The Sons of the Pioneers

Ultimate Collection

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For really exhaustive coverage of the work of this groundbreaking cowboy harmony group, you'll want to invest in the Bear Family series; for a quick, budget-priced overview, try this label's Tumbling Tumbleweeds compilation. But for a more generously packed and lushly packaged overview collection (at full price), this is an excellent choice. It consists mainly, of course, of all the genre-defining hits you'll expect: "Cool Water," "I'm an Old Cowhand," "Riders in the Sky," "So Long to the Red River Valley," and more. Pre-1937 recordings feature the singing of founding member Roy Rogers, who is heard to particularly fine effect on the gorgeous "Blue Bonnet Girl," and one track (the jazzy "I'm an Old Cowhand") even features a guest vocal by Bing Crosby. The sound is of limited quality, but that's to be expected with vintage recordings. Highly recommended.

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