Celebrate Roy Rogers’ Birthday With “The Sheriff Of Tombstone” and “In Old Caliente”

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November 5, 2015 — Roy Rogers was the “King of the Cowboys,” a hugely popular Western star in an era when Westerns were one of the country’s favorite entertainments. 

He was born in 1911, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He first became famous fronting for the “Sons of the Pioneers” musical trio. He sang, yodeled and played guitar. Their first recording for the Decca Label, was the 1934 classic — and frequently covered — Tumbling Tumbleweeds, written by Bob Nolan,who was a member of the group. The song would be selected by the Library of Congress for its the National Recording Registry. They would also record the Country and Western classic Cool Water. Both songs were voted onto the list of top 100 Western songs of all time by the  Western Writers of America.

He would make his first film in 1935 and would appear in Westerns in the movies or on television for the next 50 years, until his retirement. By 1943 he was the most popular Western star in the country, and would hold that position for the next ten years.

By 1951, Rogers would appear mostly on television in the popular Roy Rogers Show, which made him an idol to an entire new generation of children. He would star with his wife, Dale Evans, who wrote the theme song Happy Trails, which they sang at the end of the show. The show ran for six years; it has rarely been out of re-runs since that time.

Aside from Evans, Rogers had numerous co-stars who appeared frequently in his movies and shows. Probably the most popular was Trigger, his Palomino horse. The horse was originally named Golden Cloud (and under that name appeared in 1938 in The Adventures of Robin Hood, as Maid Marian’s mount); Rogers would buy the horse and rename him. It is said that the horse learned 150 trick cues and could walk 50 feet on his hind legs. The horse was also immensely popular. Rogers would visit children’s hospitals with the beloved horse and claims the animal walked up 3-4 flights of stairs to entertain sick children several times. 

Trigger had his own comic book and was a marketing goldmine.

Rogers would make more than 100 movies and made occasional guest appearances on television into the 1980’s (he would guest star on The Muppet Show in 1979).

Celebrate the birthday of “the King of the Cowboys” with the 1941 Western, Sheriff of Tombstone and  the 1939 WesternIn Old Caliente.
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