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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bobby Benson And The B-Bar-B Riders


Bobby Benson was the hero of two network series a decade apart. His first, “The H-Bar-O Rangers” , debuted at WGR in Buffalo for CBS on 10-17-32. The Buffalo cast included Richard Wanamaker as “Bobby” and Herb Rice, the writer-director, as both the foreman and the Chinese cook. After one season CBS moved the production to NYC in the fall of 1933 where Billy Halop (later in the “Dead End Kids”) took the role of Bobby. The series lasted until December 1936, sponsored the whole period by the Hecker H-O Company. Over 700 episodes of this 15 minute show aired but not one recording is known to exist today.

In the fall of 1949 Rice, then an VP with WOR-Mutual, resurrected the series, re-named “Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders” . This show, usually 30 minutes, ran until mid-1955 and was a sustainer for Mutual for all but 1953 when Krafts Foods sponsored it. Ivan Cury played Bobby from 1949 to early 1951; Charles Irving was Tex Mason. Don Knotts played Windy Wales and Craig McDonnell was both Irish and Harka for the whole run. Clive Rice (using his professional name of Clyde Campbell) became Bobby in April 1951 and shortly thereafter Bob Haig replaced Irving as Tex. Approximately 600 episodes were aired, including a 5 minute version usually called “Songs of the B-Bar-B”.


  1. My Dad was one of the writers of this show. Jim Shean was his name :)

  2. Sheila (Wuerth) HaysMay 20, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    I met Bobby Benson of the B-B in 1954-55, at the radio station, in McCook, Nebraska. He was my hero. At that time he was not more than 10-12 years old. I never missed a story of his when I was young. I sat by the radio, waiting, for his story to come on. That was in and around 61 years ago!!
    I never knew his real name and have wondered about him ever since!

  3. Dear Sir, I used to listen to Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders on radio here in Exeter,California with my friend, Jimmy Wheat, and sit in swings to listen to him in 1949! We were living in metal Veteran's Houses, then!We tried not to miss a broadcast!I saw Bobby McKnight who was a stand-in for Ivan Cury, who played Bobby Benson on a Television travel show called, "America," with Host, Jack Douglass in the late 1960's! He was on a tour in North Carolina and they talked to him!I thought , so thats what he looks like ! It was't Ivan Cury!I still have fond memories of that show! I started collecting Radio Premiums of Bobby Benson, recently! The 1949 version premiums are harder to find!



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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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