Dave, I've recently heard a couple of Mark Trail radio episodes from around the same time period as the RB episodes, and the similarities between the Mark Trail and Ranger Bill programs are too obvious to be only coincidence! I was kind of shocked...
Both feature a rugged, dedicated "ranger" charged with protecting the environment...the intros are very much alike, with both featuring a list of things the hero overcomes to get the job done, and both play thunder and other similar sound tracks in the background. Both end the show by shouting out the hero's name! If you have a minute, take a listen to a Mark Trial radio program, and I think you'll see what I'm talking about. If you don't have one handy, I can email you one.
Pretty amazing "coincidence", or did the Mark Trail folks copy the formula of a winning show? Very curious set of similarities...
God bless you,
Thanks, Bill, for letting us know about Mark Trail.
The Mark Trail radio show began in January of 1950. Ranger Bill started oct. 2, 1950. Mark Trail began in 1946 as a comic strip and then expanded to include the radio show in 1950. Mark was a pipe-smoking journalist and environmentalist in the comics and was a forest ranger on the radio. The radio show was sponsored by Kellogs Pep cereal. The Mark Trail show began each week with:
"Kellogs presents the adventures of Mark Trail -
battling the raging elements,
fighting the savage wilderness,
striking at the enemies of man and nature.
One man's name resounds from snow-capped mountains down across the sun-baked plains -
guardian of the forest,
protector of wildlife,
champion of man and nature -
Does this sound familiar? Check out the first Ranger Bill opening - very similar.