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Under Western Skies (featuring Roy Rogers)

Audio CD (May 10, 2005)

Original Release Date: May 10, 2005

Label: Varese Sarabande 302 066 653 2

ASIN: B0009AJK52


These are songs of the early Sons of the Pioneers, taken from the 1934-1935 Standard Radio Transcriptions. The trio is Roy Rogers, Tim Spencer and Bob Nolan backed by Hugh Farr and, later, Karl Farr. The photo on the front of the album is misleading as it was taken over 10 years later. It is a production still from the Republic film, "Song of Arizona", 1946.


Album Review by O J Sikes:

   The recordings in this CD of 18 songs come from Standard Transcriptions, recorded in 1934-35. They represent the Sons of the Pioneers in their formative years, when Roy Rogers was still Len Slye. They were just beginning to make a name for themselves, and their constant rehearsing was paying off. In spite of their youth, they were already gaining a following, and the fact that these recordings were made for radio play is evidence of that. This is only a sampling from the 272 recordings the Pioneers made for Standard!

    Most of the selections were chosen because of Roy's solos, but Bob Nolan steps in to solo on "A Sandman Lullaby" which, a few years later, Roy would sing in one of his movies. And Roy sings one, "My Pretty Quadroon," that Bob was to solo on when they recorded it again later. Roy also sings 2 songs that were closely associated with Gene Autry (remember, this was long before the two were competitors. Gene would soon invite the Pioneers to appear in some of his films). There's also lots of the expert yodeling Roy was known for, and the trio harmony yodeling that set the group apart from the very beginning. 

    Liner notes are informative and beautifully written by Western music & film historian Jon Guyot Smith. All of  these recordings are available elsewhere, but only in boxed sets. So if you only want a sampling, this is the one for you. Try your local dealer or Collector's Choice at  1-800-923-1122 or www.ccmusic.com



 1. Hadie Brown (Jimmie Rodgers / Elsie McWilliams)

 2. My Pretty Quadroom (Howard / Vincent / Dodge)

 3. The Preacher and the Bear (Joe Arizona)

 4. Square Dance (traditional)

 5. Black Sheep Blues (traditional)

 6. The Yodeling Cowboy (Jimmie Rodgers / Elsie McWilliams)

 7. Cowboy Jack (traditional)

 8. I Wish I'd Stayed in the Wagon Yard (traditional)

 9. Dear Old Western Skies (Gene Autry)

10. While I Rock Our Babies to Sleep (Jimmie Rodgers)

11. That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine (Autry / Long)

12. Cowboy's Night Herd Song ("Cactus Mack" MacPeters)

13. Swiss Yodel (Shaefer Grant)

14. T for Texas (Jimmie Rodgers)

15. A Sandman Lullaby (Bob Nolan)

16. One More River to Cross (traditional)

17. I Still Do (Bob Nolan)

18. Whoopie Ti Yi Yo (traditional)