Tales of the Texas Rangers

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Tales of the Texas Rangers
Willard Parker Harry Lauter Tale of the Texas Rangers 1957.JPG
Willard Parker (left) and Harry Lauter in 1957.
Genre Western
Written by Eric Freiwald
Robert Schaefer
Directed by Stacy Keach, Sr.
Lew Landers
Irving J. Moore
George Blair
Earl Bellamy
Robert G. Walker
Starring Willard Parker
Harry Lauter
Opening theme "These are Tales of Texas Rangers"
Composer(s) Redd Harper
Country of origin  United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 52
Production
Executive producer(s) Stacy Keach, Sr.
Harry Briskin
Producer(s) Stacy Keach, Sr.
Colbert Clark
Running time 30 mins. (approx)
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
ABC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run August 27, 1955 – December 26, 1958

Tales of the Texas Rangers is a 20th century Western old-time radio and television drama which originally aired on NBC Radio from 1950 to 1952 and later on CBS Television from 1955 to 1958. Film star Joel McCrea voiced the radio version as the fictitious Texas Ranger Jayce Pearson, who uses the latest scientific techniques to identify criminals. His faithful horse, Charcoal (or "Charky"), helps Pearson to track down the culprits. The radio shows, some of which are available on the Internet, are reenactments of actual Texas Ranger cases.

The television version was produced and also directed for several episodes by Stacy Keach, Sr. It was sponsored for part of its run by Wheaties cereal. Captain Manuel T. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas, who was said to have killed thirty-one men during his 30-year career as a Texas Ranger, was the consultant for the television series, as hed had been for the earlier radio series. The television version was filmed by Screen Gems.[1]

On radio, Joel McCrea's Pearson often worked by request with a local sheriff's office or police department, but in the television version, Willard Parker assumed the role of Jace Pearson and had a regular partner, Ranger Clay Morgan, who had been an occasional character on the radio show. Morgan was portrayed in the television version by Harry Lauter. William Boyett appeared five times on the television series, including the role of Wade Crowell in the 1955 premiere episode, "Ransom Flight."[1]

During the opening and closing credits of the television series, the actors march toward the camera as an off-screen men's chorus sings the theme song, "These Are Tales of Texas Rangers", to the tune of "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad". The radio series used contemporary cases and modern detective methods to solve crimes; it was a procedural drama, in many ways Jack Webb's Dragnet with a western flavor. The television version had some episodes set in the 1950s, comparable in some ways to Rod Cameron's syndicated series, State Trooper. Other episodes were set in the 19th century in a traditional western genre. In each case, Parker and Lauter were involved with chases and shoot-outs. The weaponry varied greatly between the modern and older stories.[1]

Irving J. Moore, later with Gunsmoke, began his career as a director on two episodes of Tales of the Texas Rangers.[2] Besides Keach and Moore, the other directors included Lew Landers, George Blair, and Earl Bellamy.[3]

Guest stars (TV series)[edit]

  • Chris Alcaide, as Clint Hollister in "Uranium Pete", as Slade in "Hail to the Rangers" (both 1955), and as Ben Thomas in "Trail Herd" (1957)
  • Stanley Andrews, four episodes, mainly as Marshal MacDonald
  • Morris Ankrum, as Colonel Cole Bryson in "Trail Herd" (1957)
  • Gregg Barton, as George Webster in "Horseman of the Sierras" (1956) and as Quiqley in "Double Reward" (1957)
  • Ray Boyle, in "Streamlined Rustlers" (1957)
  • Lane Bradford, as Asa Brockway in "Blazing Across the Pecos" and as Big Jack in "The Rough Tough West" (both 1955)
  • X Brands, as Johnnie Tyce in "Whirlwind Raiders" (1957)
  • Paul Brinegar, as the lead guest star in "The Hobo" (1956)
  • Andy Clyde in "Hardrock's Dilemma" and "Double Reward" (both 1957)
  • Michael Dante, as Alfred in "Edge of Danger" (1958)
  • Anthony Eisley, as Jack Carr in "Kickback" (1958)
  • Dick Elliott, as prospector Pete Cooper in "Uranium Pete" (1955) and as Sheriff Tiny Morris in "Both Barrels Blazine" (1957)
  • Frank Ferguson, as Dembrow in "Deadfall" (1958)
  • Leo Gordon, as Joe Brock in "Desert Fury" (1958)
  • Ron Hagerthy, as Jim Hartley in "The Devil's Deputy" (1956)
  • Don C. Harvey, as Milo Paxin in "Return of the Rough Riders" (1955)
  • Harry Harvey, Jr., as Jeff Thorpe in "Traitor's Gold" (1958)
  • Ed Hinton, as Matt Carter in "Blazing Across the Pecos" and as Walker in "The Rough, Tough West" (both 1955)
  • I. Stanford Jolley, as Sheriff Clinton in "West of Sonora"; the sheriff fights a former outlaw for custody of a little girl.
  • James Lydon, as Lt. Jared Evans in "Warpath" (1958)
  • Ewing Mitchell, as Tom Weldon in "Whirlwind Raiders" (1957)
  • Dennis Moore, as Jim Webb in "Panhandle" (1956)
  • Burt Mustin, as Ned Watkins in "Home in San Antone" (1955)
  • Gregg Palmer, as Pete Hackett in "Panhandle" (1956)
  • Eddie Parker, three times and as stuntman
  • John M. Pickard, as Frank Warren in "Ransom Flight", the series premiere
  • Paul Picerni, as Philip Conzog in "Gypsy Boy" (1957)
  • Denver Pyle, as Noah Reed in "Texas Flyer" (1958)
  • Rhodes Reason, as Sheriff Tom Keever in "Uranium Pete" and as Dave in "Hail to the Rangers" (both 1955)
  • Olan Soule, as Bill Peters in "Steel Trap" (1958)
  • Marjorie Stapp, as Stacey Walker in "Ambush" (1958, series finale)
  • Dub Taylor, as Jack Geyer in "The Fifth Plague" (1958)
  • Pierre Watkin, as Ross Oliver in "Jace and Clay" (1958)
  • Grant Withers, as Ramrod Johnson in "Cattle Drive" (1958)[1][3]

Radio episode log[edit]

Joel McRae in publicity still issued for radio series (but actually in costume for the 1950 film The Outriders).
Number Title Airdate Notes
AUD Just A Number 04-13-50  :27:40
1 Title Unknown 07-08-50  :29:40
2 The White Elephant 07-15-50  :29:40
3 Apache Peak 07-22-50  :29:40
4 The Trigger Man 07-29-50  :29:40
5 Quick Silver 08-05-50  :29:30
6 The Broken Spur 08-12-50  :29:10
7 Fool's Gold 08-19-50  :29:40
8 The Open Range 08-26-50  :29:40
9 Play For Keeps 09-02-50  :29:50
10 Dead Or Alive 09-09-50  :29:30
11 Candy Man 09-16-50  :29:40
12 Open And Shut 09-23-50  :29:20 This is the broadcast of 11-11-51 of the same title.
13 Clean Up 09-30-50  :29:40
14 Living Death 10-08-50  :29:40 Show moves to Sundays at this point
15 Dead Give-Away 10-15-50  :29:40
16 Title Unknown 10-22-50  :30:00
17 Soft Touch 10-29-50  :29:50
18 The White Suit 11-05-50  :30:00
19 Blood Relative 11-12-50  :30:00
20 Hanging By A Thread 11-26-50  :30:00 show of 11-19 Pre-Empted for Hedda Hopper Program
21 Room 114 12-03-50  :30:00
22 The Lucky Dollar 12-10-50  :30:00
23 The Cactus Pear 12-17-50  :30:00
24 Christmas Present 12-24-50  :30:00 Christmas Program
25 The Devil's Share 12-31-50  :30:00
26 Deadhead Freight 01-07-51  :30:00
27 Death In The Cards 01-14-51  :30:00
28 Blood Harvest 01-21-51  :30:00
29 Title Unknown 01-28-51  :30:00
30 Logger's Larceny 02-04-51  :30:00
31 The Hatchet 02-11-51  :30:00
32 Sweet Revenge 02-18-51  :30:00
33 The Trap 02-25-51  :30:00
34 Blind Justice 03-11-51  :30:00 Show of 3/4 Pre-empted for "Theatre Guild's" HAMLET
35 Death By Adoption 03-18-51  :30:00
36 Breakdown 03-25-51  :30:00
37 Pressure 04-01-51  :30:00
38 Bad Blood 04-08-51  :30:00
39 Conspiracy 04-15-51  :30:00
40 Canned Death 04-22-51  :30:00
41 Title Unknown 04-29-51  :30:00
42 No Living Witnesses 05-06-51  :30:00
43 Paid In Full 05-13-51  :30:00
44 Squaredance 05-20-51  :30:00
45 Joy Ride 05-27-51  :30:00
46 Death Shaft 09-30-51  :30:00
47 The Wheelchair Killer 10-07-51  :30:00
48 Play For Keeps 10-14-51  :30:00
49 Fugitive Trail 10-21-51  :30:00
50 The White Elephant 10-28-51  :30:00
51 Helping Hand 11-04-51  :30:00
52 Open And Shut 11-11-51  :30:00
53 Wild Crop 11-18-51  :30:00
54 The Blow Off 11-25-51  :30:00
55 The Dead Give-Away 12-02-51  :30:00
56 Death Plant 12-09-51  :30:00
57 Pick-Up 12-16-51  :30:00
58 Christmas Payoff 12-23-51  :30:00 Christmas Program
59 Killer's Crop 12-30-51  :30:00
60 Birds Of A Feather 01-06-52  :30:00
61 Clip Job 01-13-52  :30:00
62 Blood Trail 01-20-52  :30:00
63 Night Chase 01-27-52  :30:00
64 The Rub Out 02-03-52  :30:00
65 Hitchhiker 02-10-52  :30:00
66 Cold Blood 02-17-52  :27:20
67 Bright Boy 02-24-52  :30:00
68 The Ice Man 03-02-52  :30:00
69 Dream Farm 03-09-52  :30:00
70 Prelude To Felony 03-16-52  :30:00
71 Nighthawk 03-30-52  :30:00 Program of 3-23 Preempted
72 Troop Train 04-06-52  :30:00
73 Uncertain Death 04-13-52  :30:00
74 Illusion 04-20-52  :30:00
75 Address Unknown 04-27-52  :30:00
76 Little Sister 05-04-52  :30:00
77 Unleashed Fury 05-11-52  :30:00
78 Smart Kill 05-18-52  :30:00
79 Jailbird 05-25-52  :30:00
80 Sell-Out 06-01-52  :30:00
81 Illegal Entry 06-08-52  :30:00
82 Travesty 06-15-52  :30:00
83 Knockout 06-22-52  :30:00
84 Ex-Con 06-29-52  :30:00
85 The Boomerang 07-06-52  :30:00
86 Finger Man 07-13-52  :30:00
87 Round Trip 07-20-52  :30:00
88 Stick-Up 07-27-52  :30:00
89 Double Edge 08-03-52  :30:00
90 Last Stop 08-10-52  :30:00
91 Cover-Up 08-17-52  :30:00
92 Three Victims 08-24-52  :30:00
93 Misplaced Person 08-31-52  :30:00
94 Alibi 09-07-52  :30:00
95 Drive-In 09-14-52  :30:00

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Tales of the Texas Rangers". ctva.biz. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Irving J. Moore". variety.com. July 13, 1993. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Tales of the Texas Rangers". December 18, 2012. 

External links[edit]