"The Blindfolded Wildcat," respectively.  Then
there was the occasion when Lum mentioned
some children playing and shouting "HI-HO
Superman!"
  Fred Foy joined the WXYZ staff prior to World War
II, being drafted in 1942.  As a member of the
Special Service Unit, he was stationed in Cairo,
Egypt.  He became the first American voice among
British announcers delivering news for Egyptian
State Broadcasting, and began writing and
directing programs for the U.S.O. One memorable
broadcast had him filling in for Don Wilson, trading
quips with the one and only Jack Benny.
  Following the war, Mr. Foy made his way back to
WXYZ Detroit.  His voice would eventually be heard
delivering the announcements and narration on
such favorite programs as
The Green Hornet and
Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.  By 1948, notice was
given that auditions were being held for
announcer-narrator on
The Lone Ranger, and Fred
Foy gave it his best.  "I felt like Daniel walking into
the lion's den," he states in his autobiography, but
there was a quality in the 27 year old man's
performance that director Charles D. Livingston
appreciated. Beginning July 2, 1948, Mr. Foy
delivered "the opening" on live radio for the first
time, and remained with the program for the
remainder of its run.
  As is discussed in his fascinating
autobiographical booklet and audio tape, Mr. Foy
held tremendous respect for Brace Beemer, the
voice of the Ranger.  Asked to become the star's
understudy, Mr. Foy finally received the chance of
a lifetime to step into the Ranger's boots on the
episode of March 29, 1954 ("Burly Scott's
Sacrifice") when Brace Beemer arrived with a case
of laryngitis.  Jay Michael (a 1947 performer on Lum
and Abner ) stepped in as announcer, and John
Todd's Tonto had a "new" partner - but only for
that one memorable evening. Mr. Foy explains
today that Beemer swore never again to lose his
voice, and he kept that promise!  Fred Foy returned
to his task of announcing the program, and playing
the Ranger only in early rehearsals, allowing
Beemer a bit more time off.
  Radio actor Gerald Mohr (
The Adventures of
Phillip Marlowe
) provided narration for the early
television episodes of
The Lone Ranger (which first
aired in 1948), but at George W. Trendle's
insistence, the Hollywood production company
began utilizing the voice of Fred Foy, as recorded
in Detroit.  The television Ranger has a history of
vocal schizophrenia: In some episodes, his "HI YO
SILVER" is the voice of Earle Graser, in others, we
hear Brace Beemer!  Then there is a third voice - is
it actor Clayton Moore himself?  No, it is Fred Foy!
As physically well-suited to the role as Moore was,
his "HI YO" was not deemed suitable, hence the
dubbing juggle.  One of the most stirring closings
to any
LR episode comes not from the radio or
television series, but from the 1956 Warner
Brothers motion picture,
The Lone Ranger, "on the
big wide, wide screen in WarnerColor" (as the
newspaper ads proclaimed).  The expansive Utah
scenery and the heroic figures of Clayton Moore
and Jay Silverheels riding away astride Silver and
Scout as Fred Foy shouts "HI YO SILVER"are
unforgettable.
  Mr. Foy was asked how well he knew the
television actors (including John Hart, who briefly
replaced Moore), and he replied, "We celebrated
the 60th anniversary of
The Lone Ranger in Lone
Pine, California, and I was invited, as was Clayton
Moore.  I had never met him!  My wife and I were
walking down the streets of the town, and
someone told us Clayton was in a nearby store, so
we walked in, and Clayton's back was toward me.  I
walked up right behind him, and said, 'A fiery
horse, with the speed of light, a cloud of dust...' and
Clayton turned around and joined me for the entire
thing!  We met there for the first time.  He's a
wonderful gentleman, and he carried on the
tradition of the Masked Man.  He really lived the
character (as did Brace Beemer)."
  As he recalled at the NLAS Convention, the
period following "the Ranger" was difficult, but he
eventually found a position with ABC in New York,
YOU MAY CLICK THE
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FOY, THE FAMILY OF OPIE
CATES AND MORE!
where his most visible assignment was a five
year stint as announcer on
The Dick Cavett
Show
, which was thrust against NBC's
powerhouse
The Tonight Show (starring
Johnny Carson).
  With the production of a new motion picture,
The Legend of the Lone Ranger (released in
1981), veterans of the series were given
cameos.  John Hart and Fred Foy were both
asked to appear, but sadly, Mr. Foy's role of
"Mayor of Del Rio" was left on the proverbial
"cutting room floor."  "I was counting on an
Academy Award!" he joked at the NLAS
Convention.  The highly-budgeted film died at
the box office as quickly as the Texas Rangers
who were ambushed in Bryant's Gap (leaving
the "Lone Ranger" to carry on), and today Mr.
Foy remarks,  "Perhaps if they'd left my scenes
in..."  You may hear Fred Foy, however, in the
closing of the film, issuing that great opening
speech, but beware of the the awkward "HI YO
SILVER!"  Actor Klinton Spilsbury's vocal
performance was so inappropriate, all his
dialog was post-dubbed by James Keach. who
presumably provided the "HI YO."
  Today, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Foy enjoy the
company of their children, while Mr. Foy
continues to keep the Ranger alive with
appearances at OTR conventions around the
country.  The week prior to the NLAS
Convention, he participated in a Smithsonian
Institution round-table discussion of radio
history in the company of such luminaries as
Jackson Beck and Arnold Stang.  Fred Foy has
just been nominated for induction into the
Radio Hall of Fame by the Museum of
Broadcast Communications in Chicago, and
we eagerly await the results, and wish him
success in receiving this honor (which was
awarded to another NLAS Honorary Member,
Les Tremayne, in 1995).  Fred Foy certainly
deserves the title bestowed upon him by radio
historian Jim Harmon: "The greatest of all radio
announcer-narrators!"
                              - "Uncle Donnie" Pitchford
Fred Foy (left) as the recipient of the ammunition
used in a pie fight on THE DICK CAVETT SHOW.
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