Current Sons of the Pioneers






              Calin's Grandparents,

                    Pearl & Clarence (Bob) Nolan



  This site was created in

  loving memory of Bob

  Nolan by his grandson,

  Calin Coburn, with Nolan

  family archivist & friend,

  Elizabeth Drake McDonald.

  Calin passed away on

  March 1, 2019.





Check out YouTube to

listen or learn about

available albums.




1908 - 1980



Pencil Sketch by William Bowen



     Singer, songwriter, actor and poet, Bob Nolan was instrumental in creating "Western" music, a uniquely North American art form. Cool Water and Tumbling Tumbleweeds are two of his best-known songs but they are only the tip of the iceberg. (Check out the hundreds of recordings of these two songs.)

     Most of his songs were not derived from European folk music as were a large number of traditional "Cowboy" songs. They were not "Country" songs, either. Bob's were entirely original - often pure poetry set to unusual and difficult melodies.

     An admirer once told Bob that he painted the West - and his brush was music. The new sound caught the imagination of the public in the early 1930s. Contemporary musicians began to imitate, western movies picked it up and the genre was popular for thirty years.




     The Biographies section opens a small window into the life of this private man by using video clips from his films and hundreds of photos from his own personal collection. Read about his early life and career and also how he spent his retirement years. Learn more about his famous brother Earl, his half brother Mike, his adventurer father Harry, and the tragically brief life of his mother Flora.


     Sample over 150 of Bob Nolan's songs plus the  lyrics and sing along with the Sons of the Pioneers. You'll find that the Slide Shows are educational as well as entertaining.


     His friends and co-workers recall their memories of Bob Nolan in Recollections. Read what his fans say about him in Reflections. Perhaps you have written a poem about Bob or the Sons of the Pioneers. If you have some stories or pictures of Bob Nolan  you would like us to put on our website, please Contact Us.


     Look through the photo collections of Bob's fans, read the old fan magazines and newsletters, Tumbleweed Topics and the Prairie Prattler.  Find the movies or just the songs from the movies. Follow the current Sons of the Pioneers.


      Are you looking for Sons of the Pioneers CDs? Although we do not sell anything, check out the overviews and track lists on our Discography page with many reviews by OJ Sikes. You will also find that your favorite music vendor carries albums by current artists recording the old songs.



All copyright laws apply. This site is provided for your private study or reference only.

Please obtain permission from Elizabeth Drake McDonald to use photos or text. 


For permission to record Bob Nolan's songs, contact:

Mr. Sam Fein
c/o The Songwriter’s Guild of America
Att: Music of the West

(Bob Nolan catalog)
209 10th Avenue South, Suite 321
Nashville, TN 37203

Phone: (615) 742-9945

Fax: (615) 742-9948







Cool Water


Tumbling Tumbleweeds





Listen to hundreds of selections

and enjoy unique new arrangements

by a wide variety of singers and entertainers,

past and present.




Under construction :

The Bill Bowen Collection





Contact Us


Need help navigating?






Photo Collections


Lost Nolan songs


Lists & More Lists


Pioneers Line-ups


Net Radio - OJ Sikes


Bob Sings Solo


Poems, Songs & Art




Purchase videos of your favorite old B-western movies from Jimmie Willhelm who will have what you want. Check out his extensive inventory.


Purchase radio transcription CDs from John Fullerton.


Cheryl Rogers Barnett has a new website with excellent silver screen cowboy movies.






Quis nos operor in vita refero in infinitio.