Hi-yo, Fred Foy

I am absorbed in nostalgia. A habitual obituary reader, my eye caught one today that I might have missed, so remote was the name, Fred Foy. The 89-year-old Foy was the voice of the Lone Ranger on radio in the 1930s, when I was a boy and radio was THE medium of entertainment. His stentorian voice intoning, "A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty, ‘Hi-yo Silver, away!’ ” each night took my young imagination to exciting places beyond my personal world in small-town New Jersey. Foy led listeners to places where television never could take its viewers because one watching isn’t using the same muscles of imagination required for radio.

Foy was also the voice of The Green Hornet, and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. But his famous “Hi-yo Silver" became the iconic exclamation. Foy later did announcing work for television, the Dick Cavett show, it is reported; but it was his words introducing the extraordinary Lone Ranger show three times a week for decades that identifies an era that introduced my generation to the wonders of storytelling where the audience is called upon to imagine the words it hears.

New generations will have new and exciting media, but they won’t have someone like Fred Foy to take them on the magic carpet ride of storytelling.


Ronald Goldfarb is a Washington attorney and author.