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6-CD Box with 160-Page Hardcover Book by Douglas B. Green.

LABEL Bear Family Records


EAN-CODE 4000127163899

Release Date: September 1, 2009


Track List

Hold onto your hats, folks! It’s finally here; the boxed set we’ve all been waiting for! The Bear Family label has been working for over 10 years to find and restore the recordings made by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers from 1934 to 1943. Now, they’re here, 182 songs in one 6 CD boxed set, painstakingly re-mastered and accompanied by a beautifully illustrated 160 page hardcover book written by noted historian Doug Green (aka Ranger Doug). The book contains rare b&w movie stills and colorful lobby cards, a filmography, a discography and Doug’s observations on each recording.

Roy Rogers was still Leonard Slye in 1934 when he got together with Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer and Hugh Farr to form the Sons of the Pioneers. Their first commercial recording session was in Los Angeles on August 8, 1934 and their label was Decca. In fact, they were one of the first to record for Decca, preceded by Stuart Hamblen and Bing Crosby. This set contains the commercial recordings the Pioneers made for Decca and Columbia (ARC) before Len became Roy Rogers. It segues into Roy’s solo recordings in 1937 when he changed his name upon launching his solo career with Republic Studios as Roy Rogers.

While the Pioneers were to become more polished with the arrival of Lloyd Perryman upon Roy’s departure, there are some real beauties among those early recordings, especially after Karl Farr joined in 1935. A number of songs that were to become Western classics were recorded in those early years, e.g. “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” & “Blue Prairie.” Several gems, like “A Melody from the Sky,” were never recorded again. In 1936, they appeared with Bing Crosby in his Paramount film, Rhythm on the Range, where “Empty Saddles” & “I’m an Old Cowhand” were introduced. The Pioneers’ recording of the latter is considered to be one of their all-time best, and features each member of the group taking a solo.

Some of the early recordings have been re-issued elsewhere, but on many of those the audio is very poor. That’s why Bear Family went to such great lengths to find good copies of everything and then restore them to the best possible condition. The 1937 recordings of “Way Out There” & “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” have been almost impossible to find, especially in good condition, so there are some real treasures here. “Texas Star,” “I Knew it All the Time,” “They Drew My Number,” “Blue Juniata,” “How was I to Know” and others fall into this category. Some, if they could be found at all, were likely to be distorted or barely audible; now they can be heard and appreciated at last.

When Roy went solo in ’37, the Pioneers accompanied him on his first recordings for Columbia (ARC), but the records were issued as being by Roy Rogers. In 1938, Roy began to record songs from his films, as well as others that have become favorites in recent years, like “Ridin’ Ropin’.” Before he moved into the 1940s, accompanied by different musicians, Roy recorded some beautiful ballads like “I Hope I’m not Dreaming Again,” “Rusty Spurs,” “Let Me Build a Cabin,” and Tim Spencer’s “Here on the Range.” But in the early ‘40s he also recorded some western swing with Spade Cooley’s Buckle-Busters.

All of these are in this set; everything that was issued between ’34 & ’43 (except for Roy’s square dance calls and one or two songs for which a beautiful alternate take is used instead of the widely available original recording). But herein lies an important characteristic of this set: there are over 50 recordings here that were not issued, so you’ll hear them for the first time! And Bear Family’s attention to detail and top quality audio, plus Doug Green’s outstanding book, make this set a “must” for every fan of Roy Rogers & the Sons of the Pioneers, and every western music collector. It should be an essential part of every collection! Available in stores or from Bear Family Records, PO Box 1154, D-27727 Hambergen, Germany, or online from bear-family.de or several US-based web sites, e.g. DeepDiscount.com (prices range from approx $130 ppd to $185 + s&h).

O.J. Sikes

Track List:



01:  Way Out There  (Bob Nolan)

02:  Tumbling Tumbleweeds  (Bob Nolan)

03:  Moonlight On The Prairie (Bob Nolan / Vernon Spencer)

04:  Ridin' Home (Bob Nolan)

05:  I Follow The Stream (Bob Nolan)

06:  There's A Roundup In The Sky (Bob Nolan)

07:  Roving Cowboy (Bob Nolan)

08:  Will You Love Me When My Hair Has Turned To Silver

09:  When Our Old Age Pension Check Comes To Our Door

10:  When I Leave This World Behind (Bob Nolan)

11:  Over The Santa Fe Trail

12:  Song Of The Pioneers

13:  Echoes From The Hills (Bob Nolan)

14:  Kilocycle Stomp

15:  Cajon Stomp

16:  Westward Ho

17:  The Hills Of Old Wyomin'

18:  A Melody From The Sky

19:  We'll Rest At The End Of The Trail

20:  Texas Star

21:  Blue Bonnet Girl

22:  Ride, Ranger, Ride

23:  Empty Saddles

24:  Blue Prairie (Tim Spencer / Bob Nolan)

25:  I'm An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)

26:  Way Out There (Bob Nolan)

27:  Will You Love Me When My Hair Has Turned To Silver

28:  Song Of The Pioneers

29:  Blue Prairie (Tim Spencer / Bob Nolan)



01:  One More Ride (Bob Nolan)

02:  Way Out There (Bob Nolan)

03:  Tumbling Tumbleweeds (Bob Nolan)

04:  My Saddle Pals And I

05:  I Love You Nelly

06:  I Wonder If She Waits For Me Tonight (Bob Nolan)

07:  When The Roses Bloom Again

08:  Heavenly Airplane (Bob Nolan)

09:  Billie The Kid

10:  Power In The Blood

11:  Let's Pretend (Bob Nolan)

12:  Love Song Of The Waterfall (Bob Nolan)

13:  Song Of The Bandit (Bob Nolan)

14:  Down Along The Sleepy Rio Grande

15:  Just A-Wearyin' For You

16:  Smilin' Through

17:  Kelly Waltz

18:  Open Range Ahead (Bob Nolan)

19:  Cajon Stomp

20:  Blue Juniata

21:  Send Him Home To Me (Bob Nolan)

22:  Cowboy Night-Herd Song

23:  One More Ride (Bob Nolan)

24:  I Wonder If She Waits For Me Tonight (Bob Nolan)

25:  When The Roses Bloom Again

26:  Billie The Kid

27:  Power In The Blood

28:  Open Range Ahead (Bob Nolan)

29:  Send Him Home To Me (Bob Nolan)

30:  Cowboy Night-Herd Song



01:  Black Sheep Blues

02:  That Pioneer Mother Of Mine

03:  Hadie Brown (My Little Lady)

04:  Hear Dem Bells

05:  One More River To Cross

06:  You Must Come In At The Door

07:  Lead Me Gently Home, Father

08:  The Devil's Great Grandson (Bob Nolan)

09:  Dwelling In Beulah Land

10:  When The Golden Train Comes Down (Bob Nolan)

11:  The Hangin' Blues (Bob Nolan)

12:  Hold That Critter Down (Bob Nolan)

13:  Leaning On The Everlasting Arm

14:  What You Gonna Say To Peter (Bob Nolan)

15:  At The Rainbow's End (Bob Nolan)

16:  The Touch Of God's Hand (Bob Nolan)

17:  Lord, You Made The Cowboy Happy (Bob Nolan)

18:  That Pioneer Mother Of Mine

19:  Dust

20:  When A Cowboy Sings A Song

21:  Listen To The Rhythm Of The Range

22:  Hi-Yo, Silver!

23:  A Lonely Ranger Am I

24:  Old Pioneer

25:  Ridin' Ropin'

26:  Black Sheep Blues

27:  One More River To Cross

28:  You Must Come In At The Door (Bob Nolan)

29:  Hold That Critter Down (Bob Nolan)

30:  Leaning On The Everlasting Arm

31:  The Touch Of God's Hand (Bob Nolan)



01:  I've Sold My Saddle For An Old Guitar

02:  Colorado Sunset

03:  There's A Ranch In The Rockies

04:  When The Sun Is Setting On The Prairie

05:  When I Camped Under The Stars

06:  Born To The Saddle

07:  When Mother Nature Sings Her Lullaby

08:  Somebody's Smile

09:  I've Learned A Lot About Women

10:  The Man In The Moon Is A Cowhand

11:  She's All Wet Now

12:  I Hope I'm Not Dreaming Again

13:  The Mail Must Go Through

14:  Ridin' Down The Trail

15:  Here On The Range

16:  Let Me Build A Cabin

17:  Headin' For Texas And Home

18:  Rusty Spurs

19:  Chapel In The Valley

20:  You Waited Too Long

21:  Nobody's Fault But My Own

22:  No Matter What Happens, My Darling

23:  Silent Night, Holy Night

24:  O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

25:  Wondering Why

26:  I Hope I'm Not Dreaming Again

27:  Chapel In The Valley

28:  You Waited Too Long

29:  Nobody's Fault But My Own

30:  Silent Night, Holy Night

31:  O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)



01:  Wondering Why

02:  (Without You Darling) Life Won't Be The Same

03:  New Worried Mind

04:  Time Changes Everything

05: Yesterday

06:  Melody Of The Plains

07:  So Long To The Red River Valley

08:  My Love Went Without Water (Three Days)

09:  (Goodbye My Darlin') They Drew My Number

10:  He's Gone Up The Trail

11:  A Love That Ended Too Soon

12: Cielito Lindo

13:  Cool Water (Bob Nolan)

14:  You Don't Love Me But I'll Always Care

15:  There's A Long, Long, Trail

16:  Kelly Waltz

17:  Lonely Rose Of Mexico

18:  Rye Whiskey

19:  Wagner Hoedown

20:  Boggy Road To Texas

21:  Don't Be Blue, Little Pal, Don't Be Blue

22:  You Were Right And I Was Wrong

23:  I'm Trusting In You

24:  I'll Be Honest With You (Answer To Be Honest

25:  (Without You Darling) Life Won't Be The Same

26:  New Worried Mind

27:  Time Changes Everything

28:  Melody Of The Plains

29:  My Love Went Without Water (Three Days)

30:  (Goodbye My Darlin') They Drew My Number

31:  He's Gone Up The Trail



01:  I Knew It All The Time

02:  You Broke My Heart, Little Darlin'

03:  How Was I To Know

04:  When The Moon Comes Over Sun Valley

05:  Down By The Old Alamo

06:  I Know I Shouldn't Worry (But I Do)

07:  A Gay Ranchero (Las Altenitas)

08:  Blue Bonnet Lane

09:  Don't Waste Your Love On Me

10:  It's Just The Same

11:  A Man And His Song

12:  I've Sold My Saddle For An Old Guitar

13:  Pay Me No Mind

14:  Salt River Valley

15:  Tumbleweed Trails (Bob Nolan)

16:  Plain Old Plains

17:  You're The Answer To My Prayer

18:  Little Old Church On The Hilltop

19:  She Gave Her Heart To A Soldier Boy

20:  Think Of Me

21:  Private Buckaroo

22:  O-O-Oh, Wonderful World

23:  I'll Be Around Somewhere

24:  I'm Crying My Heart Out Over You

25:  I Hang My Head And Cry

26:  Home In San Antone

27:  Let Me Keep My Memories

28:  There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder

29:  Pay Me No Mind

30:  Salt River Valley