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  Cisco Kid, Volume 3 - 10 hours [Download] #RA599



 
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The Cisco Kid
Volume 3



"Here's adventure! Here's romance! Here's the famous Robin Hood of the Old West..."

The Cisco Kid and his sidekick Pancho appeared in a series of comic books throughout the 1950s.One of old-time radio's most popular juvenile adventure programs, "The Cisco Kid" received the appellation of "the Robin Hood of the Old West" from a 1907 short story, "The Caballero's Way," written by one of the masters of the short story form, William Sydney Porter - better recognized by his nom de plume, O. Henry. In the manner of the famed bandit of Sherwood Forest, Cisco robbed from the rich and gave to the poor; a dark-skinned, hard-drinking and hard-loving white man who passed himself off as a Latino and who possessed a particularly nasty violent streak. To the casual observer, such a character might seem inappropriate as a Western hero -- but with the release of "In Old Arizona" by the Fox Movie Corporation in 1929, in which star Warner Baxter copped an Oscar for his portrayal of the Kid, and many B-westerns after (played variously by Cesar Romero, Gilbert Roland and Duncan Renaldo) Cisco was on his way to entertaining children of all ages.

A long stint in the comic strips and in comic books soon followed and, on October 2, 1942, "The Cisco Kid" made his radio debut over the New York-based Mutual Network, starring famed "Superman" announcer Jackson Beck as Cisco and Louis Sorin (the poor soul on the receiving end of Groucho Marx's barbs in "Animal Crackers") as Cisco's sidekick Pancho. By this time, Cisco's violent outlaw tendencies had been noticeably whitewashed -- in fact, many of the show's stories featured the two men posing as bad men in order to trap the real criminals. All that remained of Cisco's sordid past was briefly mentioned in the show's opening, described by OTR historian John Dunning as "pure radio":

PANCHO: Ceesco, the sheriff...he ees getting closer!

CISCO: This way, Pancho...vamenos!

By borrowing the Lone Ranger formula of 'everybody thinks they're outlaws but they're really the good guys', "The Cisco Kid" became a hit over New York's WOR and, in 1946, moved West - literally - where it was heard regionally three times a week on the Mutual-Don Lee Network. Beck and Sorin were replaced by the two men who remain best remembered for the Cisco/Pancho roles: Jack Mather and Harry Lang. A year later, Mather and Lang were working for the Cincinnati, Ohio-based Frederic W. Ziv Company, where they remained gainfully employed, via pre-recorded syndication, well into the 1950s.

In early 1953, actor Harry Lang fell ill, and his character was written out of the show (Pancho, listeners were told, had come down with measles, mumps and chicken pox) to be replaced by a glittering array of cousins and uncles from Pancho's apparently massive family tree. One of these individuals was cousin Porfirio, played by famed voice man and comic actor Mel Blanc, recycling his 'Pedro' voice from "The Judy Canova Show." Lang eventually returned to the show in an episode appropriately called "Pancho's Return" but, sadly, his tenure was brief - the actor succumbed to a heart attack in August 1953. Blanc was then pressed into service to play the part of Cisco's sidekick until the series came to an end in 1956.

Since the 1947-1956 syndicated ZIV series was pre-recorded and widely distributed, a great many of Cisco and Pancho's adventures have been in the hands of collectors for years -- with the majority of the available programs dating from earlier entries in the series. Recently, however, a large collection of beautiful discs was discovered in Des Moines, Iowa -- uncirculated and largely unplayed 16" vinyl transcription recordings, carefully preserved by a local advertising agency. These programs have, for the most part, been unheard since the 1950s and most have never been available to collectors. They constitute a real "find" for radio enthusiasts everywhere.

In addition to their rarity, a unique feature of these restored broadcasts is the reintegration of regional commercials, voiced by well-known announcers Marvin Miller and Harry Von Zell. The bakers of Butter-nut Bread had sponsored the series on a number of Midwestern radio stations and the program recordings were accompanied by separate discs containing literally hundreds of episode-specific commercials. As presented in this set, the commercials have been edited back into the programs -- allowing you to hear them just as they originally were aired in the early 1950s.


#471 The Giant of Laredo
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#472 The Lancers of the Black Horse Brigade
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#609 Larrupin' Lil
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#610 The Outlaw Brand
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#613 Intrigue in Ensenada
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#614 Pot O' Gold
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#615 Bullets at the Bridge
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#616 Sir Cisco, Knight of the Round Table
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#619 The Tunnel
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#620 Bandits of Tucumcari
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#621 War in the Pecos Valley
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#622 Ghost Town Gazette
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#637 Killer in the Jailhouse
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#638 Mistaken Identity
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#639 Mesa of the Hidden Bandits
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#640 The Devil's Highway
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#641 The Sheriff's 44's
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#642 Holdup at the Pass
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#647 Headless Valley
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread

#648 The Vandals
1950s - 30:00 - ZIV Syndication, sponsored by Butter-nut Bread


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