Radio Range Riders by Boyd Magers

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Buck Jones Hoofbeats“Buck Jones—Hoofbeats”
by Boyd Magers

Buck Jones was the #1 cowboy star in 1936, earning $50,000 per picture at Universal. His Buck Jones Rangers Club boasted millions of followers. He was said to be receiving more fan mail than any actor in the world, so why not a radio show?

It seems around 1935 Raymond Morgan and Company (also known for “Chandu the Magician” and later “Queen For a Day”) was offered a Western script, or at least a concept, which they took to Young and Rubican Advertising Agency, Post Cereal’s long-time ad agency. The Post Cereal division approved the idea and Buck Jones was signed as the star of “Hoofbeats”.

Apparently, there were 39 fifteen minute episodes transcribed and then syndicated from—as best can be determined—very late 1936 or January 1937. For certain an episode #5 original disc bears a date of March 3, 1937. However, one other source has “Hoofbeats” airing June 25, 1937 to March 18, 1938, which is possible with a transcribed syndicated series in a different market.

Robert Lee Wilson and his wife Cherry apparently collaborated on the scripts but used the name Cherry Wilson. Cherry Wilson (or she and her husband in collaboration with others) also wrote movie screenplays—“Saddle Buster” w/Tom Keene, “Stormy” w/Noah Beery Jr., “The Throwback”, “Empty Saddles” and “Sandflow” all with Buck from ‘35-‘37.

Artwork of Buck Jones.With the same theme music as Buck’s Universal Westerns and sponsored by Post Grape Nuts Flakes, a character named The Old Wrangler narrated “Hoofbeats”, a serialized story of Buck, his horse Silver and sidekick Red River searching for the Dagger Hilt Gang who killed Buck’s father and two brothers. Buck pitches his Buck Jones Rangers Club on the show and offers premiums such as a red and gold metallic pin and a booklet with “lots of prizes” redeemable by sending in a certain amount of Post Cereal boxtops. (Lariats, chaps, hat, etc.).

Several episodes of this rare series can be found and listened to on the internet.

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