Typical western with a twist. The two stars appeared as Texas Rangers but in a different scenario each program. One week, they might be Rangers in the 1840s and the next week they would be ...
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Typical western with a twist. The two stars appeared as Texas Rangers but in a different scenario each program. One week, they might be Rangers in the 1840s and the next week they would be current day Rangers, i.e., it was a history of the Texas Rangers.Written by
J.E. McKillop <email@example.com>
Definitely the "ALL TIME" greatest Kiddie Western Ever! Read On!
This is one series that was definitely "must see TV" in our house, although it did not appear on NBC. We see that, as remembered, it was over the "Tiffany Network", CBS that we first viewed TALES OF THE Texas RANGERS (Screen Gems Television, 1955-59).
The series boasted of the commanding presence of Jace Pearson (Willard Parker) and Clay Morgan (Harry Lauter). (No, Schultz; it's not Sir Harry Lauder, the Scottish Born British Music Hall Comedian!) The pair were inseparable as they traversed time and space in patrolling the vast Texas terrain, rendering it peaceful for the law-abiding. "Time" and "Space", what does that mean?
The special feature of TALES OF THE Texas RANGERS was that it featured stories on the wanted, the cold-blooded killers and any and all manner of wrong doers in any era in the History of the Lone Star State. That is, these two main characters would be depicted one week going after "Black Bart" or some such desperado of the Old West; only the very next week driving their truck with horse trailer in tow, working on some present day pattern of Bank Robberies.
That was the series' gimmick, and a good one at that. We never questioned it; just accepted it as a unique dramatic device. The series was aimed at juveniles; hence it was slotted on Saturday Mornings, somewhere between THE MIGHTY MOUSE PLAYHOUSE and a local RECORD HOP-type Teenagers' Show. We all knew it was something special to be displacing any animated antics.
There are certain details of the show that were most memorable to us and our impressionable little kids minds, that they persist, right up to the present moment.* Take for example, the theme song used at the opening and closing. The words (most of 'em, anyway!), the tune and the manner in which it was delivered seem as vivid now as ever, even though we're talking over 50 years now!
It would start with a quiet street in a "typical Western town." Ranger Jace Pearson (Mr. Willard Parker) looking very serious, was seen in close-up. The sounding of one single trumpet resonates the chords of the first line of the theme song all around the town. The music begins to pick up intensity, volume and speed as one by one, then in twos more and more Texas Rangers join in with Jace and Clay Morgan (Mr. Harry Lauter) in a highly energetic and even symbolic march down this main street. The theme song/march, while being done to the tune as "The Eyes of Texas" and/or "I've been working on the Railroad, had a set of original lyrics designed for the show. In part they wenta soma thinga lika thisa:
"Here's A Stalwart Man of Texas, Jace Pearson is his name' His Partner Clay is right beside him, Blank,blank blank, blank, blank, blank! ..
(And it finishes up something lika,) "They'll fight for Right, for Right and Justice, To Enforce the Law for You!"
It is only in recent years that we found out that there had been a TALES OF THE Texas RANGERS Radio Show on the NBC Radio Network from 1950-52. It starred Mr. Joel McCrae as lone-wolf type Jace Pearson, having no partner on the Radio version.
Like so many television shows of its day, TALES OF Texas RANGERS provided a clue to the young folks about right living, fair play,cultivating a law abiding attitude and behaviour pattern. All this was done in a suggestive, soft sell manner. Even the last line of its Theme/Signature song planted a small seed that could reap big results. Remember: "They'll fight for Right, for Right and Justice, to Enforce the Law for You!"
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