Tales of the Texas Rangers

Listen to “The Great Detectives Present Tales of the Texas Rangers” on Spreaker.
With the success of Dragnet in 1949-50, radio networks rushed to fill the airwaves with more realistic police procedural dramas. Tales of the Texas Rangers was one of these. Stacy Keach, Sr. was able to gain to the cooperation of the legendary Texas law enforcement agency to adapt stories from their case files. While the agency was formed in 1835, the cases adapted for radio were from between the 1920s and the late the 1940s.

While programs like Dragnet and The Line Up told realistic stories in urban settings, Tales of the Texas Rangers featured stories set across the breadth and depth of the Lone Star State, which often sent Ranger Jace Person (Joel McCrea) into rural areas in Texas, including some that could only be reached on horseback. Still, like Dragnet, the series was dedicated to showing the real procedures and processes used by investigators in the field.

Tales of the Texas Rangers made its way to television in 1955, starring Willard Parker as Ranger Jace Pearson and Harry Lauter as his partner Clay Morgan. Unlike the radio series, the television series was targeted towards a juvenile audience, and alternated between contemporary stories and those from the Old West. The TV series ran for fifty-two episodes, and left the air after three seasons on CBS and ABC in 1958.

About Our Star:

Joel McCrea (1905-90): McCrea came to Hollywood in the 1920s as a stunt man and extra. He broke into pictures in the early 1930s, starring in many romantic comedies and dramas and also starred in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Foreign Correspondent. Yet, it was in Westerns that he found his niche. He starred in films like Buffalo Bill and the Virgininian. After 1946, the rest of his career was spent almost exclusively acting in Western films. McCrea was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers in 1969 and was recognized with the Golden Boot Award in 1987, in addition to being recognized with two separate stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in film and radio.

In addition to his work in film Westerns, McCrea was a real-life rancher, at one time owning 3,000 acres in Ventura County, California and producing 200,000 pounds of beef per year.



Christmas Episodes Played out of order:


Texas Rangers Bicentennial Special:

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