Roy Rogers

King of the Singing Cowboys

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This anthology compiles some rare sides from America's most beloved 'singing cowboy' Roy Rogers from a variety of archival performances including vintage Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) programs Melody Roundup, Mail Call and the Music for Millions Bond Show aimed at soliciting listeners to buy U.S. bonds. Rogers is backed by the Sons of the Pioneers -- who stayed with him until 1948 -- and subsequently the Riders of the Purple Sage. A rundown of the contents reveals plenty of well-known favorites. Although no broadcast specifics are given, the earliest entry is "Cowboy Wedding" from Gene Autry's Melody Roundup. "Cowboy Polka" and "I'm an Old Cowhand" date to an August 10, 1944 appearance on Johnny Mercer's Music Shop. Less than a week later on August 16, Rogers contributed "When the Blue Moon Turns Gold Again" and "Lights of Old Santa Fe" to Mail Call. The September 18, 1945 edition of Music for Millions is presented with Rogers debuting a song penned especially for the U.S. Treasury Department, whose Victory Bond Drive inspired "Yippee Cay Yay, Buy a Bond Today." Supported by the Sons of the Pioneers, he also supplies ageless renditions of classics "Along the Navajo Trail," "Cool Water" and "You Can't Break My Heart." Finally, there are five tunes taken off of The Roy Rogers Show circa the spring and summer of 1954: "This Old House" (April 22), "Streets of Laredo" (May 01), "Ya'll Come" (July 01), "Spell of the Indian Magic" (July 08) and "My Little Buckaroo" (July 15). For recordings over six decades old, the audio quality is exceptional throughout, making King of the Singing Cowboys (2004) worthwhile for interested parties.

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