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The Radio Show ... and Ralston Premiums

The 'Tom Mix Ralston Straight Shooters' radio program offered a bunch of premiums over the years. One of the most prized (and valuable) is a series of comic books available in the early 1940s.

Les Adams provides details about Tom Mix Comics numbers 1-12 (late 1941 - mid 1942), which were issued as premiums by Ralston:

These came from Checkerboard Square in St. Louis and were not sold at newsstands. By far the best rendition of Mix I've seen (story by Stan Schendel and Ray Bouvet and art by Fred Meagher with an assist by Bill Allison). Charles Biro of Crime Does Not Pay fame did some back-up features. All of the radio characters, including Wash, were on hand here. Issues 10-11-12 had a title change to Tom Mix Commandos Comics. Story titles included 'Tom Mix and The Lost Trail of Tony', 'Tom Mix and The Were-Wolf of the Range' and 'Tom Mix and the Cobra's Lair'. The Commando issues saw such as 'Tom Mix and the West Coast Bombardments' and 'Tom Mix and The Terrible Talons of Toyko'. The first issue also had the lyrics to all hundred verses of the Ralston Song to the tune of When It's Roundup Time in Texas (and the bloom is on the sage ...).

You can read about the Tom Mix Ralston Straight Shooters radio program at:
http://www.old-time.com/mix.html
http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/slobb/floor.html

The official Ralston website has info on Tom Mix at: http://www.hotralston.com/tommix.htm. They even have the words to the radio show theme song. Remember that the Mix/Ralston jingle is sung to "When The Bloom Is On The Sage (When It's Round-up Time In Texas)", a tune written circa 1930 by Fred Howard and Nat Vincent: http://www.hotralston.com/themesong.htm

The Internet Archive has a couple dozen of the Tom Mix Ralston radio programs which you can download in mp3 format: http://www.archive.org/details/Tom_Mix



(Courtesy of J. Cooper)
In the early 1980s, there was a brief reincarnation of the Tom Mix Ralston Straight Shooters, and some new premiums were issued ... such as the membership card on the left.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
Old Corral contributor Minard Coons is the proud owner of this original Ralston Straight Shooters bracelet.

This is a letter "C" bracelet (which is the first letter of Minard's last name). An enlargement of the bracelet back is shown and includes the member registration number.




(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
Tom Mix Comics, Big Little Books, Better Little Books, et al

On the left is the cover for Tom Mix comic issue 27 from Fawcett.

The Grand Comicbook Database Project website has images of the covers of the Mix Fawcett comic series as well as the Ralston Purina comics. Go to: http://www.comics.org/search.lasso?type=title&query=tom+mix&sort=alpha&Submit=Search



(Courtesy of Les Adams)
As with most western movie heroes of the day, Tom Mix was the subject of various Big Little Books and Better Little Books.
(From Old Corral collection)



Collectibles, mementos, etc.

In addition to the normal Hollywood collectibles such as posters, lobby cards, pressbooks, et al, the Tom Mix face and name was present in other media, including circus posters, comic books, Ralston premiums, Big Little Books, Better Little Books, cigarette cards, vending machine cards, and more. And because he was a major star and big earner in the 1920s, there are many magazines carrying Mix articles. We can't cover all of this - but below are a few examples.


Photos showing Hollywood celebrities were popular and a variety of cigarette companies offered small cards when you bought a pack of their brand.

Front and back of this card are shown on the right.

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)



(Courtesy of Tammy Sessamen)
Images of Hollywood celebs were also issued on vending machine cards.

The Mix card on the left is a postcard and was issued in 1929 by the Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago, a firm which manufactured vending machine novelties from about 1901 to the mid-1960s. It went out of business around 1979.

This particular card (as well as the full set) is commonly nicknamed the "rope card" or "lariat card" because of the rope border. They came in three different colors/tints: brown, sepia and purple (shown on the left).

Below are two more Tom Mix vending cards from the Exhibit Supply Company.



(Courtesy of Paul van der Vegt)
 
(Courtesy of Paul van der Vegt)



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - Tom Mix Miracle Rider Club identification card.



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