Starring Clinton Moore as the Masked Man and Jay Silverheels as his faithful injun companion Tonto… “A fiery horse with the speed of light in a cloud of dust – and a hurried ‘Hi ho Silver’… the Loner Ranger rides again”. You don’t realise how much of this guff off TV sinks into your consciousness when you’re ten or eleven.
The Ranger’s catchphrase inspired the 1967 hit “Hi Ho Silver Lining”, written by American songwriters Scott English and Larry Weiss and first released in March 1967 by The Attack, followed a few days later by Jeff Beck. However the Jeff Beck version charted first, and the song is indelibly associated with him.
Laramie ws an American Western television series by NBC that was shown on BBC TV from 1959 to 1963. It originally starred John Smith as Slim Sherman, Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy and Robert Crawford, Jr. as Andy Sherman. YouTube shows the credits here in colour, though of course we only ever saw them in blurry black and white…
Although Hoagy Carmichael was dropped after the first series, I never forgot having first seen him on telly as the raddled-looking Jonesy. It was astonishing to later learn that he’d been a glamorous composer earlier in the century, responsible for hits like “Stardust”, “Two Sleepy People” and in particular the superb “Georgia On My Mind”.
Starring Ty Hardin, Bronco was a US import to the BBC in the laste 50s/early 60s and had one of the more memorable theme songs of the era with its chorus about “tearing across the Texas plain”…
Unfortunately at that time the UK also had a brand of hard glossy lavatory paper with the same name. As a result, my chums and I used to think it was terribly funny to change the words of the chorus to: “Bronco… Bronco… Tearing down the dotted line”. My, how we laughed.
Bronco toilet paper – and the rival brand Izal usually found school lavatories – were f**king awful to wipe your arse with. Whoever dreamed up the idea of selling us non-absorbant toilet paper that was hard and shiny on one side – and fibrous and rough on the other- deserved to go out of business. Oh, hold on – they did.
Harry Worth’s shop window routine – from the opening credits of his TV series “Here’s Harry” – was justly famous and of course we all tried it for ourselves at the time. The uncredited theme music was Comedy Hour by Ivor Slaney. Until searching for him on YouTube this morning I’d forgotten how genuinely likeable he was. But this clip advertising a compilation DVD of his later work brought it all back…
In black and white, just like we used to watch it in 1960 – the instantly memorable Top Cat credits. In the UK the name was already being used by a popular pet food brand, so inRadio Times (and a special still placed at the end of these credits) the BBC billed this series as “The Boss Cat” in order to avoid endorsing a commercial company. Perish the thought. ..
Back in the days when TV was young – say around 1960 – the good news was that on Saturdays the BBC started broadcasting earlier – around lunchtime.
And the bad news ? The programme they transmitted was the interminable, incomprehensible Grandstand. At age 10 I knew nothing and cared less about sport. An afternoon of horse racing in blurry black and white folllowed by endless match results and league tables was paralysingly dull.
And yet – since it was thge only thing on – I used to watch it: as the old song says, there was fuck-all else to do. The theme music brings all this grisly tedium back in an instant.
It’s called “News Scoop”, was composed by Len Stevens and used by the BBC from the show’s launch in 1958 until the early seventies.