The Red Ryder radio series began February 3, 1942, on the Blue Network, broadcast three times a week at 7:30pm Pacific time. When the Blue also acquired The Lone Ranger from the Mutual Broadcasting System, Mutual decided to compete by airing Red Ryder in the same time period. Thus, Red Ryder aired on the East Coast that year from May 20 to September 9 on Mutual. The series actually beat The Lone Ranger in the Hooper ratings, but the success was short-llived. When Red Ryder was sold to a regional sponsor, Langendorf Bread, it was no longer heard in the East after four months.
Mutual and Langendorf continued the series on the West Coast Don Lee Network through the 1940s at 7:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, always with the familiar organ theme, "The Dying Cowboy" ("Oh, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie"). Announcers on the show included Ben Alexander and Art Gilmore.
Reed Hadley portrayed Red Ryder on radio from 1942 to 1944, followed by Carlton KaDell (1945) and Brooke Temple (1946-51). Arthur Q. Bryan had the role of Roland "Rawhie" Rolinson, and Red's sidekick Buckskin Blodgett was played by Horace Murphy. Jim Mather provided Indian voices.