maximillian.mp3
      10. Lr 440403 0968 Ben Thompson 6 o 16.mp3
      11. Lr 440410 0971 Calamity Jane 7 o 16.mp3
      12. Lr 440424 0977 Sam Bass 8 o 16.mp3
      13. Lr 440508 0983 Annie Oakley 9 o 16.mp3
      14. Lr 440519 0988 Teddy Roosevelt 1 10 o 16.mp3
      15. Lr 440522 0989 Teddy Roosevelt 2 11 o 16.mp3
      16. Lr 440612 0998 John Wesley Hardin 13 o 16.mp3
      17. Lr 440626 1004 Billy The Kid.mp3
      18. Lr 440717 1013 Kit Carson 14 o 16.mp3
      19. Lr 440807 1022 Al Jennings 15 o 16.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    19 recordings on 10 Audio CDs
    total playtime 8 hours, 56 min

    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A001

    1. Lr 440214 0941 Buffalo Bill 1 o 16
    2. Lr 440306 0956 Bat Masterson 4 o 16

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A002

    1. Lr 440313 0959 Pawnee Bill 5 o 16
    2. Lr 440327 0965 Gold For Maximillian

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A003

    1. Lr 440403 0968 Ben Thompson 6 o 16
    2. Lr 440410 0971 Calamity Jane 7 o 16

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A004

    1. Lr 440424 0977 Sam Bass 8 o 16
    2. Lr 440508 0983 Annie Oakley 9 o 16

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A005

    1. Lr 440519 0988 Teddy Roosevelt 1 10 o 16
    2. Lr 440522 0989 Teddy Roosevelt 2 11 o 16

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A006

    1. Lr 440612 0998 John Wesley Hardin 13 o 16
    2. Lr 440626 1004 Billy The Kid

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A007

    1. Lr 440717 1013 Kit Carson 14 o 16
    2. Lr 440807 1022 Al Jennings 15 o 16

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A008

    1. Gunsmoke 520426 001 Billy The Kid.mp 3
    2. Gunsmoke 520719 013 Doc Holiday

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A009

    1. Gunsmoke 520906 020 The Brothers
    2. Gunsmoke 530725 066 Hickock

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Western Adventures with Historical Figures Disc A010

    1. Frontier Gentleman 580420 Aces And Eights

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
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