If you're old enough to remember listening to the Lone Ranger on the radio, I have a question for you. Yes, there was a time when we sat, or laid on the floor, in front of a large radio, staring into the speaker as intently as kids stare at their TV programs today. Even though we didn't see anything but this curve-topped Philco radio, we stared at it like it was going to move any second.
If you were especially good at observation, you might notice the decorative sheet of cloth which covered the speaker vibrate ever so slightly. It may have been especially noticeable when the music was climactic and fortissimo. But other than that tiny vibration, the radio didn't move. There was a lot of action, but it was flashed onto the screen of your mind by the drama in the words spoken, rather than the actual sight of figures moving on a screen before you. Those of us who had the most vivid imaginations saw the most action.
Citizens who were rescued by this hero were often heard to ask at the end of the episode, "Who was that masked man?" He may have been given a silver bullet as a calling card, and likely a more informed citizen standing near him would identify "the Lone Ranger!" But our shy hero was already on his way, urging speed to his mount by calling out, "Hi ho Silver...away!"
Now, my question is this: What was the music background for this program? Of course even those who never actually heard a broadcast of this show can identify, The William Tell Overture. Okay, but that is not the music to which I refer. The William Tell Overture was the trademark theme of the Lone Ranger, but there was another piece of classical music that was used as incidental music in the middle of the program.
I never did identify it until much later in my life when my wife introduced me to a wider repertoire of classical music. I'm thinking about this now because it has become one of my favorite pieces to hear while riding my stationary bike. It is Les Preludes by Franz Liszt. Pull out the CD sometime (or seek it on YouTube) and see if you don't remember it during the narrative portion which followed the commercial in the middle of each episode.
Now I love that piece. All the musical preparations are strategically leading to the final crescendo of the major theme. This time that theme is played with all the stops pulled out, so to speak. The symbols crash and the horns cut the air with a pleasing and effective conclusion.
Then that made me think of the fact that I learned parts of many pieces of classical music in all the cartoons that were shown between double features at the local theater. Buggs Bunny taught us to appreciate Hungarian Rhapsodies or the Can Can. Someone must have researched and catalogued the many classics that we heard in cartoon sound tracks.