Old as I am, I was not a part of the true “Radio Era”, but my parents were, and whenever we took long car trips they would manage to find repeats of classic radio programs. I loved them all, and still do. Mostly because even now, in the days of CGI movies, the graphics I saw in my mind when I listened to radio drama and adventure were better than any I’ve seen on the screen.
One of my favorite shows had two names. It was sometimes called “The Challenge of the Yukon”, and sometimes known as “Sergeant Preston of the Mounties”. Whichever name it went by, I loved the show.
I also loved the theme music.
Now, for a bit of a history lesson. Fran Striker, the creator of The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, and Sergeant Preston, was a driven man. His intention was to make as much money as he could, and spend the least. For this reason he only chose music in the Public Domain for the themes for his characters. The William Tell Overture for The Lone Ranger. Flight of the Bumblebee for the Green Hornet, and for Challenge of the Yukon (Sergeant Preston), it was the Donna Diana Overture, or rather a recurring theme from that piece.
Listen to this wonderful piece of music—truly music to write to. In fact as I write this it is playing at a strong volume. Even if you have never heard a “Challenge of the Yukon” radio show, I’m guessing you’ll figure out which theme is used.Then, if you’re interested in listening to the other two themes Fran Striker purloined, try these:The Lone Ranger (The William Tell Overture)The Green Hornet (Flight of the Bumblebee)