I’ll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
The Tumbling Tumbleweeds
One of the most famous songs associated with the Sons of the Pioneers is the “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”. Bob Nolan, a Canadian native, penned the song, while he was working as a caddy in Los Angeles.
Written originally under the title, Tumbling Leaves, this song was symbolic of the Depression-era adventurers. These are people who crossed America looking for work and a place to call home. A radio announcer suggested that Nolan change the title since so many listeners kept requesting the song as Tumbling Weeds.
It became famous when it was included in the Gene Autry film of the same name. The song is also listed in the Western Writers of America’s list of the top 100 western songs.
In addition to Autry’s interpretation, numerous cover versions include those by Willie Nelson, Burl Ives, Frankie Laine, Michael Martin Murphey, The Supremes, Ferlin Husky, Leo Kottke, Slim Whitman, Michael Nesmith, Ford Tennesee Ernie, Bing Crosby, Eddie Arnold, Perry Como, Marty Robbins, Elvis Presley and the Meat Puppets.
The song was also re-introduced to the contemporary audience when included in the 1998 movie, The Big Lebowski.
The Sons of the Pioneers
The Sons of the Pioneers started one of the strange branches of American music: singing cowboys. The band is one of America’s earliest Western singing groups whose classic recordings set a new standard for performers of Western music. Known for their high-quality vocal performances, musicianship, and songwriting, they produced finely-crafted and innovative recordings that have inspired many Western music performers and remained popular through the years. Since 1933, through many changes in membership, the Sons of the Pioneers have remained one of the longest-surviving country music vocal groups in history.
Roy Rogers was everyone’s image of what a cowboy should be, from his white Stetson with its silver hatband to his hand-tooled boots. His face was strong and handsome with eyes that squinted yet still showed a twinkle. His smile was warm and reassuring. Whether he was wearing fringed Western wear or a checkered cowboy shirt, he was the epitome of what a cowboy should be. He was the picture of honesty and integrity. And was there ever a more exciting sight than watching Roy and Trigger riding majestically across the television screen or a rodeo arena? No wonder three generations of kids (and adults) wanted to be like Roy Rogers. We wanted to look like Roy, dress like Roy, and be as honest and forthright as Roy.
Rogers was an American actor and singer born on November 5, 1911, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was known as the “King of the Cowboys.” He starred in musical Westerns and appealed to fans for his good-guy hero image. His followers also loved his sidekick palomino, Trigger, and dog, Bullet. Rogers appeared on TV, radio, records, and film from the 1930s-1950s. Film highlights included Under Western Stars(1938), King of the Cowboys (1943), Sunset in El Dorado (1945), My Pal Trigger(1946) and The Golden Stallion (1949). Rogers died on July 6, 1998, from congestive heart failure.
Here’s a perfect combination of a well-crafted song, classic cowboy band and the King of the Cowboys. Enjoy watching the video.
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Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Sons Of The Pioneers, Tumbling Tumbleweeds
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