George Houston (above) - The Lone Rider at PRC: 1896 – 1944
With the success of singing cowboys, most of the major and minor studios and production companies tried to bring their own version of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers or Tex Ritter to the silver screen. One of the minor studios, PRC, decided to get into singing cowboy films and Houston was selected for the role of Tom Cameron, the 'Lone Rider'.
And yes --- there was a Lone Rider theme song which Houston belted out over the opening credits, and the opening titles credit. The Lone Rider theme went like this:
"I'm the Lone Rider on the great divide
all alone roaming far and wide
When a helping hand is needed, I am ready without fail
I'm the Lone Rider, on the trail ..."
On November 12, 1944, roughly two years after the release of his last Lone Rider film, George Houston passed away from a heart attack.
At Republic Pictures, Bob Livingston (1904-1988) had been a hot property, starring in the Three Mesquiteers series, the second Lone Ranger serial, as well as various non-westerns. His contract wasn't renewed and so he joined the PRC stable for a short while as their new Lone Rider. Fuzzy St. John continued as the sidekick. After a half dozen, Livingston was gone, called back to Republic to take over the reins of the troubled "John Paul Revere" series which had Eddie Dew as the lead.
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Having been framed and convicted of murder, Tom Cameron (George Houston) heads for Malone's (Karl Hackett) saloon where wanted outlaws hang out. He learns Malone is after the ranch of the man he supposedly killed. When he tries to help the new owner he is captured by Malone's men who plan to hang him. Malone's daughter (Virginia Card) wants to get away from the saloon and hoping Tom will take her, gives him unexpected help.
Harkness controls Boulder Pass and his men are overcharging the ranches for its usage. When Tom Cameron (George Houston – The Lone Rider) steps in to rob the tollgate keepers and return the money to the ranchers, he gets caught.
3. Lone Rider and the Bandit (1942) - The Lone Rider (George Houston):
The famous bandit Joaquin Murieta has reappeared and Sheriff Smoky (Dennis Moore) has sent for Tom Cameron (George Houston). When Tom poses as Murieta, he learns that Corbett is the fake Murieta and Miller is the boss. But Tom's plan to trap Miller goes awry when Miller sees through his Murieta disguise and has him and his pals Fuzzy and Smoky jailed to await hanging the next day.
4. Wolves of the Range (1943) - The Lone Rider (Robert Livingston):
Dorn (I. Stanford Jolley) is after the rancher's land and is trying to stop Banker Brady (Ed Cassidy) from helping them. When his man Hammond (Jack Ingram) kills Brady, there is a run on the bank. When Rocky (Robert Livingston / The Lone Rider) volunteers to ride to the next town for money, he is ambushed by Dorn's men, loses his memory, and is jailed for supposedly stealing the money.
5. Frontier Scout (1938) - George Houston - After fighting in the Civil War, Wild Bill Hickok (George Houston) and Whiney head west to investigate missing cattle herds. There they meet their war buddy Norris who is now in the cattle business. When he is unable to explain the missing herds, Bill goes into action.
6. The Lone Rider Ambushed (1941) George Houston - The Lone Rider Tom Cameron assumes a former outlaw's identity (Keno) to learn where the gold from his last big heist is hidden. He tries to get the info from Blackie Dawson, but Blackie gets suspicious.
7. The Lone Rider in Ghost Town (1941) George Huston - Tom Cameron and Fuzzy investigate a ghost town which, in this case, is supposedly haunted by real ghosts. The town is an outlaw gang's hideout, and they scare folks away to protect their mine.