The Cisco Kidwas always a favorite of mine back i those longgoneby days, second only to Hopalong Cassidy. I loved the television show with Duncan Ronaldo and Leo Carrillo but never listened to the radio program. Television was the staple in our household; radio was only used to catch E. B. Rideout's weather report on WEEI, essential to our farming family. (Rideout was Boston's first radio meteorologist, who began his long career on our local radio in 1925.)
The Cisco Kid was created by O. Henry in his 1907 story "The Caballero's Way." The O. Henry character was a less-than-honorable desperado. In film,beginning in 1914 and moving through 27 features until 1950, with a television movie added in 1994, the character soon morphed into the heroic character we recognize today. Among the acors portraying the Cisco Kid in movies were Warner Baxter, Caesar Romero, Gilbert Roland, and Duncan Ronaldo; Jimmy Smits had the role in the television movie.
The Cisco Kid hit the airwaves on Mutual Radio on October 2, 1942, with Jackson Beck in the title role. and ran through February 14, 1945. It was revived on the Mutual/Don Lee Network in 1946 with Jack Mather as the Cisco Kid. the series then ran in syndication for more than 600 episodes from 1947 to 1956, with Mather still in the title role. Cisco's sidekick Pancho was played by Louis Soren during the first run, then by Harry E. Lang in the revived series; when Land died in 1953, the Role of Pancho was taken over by Mel Blanc.
On television, The Cisco Kid -- my Cisco Kid -- ran in syndication from September 5, 1950 to March 22, 1956, for a total of 156 half-hour episodes. I never got tired of the "Oh, Pancho!" Oh, Cisco!" interchanged between Renaldo and Carrillo.
There have also been graphic novels and comics books about the character, including a 41-issue comic book from Dell Comics from 1950 to 1958.
Harry Lang still played Pancho in "Wreck of Old 13." Old 13 had a reputation as an unlucky train but the superstition did not stop a railroad executive and his daughter from taking the train. When a gang od deperadoes plot to kidnap the executive for ransom, Cisco and Pancho step in to stop them. The excutive's daughter thinks that they are the outlaws and Pancho finds himself at the control of a runaway train. All is well at the end, though, and the executive's daughter now views Cisco through ga-ga eyes. (Yech! Mush!)
Enjoy this episode.