The Lone Ranger Term “Kemo Sabe” Came From This Michigan Location
The Lone Ranger might outwardly seem to be from the Old West, but he was Pure Michigan.
Fans of old-time radio probably already know that The Lone Ranger was created and introduced here in Michigan. The radio program debuted in January 1933 on Detroit's WXYZ-AM station.
The first man to portray the character was George Seaton, at least for the first handful of shows. He was replaced that same year by Earle Graser, who continued the role until he was killed in an automobile accident in 1941. From then, the role was given to radio announcer Brace Beemer until 1954. By that time, The Lone Ranger had been in the movies and had a few years of television under his belt.
Robert Livingston played the role in the 1939 movie serial and TV chores were handed to Clayton Moore (the most popular 'Lone Ranger' of all time) and for one season by John Hart.
Lone Ranger fans may be familiar with other behind-the-scenes names, like Fran Striker and George W. Trendle. But a name that should not be ignored is that of Jim Jewell. Jewell's name did not appear in the closing credits of the TV show but he was an integral part. Without him, there would be no theme music and no “kemo sabe”.
Lone Ranger Fandom states that Jewell picked The William Tell Overture for the music because it was public domain, and no copyright fee was needed. The term “kemo sabe” that Tonto called the Lone Ranger came from Mullett Lake, up near Cheboygan. Jewell's father-in-law ran a boys' camp on Mullet Lake, named “Camp Ke-mo-sah-bee". Following the success of “The Lone Ranger”, the camp changed its name in the mid-1930s to the “Lone Ranger Camp” until 1941 (see photos of the camp in the gallery below).
Yup...The Lone Ranger.
GALLERY OF THE LONE RANGER