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Last update: Tuesday, December 24, 2019



Q&A 2009



January 1, 2009

 How nice to be able to hear that closing medley from "Roll On, Texas Moon" again! It's curious to me that the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans "It Was Always the Music" boxed CD set left out the "Jumping Bean/Roll on Texas Moon" set from this movie as well as the "NeHaNee/Under Nevada Skies" closing medley from "Under NavadaSkies. They are both terrific. Thanks to you, we got one of them back. How can we keep it on file longer than just a month?



If you go to the "Special Features" button on the left on our Home Page, it will bring up a master page. Scroll to the bottom and you will see "Archive". You will notice that you will be able to go back to all the movies, songs and photos we reviewed in 2008.



January 4, 2009

to calin and elizabeth: re tim's bio.  cowboy ham and eggs video on same.  who is the 3rd member of the trio???

lloyd perryman is in the group but not in the trio????

It's Doye O'Dell you see in the video clip with Ken Carson in the trio (mimed by Pat Brady. Notice the grins?)


 i'll have to look at the film again as i dont remember seeing ken carson.  another shock to me recently was to find out tommy played the violin.  and in one of the videos seeing tim play the piano. 


Ken Carson was in the recording of Cowboy Ham and Eggs and Pat Brady mimes his part. He was not in the film. The music in the Republic films was pre-recorded.


the riders of purple sage who replaced pioneers in rogers films.  where are they now as opposed to pioneers.  i think i know what happened but its too long ago now. 



To find out more about Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage, read No One to Cry To by Sharon Lee Willing.



January 8, 2009

on the sons of the san joaquin reflections by jack hannah who is singing the background song. 



The Sons of the San Joaquin are singing Bob Nolan's "Happy (Rovin') Cowboy". You'll find the recording on their CD, "15 Years - A Retrospective". Check their website.


January 11, 2009

I Googled Torrie Curtis to see if there was any info on their time together. Outstanding tribute to one of the " good guys " --Thank you

Bill Sheftall


January 12, 2009

Accidentally found your site while looking for Sons of the Pioneers websites last night. Love it. Bob Nolan was one of my all time favorite singers. This is now in my favorites. The Sons of the Pioneers are my all time favorite group.



January 17, 2009

I Googled "Bob Nolan." GREAT! I am a "baby boomer" who has always loved Bob Nolan's sound and his great music! Hardly a day goes by when I don't find myself humming "Cool Water," "Wind," or one of his other fantastic compositions, or playing them on the harmonica. Your website does him justice . . . Good job!

Dutch Maris


January 17, 2009


Subject: First Annual Jenny Richards Memorial Benefit Recital

Dear Friends and Family,

We are so excited to notify you of the First Annual Jenny Richards Memorial Benefit Recital, which is being held at Irvine Valley College, to raise funds for the endowment of the Scholarship that is there, in Jenny's name末The Jenny Richards Memorial Voice Scholarship末for vocal students at Irvine Valley College.

The Recital date is February 7th at Irvine Valley College, on the Main Stage at 8:00 PM, and the cost is $20.00 per ticket末$10.00 for students. For those unable to attend, we would like to encourage you to send a donation, no matter how small, to Irvine Valley College 5500 Irvine Center Drive, CA 92618, make sure you designate your donation should go to The Jenny Richards Memorial Voice Scholars hip Fund末 it would be greatly appreciated by all of us who love her and appreciate all that she did with her talent!!
Irvine Valley College main phone number: (949) 451-5100

The only way I could find this event at Irvine Valley College was to type jennyrichards (all one word) into the Google window, then several sites appeared and I went to the Irvine Valley College site, (It was at the top.)

Jenny attended Irvine Valley College where she graduated with high honors and received a substantial scholarship to Chapman University; where she graduated with honors and a bachelor's degree in music. Some of her beloved teachers at Irvine Valley College, notably Jan Wyma, and Frank Pangborn, saw fit to honor her with this Memorial Voc al Scholarship葉here are only two student Scholarships at Irvine Valley College; and Jenny's is the only vocal scholarship. We are so very gratefu l for this tribute to Jenny.

All our best,
Amy and Rusty Richards


February 1, 2009


To all of Jerry Compton's friends and fans,

Sad news today. We lost Jerry early yesterday morning. His brother, Bob, informed me his illness had progressed very rapidly during the past few weeks and he was under heavy sedation near the end. Although we knew this was coming, it's a comfort to know he's not suffering anymore and is in a better place. Bob said there were no plans for a memorial service at this time. I'll keep you all posted if I hear anything new.

Jerry was such a talented member of our group and his contribution, both vocally and instrumentally, was an integral part of the Reinsmen sound. We were also close friends for nearly fifty years. His passing was deeply felt and we will miss him, dearly.

Dick Goodman



February 1, 2009

There's a new box set of some recordings that Bob Wills and the Playboys did in California in the '40's that got reviewed in the New York Times today...and www.bobwills.com got credited as the "courtesy" value for the picture of Bob Wills they used in the article.  I was contacted by them regarding the picture and knew the article was coming, but I must say it was a thrill to see the "courtesy". There's also a "click through" to www.bobwills.com in the article!




I'm selling the box set of Tiffany Transcriptions on www.bobwills.com beginning next week.


Just thought you might find this interesting!



February 2, 2009


I hope you are getting off to a great New Year. We are!!! We just returned from Elko, where we were featured as the "Mystery Guest Performers." No one knew we were going to be there, and it was a fun experience for us, and it was a sold out house. Our first appearance at the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering was way back in 1989. I was older than Lonnie is now when we started this venture. In fact, it launched our career with a bang, a career we didn't even know we had. We only knew five songs then, and I hadn't written any songs at that time. We thought it would be our 'one and only' serious appearance.

We had a great year in '08, and are expecting a great one in '09. Check your web-site for our itinerary, and if we are somewhere close, come and celebrate the Cowboy with us again. You are special to us. You have truly enriched our lives. If you are having a cowboy festival in your city and want the Sons to come, call Scott O'Malley at 719-635-7776.

You may have our new DVD, and now we have a CD of that live show. It is available at a special price on our web-site. As a matter of fact, for the month of February, we are having a Valentine's special, and all of our products are on sale for 20% off. At check out just use the discount code 5138.

We hope that 2009 is a happy and healthy year for you.
Jack Hannah


February 2, 2009

I'm a Long-time WMA member. Wonderful site! Visit every month. But I've just discovered that none of the lyrics appear when selecting a composition on the "lyrics page" & I've tried both Firefox & Safari (on my Leopard Mac) I can play the songs & listen to them (on QuickTime) but no lyrics ...even you suggest "sing along." Any suggestions?

Jack Morris


[Jack and I worked together on this problem and found the solution.]



February 8, 2009

I Googled "Bob Nolan music". As a serious Bob Nolan fan, I have a question about "Trail Dreamin'". In the line that reads "I see a home on a blue mountain dome, Love inlaid that I made trail dreamin'..... I always heard the line sung this way: "Lovin' lea that I made trail dreamin'." Do you have the original music sheet where Bob wrote that line out? Maybe I'm just hearing it wrong, but I've listened to a thousand times. Great song.

Wayne Forsythe


I have inserted the sheet music for "Trail Dreamin'" for you in the Lyrics section, Wayne. I discovered early as I transcribed Bob's lyrics that, if they don't make sense, I have heard them wrong. All of Bob's lyrics made sense. Each is a perfectly crafted poem.



February 15, 2009

I was browsing, in hunt for my favorite artists, specifically, via YouTube to Bob Nolan. This morning I was re-baptized with the fragrance of the West. Congratulations, Calin. You have truly done in this website as your grandfather did years ago to create within a real connection to that dimension. It is heartening to know the fruit doth not fall far from the tree (and even more gloriously accepted a responsibility to fertilize that tree.) I'm sure a great effort on your part produced this website. He'd be proud. Thank you, Calin. Thank you, Bob.

Doug Wofford, Mesquite, Nevada



February 23, 2009

This morning I got lucky. I've checked the internet for years for info on Bob Nolan. I found this site today and I can't believe I found this very special, informative site. My Dad and I always watched the Roy Roger's Westerns together and he always talked about Bob Nolan. When he would put me in bed at night, he would sing Tumbling Tumbleweeds to me. My Dad died last April and I wish I would have been able to show him this site before he died. He would have loved to see the photos and hear Bob's distinctive voice again Thank you so much for bringing memories of my Dad and Bob back to me.

Ernest R Artur Jr


February 26, 2009

Just to let you know, Lonesome Ron may now be seen on the internet. No YouTube videos yet so this will have to do. If you have good internet access you can see 滴ouse of Dakota Rose" in its entirety. The original episode had the stage show in the background while the plot evolved. They created a segment with just the stage show so you can view the song without interruptions. When I'm trying to book myself I send these links out to give people a chance to hear how I sound.

滴ouse of Dakota Rose: http://www.ourstorymn.com/corn11b.html
徹h Susanna: http://www.ourstorymn.com/38_corn.html

Lonesome Ron


February 27, 2009

Howdy, Mr. Coburn..

        My name is Keeter Stuart and I am the grand-nephew of Stan Jones, another great writer of western songs, including, as I知 sure you know, 敵host Riders in the Sky. A musician and songwriter myself, I recently released a CD ["Ghost Riders, Searchers & Csowpokes"] of me singing and playing my uncle Stan痴 old songs. I have a friend who is doing research about Stan and his life in music for a book he hopes to write. Do you know anything about the relationship between Stan and your grandfather and/ or the other members of the Sons of the Pioneers? Were they friends or just acquaintances? I understand that Stan played no small part in bringing the Sons to the attention of John Ford, the director, back in the day. Any information you might have would be marvelous.
        I love the website. Someone told me about it when they discovered an audio interview with my uncle taking about how he came to write 敵host Riders that you had on the site a few month痴 back. Great stuff! Keep up the great work.hope to hear from you soon.


        Yes, we've heard of your CD through the grapevine and I'm certainly looking forward to hearing it.
        I don't think we can help you because Stan appeared on the scene just about the time Bob Nolan was leaving it. It is certainly our impression that Stan and the Pioneers became good friends, and that he was instrumental in their having a part in the John Ford films, but that was after Bob had retired.
        I think the man you should approach is Fred Goodwin and we'll give you his address. He knew the Sons of the Pioneers personally and in 2002 published a book about them. Of all people still living, he is the one who will know the answer to your question.
        We would be very interested to know what you discover about their relationship. I'll ask around among the descendents of the Pioneers and see what I can discover, but do write or phone Fred.

Fred Goodwin
Concept Productions
PO Box 3151
Murfreesboro, TN 37133-3151
ph: (615) 890-3047
FAX: (615) 896-9697

We still have a page on Stan Jones.
http://bobnolan-sop.net/Biographies/The%20Story%20of%20SOP/Stan%20Jones/Stan%20Jones.htm Good luck with your research, Keeter.



March 2, 2009

I found the site looking for tim spencer info. he was related to me on mothers side. have a picture of pioneers when ken curtis sang with them. velma sent it to my mom.

robert stokes


Hello, Robert. Good to hear from you, especially as you are related to Tim Spencer. We have a page on our website for Tim but, unfortunately, it doesn't do him justice. He was a remarkable man. You may be related to Suzette Spencer Marshall who has a website of her own. She is also a fine musician. We also have a page on Glenn Spencer, Tim's brother who wrote a good many of the songs the Sons of the Pioneers sang.



March 3, 2009

I just discovered this page http://www.bobnolan-sop.net/Weeds'n'Water/Weeds.htm Wonderful! I didn't notice a group called the Prairie Rose Wranglers listed.  They have recently changed their name to Prairie Wranglers.  They are out of Wichita, Kansas.  I've attached their version.  Here is a website about their performances http://www.diamondwchuckwagon.com/

Gene Finke



March 6, 2009

Just a note to let you know I am still listening and still singing........ Also...thought I would tell you another story...A very long time ago, my Dad used to hum a tune and he only knew 3 words of it....those words were "Ivan Skavinski Skavar".....I don't have to tell you what song it is, but when I was young it used to make me laugh....I saw a song on Bob's solos page that I thought had some similarity....Abdul ... (you know the rest)...and you can imagine my feelings when I heard Bob singing the tune my Dad used to hum, but did not remember any words......I have to say that I shed some tears even though I just turned 75.......thanks again for your site.

Kendall Rankin


You are quite right, Kendall. Those were the words from the song Bob is singing. I wrote out the lyrics for you on the Abdul Abulbul Amir page so you can sing along with Bob now.



March 8, 2009

I was "back in the saddle again" for one night with one song ("Ridin' Down The Canyon") when Ranger Doug called me up to sing with them at the Del Webb Center for the Performing Arts in Wickenburg last night. Great show and great fun! I'd do it again in a heartbeat!



March 9, 2009
I did a Google search for Hugh & Karl. Great!
Don't forget to check out: www.westexmusichof.com

sid holmes


March 11, 2009

More people have recorded Bob's "Cool Water" than any other song in history, I think.......... but I recently heard one you don't have on your list.....Slim Whitman's version.....It is pretty good...Maybe you could find it sometime......

Kendall Rankin


We have been unable to find a recording of Slim Whitman singing "Cool Water" yet. But speaking of Slim Whitman reminds me of how Bob Nolan's songs could affect another entertainer's style and career. During a performance in the early 1950s, while Whitman was with the Louisiana Hayride, Slim's guitarist overshot a note in Nolan's "Love Song of the Waterfall". The note soared skyward, Slim liked the sound and called it "shooting arrows". That sound became part of Slim Whitman's signature style from then on.



March 12, 2009

Received link to your site from Sid Holmes. WOW!! This is really a great website. I think it couldn't have come at a better time. I will be linking you to my website for sure. Thanks Again!
Joe Baker



March 13, 2009

I found your site when I typed in the title "Goodnight, Little Wrangler." I was glad to read about the life of the man who wrote the lyrics of a song [Stan Jones] that has meant so much to me for 32 years, Goodnight Little Wrangler. I cannot find the lyrics anywhere. Is there a way I can purchase them? It was interesting, too, that he was from Douglas. I lived in Phoenix and my brother was named for Douglas, AZ. I did not realize it was such a rare song. In 1976, when my daughter was born, my mom gave me a LP record (yes, way back when life was simpler J) of lullabies. 敵oodnight, Little Wrangler was on it. It was my baby痴 favorite for years. I don稚 know who sang it on the album, although it was a male singing it solo. I have lost the album, and do always search the thrift shops for a copy someone may have discarded. Thanks for searching for the lyrics for me. I値l bet there are other mom痴 who would like the lyrics, as well.


We have added a link to Stan Jones' Goodnight, Little Wrangler on his page, Cynthia. The singer is Fess Parker. Thanks to Bob Costa for cleaning it for us and thank you for drawing the song to our attention!


Goodnight, Little Wrangler
(Stan Jones as sung by Fess Parker)

Now, goodnight, little wrangler,
The moon is in the meadow of the sky.
And the stars, like your pony,

Standin' drowsy as they blink their purple eyes.

So goodnight, little wrangler,
Knee-deep in new-mown hay you'll gather dreams
You'll find them all a-waitin'
Deep down in the pocket of your jeans.

Take me along, little wrangler.
It's been many and many a day.
Take me by the hand along with you.
Long ago I lost my way.

So goodnight, little wrangler,
May the springtime of your life go on and on.
And may God bless and keep you
When you wake up, smilin', each new dawn.

Now, goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

Goodnight, Little Wrangler (spoken)

March 15, 2009

It's Sunday night, and time for this little wrangler to start hittin the new mown hay for another work week. I am as thrilled as you that the song is new to some of the western singers and is already getting interest...may many future mothers and children now have the memory of this song that is special to me, since you have rediscovered it for all us!! Thanks ever so much for all you did to find it and send it to me. Best wished for your future success with the site!



Here is a copy of my CD, Cowboy State of Mind. I hope you enjoy it. I sing these songs from my soul.

Jennifer Lind



March 15, 2009

You know, the last time the Reinsmen appeared at the annual Death Valley Encampment was in 1999. At that time, they still had the National Park albums and other information on Stan available in the Visitor Center. Dixie and I have recently attended the Encampment last November and were shocked to find out there is no reference to Stan Jones anywhere in the Park anymore. In fact, the current staff of Park Rangers have never heard of him! What a sad turn of events.



March 24, 2009

I have been seeing and hearing music of the Pioneers on YouTube.  Last week, there was a song played called "The Castration of Strawberry Roan" on a record called PartyPlatter.  Party Platter said that it was the Sons of the Pioneers singing it and was recorded when they had their "stint" with Dr Pepper shows in the 40's.  Now, you wouldn't believe the number of people who wrote in saying that it was them. One person said "Yes, that is definitely Bob Nolan singing".  One person said about all the "satirical" songs they had sung.  I had written 4 or 5 messages defending the Pioneers.  I have some of those cd's when they recorded these transcriptions for Dr Pepper.  I have never heard them ever sing anything off  color or downright dirty.  Everything I have ever read about them was good. The song is downright filthy.  You would have to hear it. So, if you can get any information as to how their name got put on a record when it isn't them singing.


        Yes, there is such a recording. It was never commercially recorded and it is a very rare recording. No, it was not on the Dr. Pepper transcriptions and, no, that is not Bob Nolan singing the solo parts. You can hear him in the chorus, though. Dick Foran sings the solo parts. How the recording came about seems to be this way -
        Curley Fletcher, who wrote the original "Strawberry Roan", also wrote some off-color versions of his song although he didn't want them remembered. You'll recall that Fletcher was a rodeo cowboy as well as a poet and, although censorship would keep such language from being commercially recorded in those days, the version Dick Foran and the Pioneers sang was written pretty much as you'd hear the cowboys talk when there were no ladies or children present. (I was raised in cattle country.)
        In 1941 Dick Foran and the Sons of the Pioneers began the popular Dr. Pepper "10-2-4" series. (They continued that radio program until late in 1945, I believe.) In 1943, on one of their eastern US tours, the Pioneers entertained the crowds at the Madison Square Garden Rodeo. While they were in New York, the Dr. Pepper Ranch "crew" (Dick Foran and the Sons of the Pioneers) were asked to sing "The Strawberry Roan" for the Dr. Pepper annual stockholders and board of directors' meeting. Someone came up with the alternate words Curley had written, "The Castration of the Strawberry Roan" and the guys recorded it privately as a joke. It was a party record, something never intended for public consumption. I don't know which version they sang at the stockholders' meeting.
        You would be surprised at the number of our favorite cowboy stars who made such records, but keep in mind the fact that these recordings were private and not intended for the public. The Sons of the Pioneers always treated their fans with the greatest respect.


April 2, 2009




April 3, 2009

Elizabeth and Calin,
 Thanks for the great stuff. Two questions; if I understand the information on the Monte Hale "Home on the Range" page Tim Spencer wrote two songs for the movie but used the name Gordon Forster.  Do I have it correct?  And why?
 Gene Finke


Yes, Tim did use the name Gordon Forster. I don't know why he chose to use a pseudonym. His son wasn't sure, either.


April 17, 2009

Stumbled on your site...now listed with my favorites. Absolutely wonderful...Sang along in tears of joy. TY so so much...


April 30, 2009

Hi Elizabeth,

        My parents had a 45 record of Cool Water that all 7 of us kids grew up with. The question came up the other day as to whose record we had back in the 50's. My mother gave all the old 45s away so we have no way of proving who it was except to listen to as many recordings as we can. I have listened to many versions of it on your website but have not found THE one!

        In the paragraph at the bottom of that listing you talk about how Bob wrote the lyrics and meant it to be "me and you" and not the other way around. Well, we all remember our record as being sung "you and me". It also says that Rex Allen and Marty Robbins recorded it the other way. We have the Marty Robbins recording and again, it's not THE one. However, you do not have the Rex Allen version of it nor can I find it anywhere on the web. I have emailed the people at the Rex Allen museum and they don't have it, either. In their response to me they mentioned that they might have it in their own private collection and if so would send it to me. That has never happened so I have to assume they could not find it. He recorded with Mercury and Decca in the 50s and 60s but I've had no luck finding it on their websites either. So, I'm kind of stumped as to where I could hear his version or get a copy of it. Any chance you could help me? It would mean a lot to us kids nor nostalgic purposes. Thanks!

Sincerely, Brenda Schmitz


I don't think it could have been Rex, Brenda. The song isn't on his discography list so it doesn't appear that he recorded it commercially. We always understood Bob to mean that it was how Rex always sang it - and he did sing it a lot on his radio programs - and live. Thanks for drawing this to our attention. It was misleading and we're always grateful when people care enough to let us know so we can correct it! Nearly every popular singer of that time recorded "Cool Water" and we don't have samples of them all - yet!





 Movie of the Month: "Bullets for Rustlers" (1940), a Columbia picture starring Charles Starrett, Adrian Booth (Lorna Gray) and the Sons of the Pioneers.  All the music in this film was written by Tim & Glenn Spencer.


Photo of the Month: Photos from the "Western Hall of Fame's First Annual Hoss Opera", a benefit show with an all-star B-Western cast intended to raise money for a Western Hall of Fame museum to house artifacts and mementos of the original movie cowboys.


Song of the Month: "What Can We Lose?" by Bob Nolan on one of his own home demos.


Spotlight on Karl Farr with photos and anecdotes from his son, Karl.


Keep singing!

Calin Coburn and Elizabeth McDonald



May 1, 2009

I just wanted to drop a line to say...you just can't imagine my delight and pleasure when I read more about Bob Nolan on your site! I've listened to all the songs...many times...and each time I hear each one .... I'm amazed at the scope and extent of this man's talent...and spirituality....then I look at each one of my own songs...and think... "Would Bob Nolan nod his head....or shake his head when he hears this one?" And that's the "measuring stick" I try to use when I'm judging any song I write! (Some "measure up" and some don't!!)


Thank you for bringing his Light to OUR lives!
Happy Trails....
"Sisters of the Silver Sage"
AWA's 2004 "Western Group/Duo of the Year"
"He's a Cowboy" ... AWA's 2003 "Western Song of the Year"
Please visit our website at: http://www.sistersofthesilversage.com
And our MySpace page at: http://www.myspace.com/sistersofthesilversage

Good morning, Donna. Great to hear from you. We hope you will enjoy this month's song - it's not the kind of song we usually associate with Bob Nolan but it has a timeless theme. We'd like to hear opinions, pro and con.



May 1, 2009

Just a quick question about some of the Mp3 files on the site...I can't get most of the songs on the Tim Spencer page, the numbers from 'Bullets For Rustlers' or any of the Weeds'n'Water selections to play. Is this something to do with my computer or is anyone else having this problem?

Also, a couple of questions about Pioneer recordings. Did they ever professionally record "Headin' For The Home Corral?" I loved the version they did with Roy in 'South of Santa Fe' and would like to find a similar version if there is one.

Second, do you by any chance know which group members recorded the soundtrack for the 1956 movie 'The Searchers'? It sounds to me like Ken Curtis singing lead, but I was under the impression that he had already left the group. It wasn't the RCA studio group, was it?

Thanks for your time...and great website. I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the pictures and listening to the wonderful music.


Thank you for asking. This is the quickest way for us to check individual pages!


First of all, you will be able to hear only the linked songs - the ones in blue. I checked the linked songs and they play on my computer.


Secondly, the songs on "Bullets for Rustlers" and "Weeds 'n' Water" do play. You might like to check your Folder Options and see which program you have selected for playing mp3 files. I have mine set on Windows Media Player.


I don't believe the Sons of the Pioneers ever commercially recorded "We're Headin' for the Home Corral" (South of Santa Fe 1942) but they did make a radio (Orthacoustic) transcription. We have it as an mp3 file and will gladly send it to you.


To my knowledge, the Sons of the Pioneers trio who recorded the soundtrack for "The Searchers" were Lloyd Perryman, Tommy Doss and Ken Curtis. But the trio of Nolan, Perryman and Curtis recorded "The Searchers" commercially for RCA Victor on March 28, 1956.


May 13, 2009

I love your website. It is the first BN site that has it all. I am a cowboy singer here in Colorado. I will refer to it often.

Steve Linstrom


May 13, 2009

            I am a junior at Dartmouth College. I am involved with Cabin and Trail [our campus hiking/camping club], and through that I recently met Bernie Waugh, a Dartmouth alum who lives in the area and still participates in a lot of our Cabin and Trail events [especially our singalongs!]. Last year, I went to a singalong that Bernie led and was introduced to the song "Travelin' With the Sun", by Bob Nolan. I instantly fell in love with the song and its lyrics, but couldn't remember the songwriter's name, so I spent an entire year humming what little I could remember of the song until I saw Bernie again! Finally, two weeks ago, Bernie led another singalong, where I was re-introduced to that great song as well as a number of other wonderful Bob Nolan songs! In an effort to learn more about this incredible songwriter [and to find lyrics for Travelin With the Sun], I stumbled upon your website and Bernie's article about Bob Nolan.
            Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for putting together this website and helping others to learn about Nolan and his songs. I already think that "Travelin' With the Sun" is one of my all-time favorite songs, and I am so eager to stumble upon more Nolan gems! I was particularly struck by Bernie's article on your website. It really struck a chord with me -- I consider myself a deeply religious person, and I feel that my faith is only strengthened the more time I spend in Nature, admiring all of Creation. I think that Bob Nolan's lyrics express this simple perfection quite beautifully.
    Thank you again for preserving the legacy of this man and his songs, and keep up the good work!
Sincerely, Caitlin Johnson


        We're so happy you took the time to write, Caitlin. It is especially gratifying to know that some of Bob's lyrics still appeal to young people and not just to those of his own generation. He was young himself when he wrote "Travelin' in the Sun".
        I think you may also like "Trail Dreamin'", particularly when you are on the way home at the end of the day - tired but content and in tune with nature.
        On our "Lyrics" page we have listed all the Nolan songs we were able to preserve but some of them are still in a very primitive form because they were never arranged or recorded. Also, we tried to use the very earliest (not necessarily the best) recording we could find. I should go back over the list one day and link a variety of samples.
        Have you heard Bob singing, "The Touch of God's Hand"? or read the lyrics? He was essentially a poet who set his verses to music. At times the music did not do justice to the poetry and the poem was lost.
        Again, thank you for writing. Keep hiking and singing!


May 18, 2009

I just thought you might be interested to know that www.b-westerncollectables.com is marketing an uncut version of "Song of Texas," one of the Roy Rogers movies that has not been available uncut until now. I haven't seen this copy myself, but you might want to check it out to see if it includes the songs missing from the cut print!


I ordered a copy a few minutes ago and I hope it will contain what we need. Thank you! Just in time for our July "Movie of the Month" feature. 


May 21, 2009
the song: riding down the trail + roy rogers + lyrics +chords, can you help me find this? from the movie: ROUGH RIDERS ROUNDUP 1939

eddie brown


PH: 520-326-4786


Hello, Eddie. I'm afraid I can't help you. The "Ridin' Down the Trail" sheet music isn't in any of my Roy Rogers songbooks and I don't know who to suggest to help you. I'm sorry. But it's a simple song with few chord changes. I'm sure you will be able to "wing it". Perhaps a reader can help you. Good luck!


May 26, 2009

Great page! Thanks. It's a nice surprise to be able to learn more about our heroes. We geezers appreciate your efforts.


June 2, 2009


       Bear Family will release a 6 CD-Box Set with the Sons of the Pioneers material from 1933 to 1943 in September. It will be called "Way out there " and it will be accompanied by a 160 page book. Retail price will be around 125 Euros.

         No further details are given on the bear-family website yet. But as far as I know it will cover all tracks (Decca and Columbia releases) from that period. That box will fill the gab with the early recordings ... hopefully with the usual Bear Family quality in restoring the tracks.

Anne Greb (Germany)





June 7, 2009

have been listening to WHEN WE MEET AT THE RAINBOW'S END on the website.  it is beautiful.  not often i hear one i like so much.   can you send me the lyrics to it?   would that be proper?    what a marvelous song to greet  a visitor to the site.

Buddy Bryant


        The lyrics are on the site, Buddy. Have you not found our "karaoke" pages where you can sing along? I'll tell you how to get there: Click on "Lyrics" at the top of our home page and then select "At the Rainbow's End". At the end of the lyrics to the song you'll find two more renditions, one by later Pioneers and one by Rex Allen.
        Yes, you can copy the lyrics. They're all on the site for you to use freely for your own personal enjoyment. If you decide, however,  to make a book or a CD to sell, then you have to contact SGA and get permission. But for your own enjoyment, they're free!



June 8, 2009

I see Bob referred to as "Poet Laureate" I'm tempted to say, "Poet Lariat" for he has certainly roped in millions of admirers and fans, myself included...............

Happy trails

James Molloy


Bob's "title" was given him by the editor in a special issue of Pioneer News, the "Special Bob Nolan Issue", Spring 1980. The 42-page issue of Pioneer News (No. 10-13, Vol 2 No 5 & 6; Vol 3 No. 1 & 2) was an extra large issue featuring Bob, the first of a planned series to honour each of the Sons of the Pioneers. Unfortunately, Bob died before it was published so the editor expanded the issue to include Bob's obituary, etc. "Poet Laureate of the West" caught the imagination and approval of Bob's fans and the name stuck.


June 16, 2009

Thanks to Lawrence Hopper, here's the latest information on the new Bear Family Sons of the Pioneers boxed set of 6-CDs, "Way Out There",  plus the  160-page hardback book by Douglas B. "Ranger Doug" Green.


June 19, 2009

I am so grateful for this website . . . Keep it going!  Bob Nolan's legacy of music rightfully belongs to us all - Canadian, American, and just plain human.  His voice, his spirit and music bless us even today, thanks to you.  God bless you both, Calin and Elizabeth

Dutch Maris


June 19, 2009

    I've been looking at the picture identified as Beverly Lloyd on the Film Co-Workers page. (By the way, I looked all over the site for the original it was cropped from, but couldn't find it. I could have sworn I saw it on the Filmography page the first time I visited the site.) I haven't seen "Utah" yet, but after seeing a couple short clips from it and looking at some pictures of Peggy Stewart, I think it's actually her in that picture and not Beverly Lloyd. Here is a link with a couple of good pictures of Peggy (scroll down to near the bottom).
    In addition, Boyd Magers of Western Clippings magazine mentions Peggy Stewart by name in his review of "Utah" as having played Bob's love interest. I think IMDB may have goofed in the credits of this one.
    Also, I believe the 'unidentified blonde starlet' who appears in the publicity pictures with Roy and Bob is Jill Browning, who played another one of Dale Evans' friends in the movie. In the still photo from the musical finale she's in front of Ken Carson, and at the end she appears between Gabby Hayes and Karl Farr.

    I just found a video clip you might be interested in. It's the Lennon Sisters singing a really nice version of Tumbling Tumbleweeds with their father and uncles on the Lawrence Welk Show in 1956.



    You bring up a question that we had problems with, too - which was Beverly Lloyd and which was Peggy Stewart? both of whom were in "Utah". Both girls were dark and pretty and enough alike to make identification difficult from the few stills we had.

    According to specialists, Ed Phillips and Bob Carman, Beverly Lloyd was Bob's heart interest in this film. Here are both girls in a still from "Utah". Beverly is on the left.


Beverly Lloyd and Peggy Stewart

(The Calin Coburn Collection ゥ 2004)


    You are correct about the beautiful blonde starlet. Ed Phillips agreed that she was Jill Browning. And thank you very much, Elisabeth, for pointing us to the young Lennon Sisters with their uncles and Dad. We will add it to our Tumbling Tumbleweeds collection!


June 23, 2009

        I don't mean to make a pest of myself...but right after I left that last message I found another, different version of 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds' by the Lennon Sisters. This one is from 1966.
        Also, I found a clip from an old movie featuring a teenage Peggy Stewart, and I think you're right about that picture. (Here's the clip - she appears first at the counter and later in the car with Jackie Cooper.) My mistake! But there is enough similarity between some pictures of her and Beverly Lloyd to warrant some confusion.
        Your site has afforded me hours of pleasure looking at all of the great pictures and listening to all of the wonderful music you've collected! I first saw the Sons of the Pioneers in a Roy Rogers movie when I was about 11 or 12. I always enjoyed their scenes and what they contributed to the movies even then...and yes, I have to admit I developed quite a crush on Bob Nolan. As I grew older and started playing and studying music myself, I became more interested in the musical aspect of the Pioneers' performance and appreciated it much more. Now, at 19, I'm a devoted Pioneer fan. There are so many wonderful songs that they recorded that there's always something new to like. I don't know if it's possible to pick one favorite Nolan song, because there are so many good ones, but "Song of the Bandit" is very near the top for me. Actually, I remember thinking how it was similar to "The Highwayman" one of the first times I listened to it. You can imagine my surprise when I read about the background of the song!
        Do you think you might add sheet music for "A Sandman Lullaby" to the site at some point? I would really like to have the guitar chords for that one. Thanks for your time!



June 23, 2009
Vic Spencer, Chet's older brother visited us this morning. I asked him if he had any good stories about Bob Nolan. He proceeded to tell me this story. All the cousins were at Tim's house swimming. Tim lived in the San Fernando Valley and was the only family member with a pool. Raylene, Tim's oldest daughter couldn't swim. She fell in and started screaming that she couldn't swim! Vic remembers Bob jumping in cowboy boots, cowboy outfit and all and pulling her out to safety. The kids always said Bob saved her life. Loved that story and wanted to pass it on.


June 30, 2009

Realizing that the sheet music for many of Bob Nolan's songs is unavailable now or difficult to find, his grandson, Calin Coburn, has offered to scan and print the sheet music from his own collection for $18.00 per song (including shipping and handling in continental North America). Please email Calin at calin1@cox.net to discuss the copies you wish to purchase. List of songs available.


July 2, 2009

What a wonderful job you have done on this film! [Song of Texas] It was so good to hear Glenn's songs. Thank you so much. Blue Bonnet Girl has long been one of my favorites. Glenn's family thanks you for preserving his music. They all remember Bob Nolan as a warm man. He would be proud of what you have done here.
Lois Holford Spencer


July 2, 2009



The Pioneers did not commercially record "They Call the Wind Mariah" but it is probable they sang it elsewhere, possibly on a Lucky U program. It was very popular. Great song! I wish they had recorded it commercially. They might not have recorded it with the passion of Frankie Laine's version, but it would have been excellent.


July 10 , 2009

I just read some liner notes indicating that Nolan had written Cool Water while he was in high school.  I thought I remembered that he had written TT-Weeds (as the Falling Leaves) while in high school. Before re-reading everything I have on this, I thought I'd just ask you.



Bob wrote "Cool Water" in Grade 10 in Tucson High as a poem and it remained a poem until he needed another song when they were on radio. He added music then. That was the way with a lot of Bob's great songs. They began as poems and when he needed another song, for example - one of the Starrett films, he added music.

"Tumbling Tumbleweeds" was written while he was still a golf caddy, before the Pioneer Trio was ever formed. As a poem. He added music when they needed another song for radio.


July 11 , 2009

Did the Sons of the Pioneers record "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" sometime in the late '50s or early '60s? I'd seen references to a recording they made, but never heard it until today when I found it here (http://www.archive.org/details/RoyRogers-01-10) on archive.org, incorrectly attributed to Roy Rogers. Was this the only time they recorded the song?


The Pioneers recorded Ragtime Cowboy Joe in November of 1960 for RCA. That seems to be the only commercial recording they made of the song but they could have made a radio transcription or performed it on the radio. And, yes, you are correct. Roy Rogers did not join them in this session.


August1 , 2009

You have a picture near the bottom of a band playing in 1948 that says it's possibly the Cow Palace in San Francisco. It's actually the San Jose Civic Auditorium. The building is still there and looks very much the same.
Sean Michael Lisle


We'll fix that immediately. We're slowly, slowly identifying more of the backgrounds to some of the Sons of the Pioneers pictures we have - thanks to our readers. It was good of you to take the time to write.


August1 , 2009

I  think it's not possible to improve perfection. After another 2 hours perusing the various members' biographies, and much of the variety of information, I continue to be amazed, grateful, and firmly convinced that this is the greatest website in cyberspace. Thanks so much, Elizabeth and Calin, for this legacy.
Ron Boothe, Kingston, Idaho


August2 , 2009

Oh, that glorious "Coyote Serenade" and "Far Enchanted Isle"! Note, of course, that the latter was done by our favorite trio. I will concede, though, that the song is so good that it also sounds good in the South Seas album. By the way, where did you get those tracks of Bob doing his other Hawaiian tunes?


We've collected Sons of the Pioneers songs from literally the whole world! Readers from every hemisphere have been helpful.



August 10 , 2009

Over 40 years ago I had a 78 record by Bob Nolan. On one side was him singing a song called LOBO. I don't remember what was on the other side.I have searched over the years for a copy of him singing this song, but have never been able to find it. Are you familiar with this song?
Thank you for your time.
Penny Fletcher

The song you are looking for is Bob Nolan's "Outlaws" and you can find it on our Lyrics page with the rest of Bob's songs. Here's a shortcut for you: http://bobnolan-sop.net/Lyrics/Docs/Outlaws.htm


August 10 , 2009

I left a comment a week ago mentioning that I'd found one of the Son of the Pioneers' very early film appearances, the short film "Way Up Thar," on YouTube. I just wasn't sure if it reached you. If it didn't, here are the links to the two parts:

Part 1

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOlOWLLBTa0

The Pioneers only sing once, but their instrumentals are heard through most of the film and they're in quite a few scenes. Bob has a spoken line about halfway through Part 1.

Also, I've been listening to Glenn Spencer's "With Someone Like You" - what a beautiful song that is! Does any other recording of it exist besides the performance in "Bullets For Rustlers"?


    Thank you very much for those youtube links and, no, I'm afraid your previous message didn't come through. I'm so relieved that you tried again. That is the first time we have viewed "Way Up Thar" and now we can confirm the presence of Bob Nolan's "Barnyard Jubilee" in the short.

    On the other subject, the Sons of the Pioneers recorded "With Someone Like You" for the Thesaurus radio transcriptions. Lloyd Perryman, instead of Bob Nolan, sings the verse.



August 10 , 2009

Over 40 years ago I had a 78 record by Bob Nolan. On one side was him singing a song called LOBO. I don't remember what was on the other side. I have searched over the years for a copy of him singing this song, but have never been able to find it. Are you familiar with this song? Thank you for your time.
Penny Fletcher


The song you are looking for is Bob Nolan's "Outlaws" and you can find it on our Lyrics page with the rest of Bob's songs.



August 11 , 2009

Thanks so much for the song ("With Someone Like You") - both versions are beautiful. One more question - I really like the version of "Cielito Lindo" on the page of Bob's solos, but I haven't been able to find it to purchase or download anywhere on the Internet. Is it possible to save it from this site?


That would depend on your software. I have Creative Wave Studio which will copy whatever sound it hears from the computer - including the sound of mail coming in - so be sure your mail program is turned off!


August 22 , 2009

        Yesterday the new SOP box arrived from Bear Family. Wow ... it was like Christmas for me. What a collection. The book is marvellous - a lot of nice pictures mainly taken from the movies and Ranger Doug has written short notes to every song. Very interesting. The sound quality of the recordings is excellent. I never thought I would ever get these early recordings of the SOP in such a fine quality.
        If you haven't ordered your copy of the box yet. Here is a link to www.cduniverse. They sell the box for only 105.14 US$ plus postage as pre-order. That's cheaper than buying from Bear Family directly.

        Anne and Peter Greb



August 26 , 2009

G'day. Was a big fan of your Grandfather and Roy and I was wondering if Mr. Nolan ever recorded his 7 songs as he named The Island Songs and if so on what album. I have many SOP CD's . I live in Alice Springs ,Northern Territory , Australia .

Happy Trails


I'm afraid you will be disappointed, Sue - all but 3 of Bob's "island songs" were recorded but not all by him and not all on one album or CD.

"Far Enchanted Isle" was recorded by the Sons of the Pioneers twice, the first time featuring Bob on an album called "Westward Ho" (LPM-PR108, released in 1961). This album is very hard to find. It was recorded again in 1969 on stereo and is found on an album called "The Sons of the Pioneers Visit the South Seas" (LSP 4194, released in 1969). I don't know if either of these renditions can be found on CD yet.
"Heaven is My Island", "Stray Wind"  and "A Sailor Dreams" have not been commercially recorded
"Pali Wind" is found on "The Sons of the Pioneers Visit the South Seas" (LSP 4194, released in 1969).
"Three Friends have I" was recorded by Rex Allen Jr. I don't know which album.
"The Wind is Warm Again" was recorded by Robert Wagoner as "Warm Again" on his album, "Trail of Memories" (CD)
I hope this helps. To listen to all these songs, go to our home page and click on "Lyrics" then the song/s you want. Or use this shortcut - http://www.bobnolan-sop.net/Lyrics/Lyrics.htm
To find the albums currently available for sale, go to http://www.bobnolan-sop.net/Discography/Disco.htm and look around there.

Nice to hear from a Bob Nolan fan in Australia! Thank you for writing.


August 26 , 2009

Great site thanks. was Bob the person singing Ghost rides in the sky with the pioneers?

David Haddox


Bob sang with the Pioneers for their first recording of "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" in 1949. It was recorded twice more by the Sons of the Pioneers - in 1959 and in 1983. The recording you hear when you open Stan Jones' page on our site is the 1949 recording featuring Bob Nolan.


August 28 , 2009


help me crack this riddle (i think its about tim spencer)

- one of westerns favorite sons sings a happy song
- the cowboy king would have found great joy
- riding off into the sunset, from his apple  valley home
- atop a golden palomino

- but not a silver calfee...

Nora Corrigan




- one of westerns favorite sons sings a happy song  HAPPY TRAILS
the cowboy king would have found great joy READ "KING OF THE COWBOYS"
riding off into the sunset, from his apple  valley home APPLE VALLEY HOME in VICTORVILLE
atop a golden palomino TRIGGER

- but not a silver calfee...Only "calfee" reference I can find of note is for bicycle frames. Couldn't mean motorcycles because Roy loved to ride'em.


Lawrence Hopper



August 28 , 2009

I've been enjoying browsing the Film Songs page, and it reminded me of something. In the last issue of the Prairie Prattler, two different accounts of Pioneer concerts mention a song called "Red Silk Stockings and Green Perfume" - one says was from "their recent picture 'On The Old Spanish Trail,' " and the other says it was from their recently finished film 'The Gay Ranchero.' I'm pretty sure I've seen the uncut versions of both and the song isn't in either. Maybe it was dropped in production?


The song is not in our copies, either! It would have been very interesting to patch together all those bits of film cut from their movies.


August 29 , 2009

Who sang Riders in the Sky the second time in 1959? The first time it was really scary. I am a true ghost riders fan. I hum or sing it almost daily.

David Haddox

The trio on the 1959 recording is Lloyd Perryman, Dale Warren and Tommy Doss. Tommy is doing the solo part.  Did you ever hear how the song came to be written? If not, you'll find it on Stan Jones' page, told in Stan's own words.


I went to his website and found it. I sometimes also look at the clouds to see if I can see them, but unfortunately I have not. Both voices were really great, I never knew there so many SOTP members. Such beautiful voices gone but not forgotten.


You would really enjoy "Hear My Song: the Story of the Celebrated Sons of the Pioneers" by Ken Griffis.

what I like about bobs version is the accordion and the constant strumming of the guitar. On youtube there is a great version of ghost riders in the sky by the ramrods. The picture of the guy's eyes belong to clint eastwood scary though. I think the ramrods did the best instrumental version of that song.


August 29 , 2009

        I thoroughly enjoyed your Web site, especially the information and photos about my old friend Shug Fisher (although I only knew him as a boy).  My father was the producer-director of Ozark Jubilee, and they used to go fishing together near Springfield, Missouri.  I once went along on a "float trip."
         I'm writing to ask about the source of two photos of Shug on your site -- one with the "Applauz" guitar and the nice color shot from The Sacketts. I see the first one is from the Karl E. Farr collection. Do know who holds the rights to them?
         I have two black and white glossy photos I could scan for you (one is autographed to my Dad), but you have a good selection now.  I'm glad to see Shug so remembered -- he was a great guy.
         Incidentally, my parents were Canadian.
John Bisney
Bethesda, MD


Good morning, John. Great to hear from any friend of Shug Fisher - especially Canadians! The "Applauz" photo is from Karl Farr's son's collection which he donated to the Southern Folklife Collection. He told me to give any of the original scans freely to anyone who wants one, so I'll attach it now for you. The colored image must have come from the Sackett film. I should have credited it when I created the page because now I'm not sure where it came from. We would be delighted to use your scans (credited to you, of course) and as many thoughts or stories about Shug as you can remember or would like the world to know. Thank you very much for your offer.



September 04, 2009



I've just read the new entry on the "message page" regarding Shug Fisher. Do you know that there is a CD available from the British Archive of Country Music featuring Shug Fisher and his Ranchmen? The songs of  this CD were recorded as transcriptions for Capitol Records at the same time when Shug was a member of the SOP between 1949 and 1952. http://bacm.users.btopenworld.com/CD-details1.html







September 08, 2009

I thought Bob's voice really comes through on the recording of "Chant of the Wanderer".....I was wondering why you do not list it [on Bob Sings] as one of his solo's?

Kendall Rankin

Good idea, Kendall. Thank you.


September 10, 2009

Just curious - I watched "Utah" recently and noticed that the song "Lonesome Cowboy Blues" by Tim Spencer is entirely different from the one you have listed on his page by that title. It does begin with the words "lonesome cowboy" but it's a completely different melody and different words. Wonder what the one on the page is?


Good question. I have the cue sheets from "Utah" and it's definitely called "Lonesome Cowboy Blues" in that movie.

I notice that Ken Carson sings a song by the same title on the Thesaurus recording. My BMI records also show that Ken wrote a song called "Lonely Cowboy Reverie". Perhaps this is the rightful title to the Thesaurus song.

I changed the link on Tim's page to the "Lonesome Cowboy Blues" he definitely wrote. Thanks for pointing this out to us!



September 11, 2009

        Drop, or shorten the automatic music played on the cover page as, on my laptop it plays simultaneously with other songs I try to listen to.
        I've now developed that acquired taste, of the simple beauty here. I find myself returning, again and again  to your site, sometimes spending hours, listening (trancelike) to the flavors of the West, unique to your site. I leave refreshed . Having enjoyed  unfulfilled portions of my life. I know it required hours of work for you to create this, and I truly appreciate it.
        My favorite song is Water, sung by the duet of Joni Mitchell and Willie Nelson.
In this , I picture myself  a trailhand , being advised, by them in song of what lies ahead, as we journey through the West on horseback .
Thank you  so much.
Doug Wofford


Thank you, Doug. We always appreciate tips on how to improve our site. Check the Home Page now and see what you think. You are quite right, it did take a long time to create this site - almost a full year, in fact, and we are still adding to it. There are sections for listeners like yourself and reference sections for writers. We hope you continue to be entertained by it!


September 11, 2009

Dear Elizabeth ....and Calin Coburn,

Elizabeth I have communicated with from time to time over the past several years since this site was started, but I have not had the pleasure of addressing Mr. Coburn also.

I知 writing both of you because I am just 澱lown away by this wonderful web site in the memory of Bob Nolan and the Sons. I remember when the site was minimal with information and NOW it has so...so much.

I reflected on the first time I bought Ken Griffis'  book on the group and thought this was a real treasure.

Still is- along with my revised editions I bought later. At the time, as far as I know there was no real tribute in print about the band and so this was the beginning of a gold mine in print about Bob, Roy and the band. I treasure these books to this day.

I was sorry to read a few months back about the passing of Mr. Griffis. I never met or communicated with the man. I wish I had. If he started something with his book, your web site seems to be the closing page as far as history goes, and hopefully an opening one for anyone who is just getting into the group, like I did back around 1971.

To retrace or possibly refresh Elizabeth痴 memory, I lived in Millburn, New Jersey and attended the high school there. One afternoon in the spring of 71-either just before or after I graduated from there, I attended a flea market held in the back by the football field. Flea markets were interesting, but I didn稚 see any great value to it at the time, being young and nuts about rock music and other music. I still am.

I passed this one spot where there were some 78rpm records being sold for 25 cents each. If there was anything good in there, I wanted it, as I was starting a large and eclectic collection of records. The only two sets of records that looked interesting were ones by Claude Debussy and another by the Sons of the Pioneers. I didn稚 have a clue as to who Debussy was and I think I related the Sons with Roy Rogers, but frankly I don稚 remember that connection because the only thing I remembered Roy for at the time was his TV show, which as far as I know never had the Sons on it, which was unfortunate.

I bought the records home and played them on my dad痴 stereo, which he had attached on the wall in the main party room of the basement. He was always yelling at me to 鍍urn the damn thing down!. My dad was most likely playing golf, so I turned the record up loud.

I can稚 remember what I played first, but both musics just transfixed me. I only had one connection with Debussy and that was music of his that was used in a very early cartoon show that I used to watch (around 5 or 6 AM) on Saturday and Sundays called 擢armer Gray.

These were silent cartoons with only classical music over the action. There wasn稚 much on then. This was east coast broadcasting.

I had NO connections with the Sons of the Pioneers at that time- none whatsoever. I don稚 think I even recognized Pat Brady on the cover of the set. The first thing to hit me and will forever be foremost in hearing them was the harmonies and that strange baritone nasal voice in the front. It was one thing to hear these great songs, but the clincher was 典he Timber Trail. I swear I could smell the pines when those guys sang together. Eventually soon after I bought a 2-lp (33 1/3) set with the same picture of the band (I think from 47) with Bob on top of the group. Any record that I had back then that I loved to death would be immediately recorded on 8 track and eventually cassette so I wouldn稚 wear out the grooves.

I知 not downplaying any of Bob痴 brilliance for composing, but those voices are what did it for me. I致e always been a sucker for harmonies and have listened to hours of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Boswell痴, The Andrew sisters, the Mills brothers, the Association and 3 guys originally from Cape Cod called the Rowan Brothers. Of all or any groups that I致e mentioned here as the best of vocalists, I still feel that the Sons of the Pioneers were the best vocalists of lead and harmonies over anyone else. This for me is especially true with the group from the years 1938-1949, which I致e always felt were the peak years for the band.

As for Bob痴 writing, there are VERY few people who can create the amazing imagery that his writing痴 effect had on me. The marriage between that imagery and those voices are nothing short of perfect.

I don稚 want to draw this out too much. But your website is incredible. You really fill just about all the holes that Ken痴 book didn稚 have. I treasure and have downloaded so many lyrics from you guys. And all the pictures!!!

As I told Elizabeth, I致e done a radio show in San Francisco now for 26 years called The Time Warp. I started the show with a guy named 哲ew York Vinnie Richichi, who痴 accent is unmistakable. He was the original producer of the show and I was second in command and an alternate host. Vinnie left the show after 5 years and has since become an unmistakable big shot mostly in sports radio in the Seattle area. We had 2 other producers on the show since before I took it over roughly 3 years ago. I couldn稚 or didn稚 want to be the producer all those years due to my being a full time musician. Our last producer died 3 years ago and I took the reigns of that spot by default. We致e always had alternating hosts to cover for us who couldn稚 do it even on a weekly basis due to music gigs or other conflicts.

典he Time Warp is eclectic. We play rock, blues, jazz, R&B, and a little country. That country music is somewhat pigeon holed to what we (all the jocks) feel is the best. Like Bob Wills, Marty Robbins, Michael Nesmith, Gene Clark and on top of all that, the Sons of the Pioneers.

We don稚 have and have never had a large audience due to the variety of music we play and the time of the show- Friday night-Sat morning- midnight to 3AM. But, we池e lucky to have had the same station and the same slot all these years. I used to record almost every show that I hosted. Now anyone can download any show from this one guy who does it just as a hobby for the station. Digital technology never ceases to overwhelm me.

Besides acknowledging you both and the web site, I have to tell you there is one really GREAT band called 典he Lost Weekend (the name comes from the Ray Milland movie where he痴 an alcoholic). These guys are like the new Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys ONLY with added (3) horns. They do some Wills, some originals and a few of the Sons and Bob痴 songs. The guy who runs the band is a long time friend of mine named Don Burnham. I remember one time singing the lead to 展ay Out There playing a 5 string banjo (influenced by Pete Seeger) and doing a 3 part yodel harmony with Don and a guy named Chuck who used to run one of the cable cars in San Francisco. Doing those 3 parts just sent shivers all through me. All I will know is that Bob Nolan and Tim and Roy were amazing.

I also want to ad that both my wife and I had the fortune of seeing the Sons about a year before Dale Warren passed away. This was in Branson. At the time, I had NO idea that Dale had been with the group for 53 years, which was exactly how old I was at the time.

I normally only wish to meet or speak to people- anyone, celebrities or whoever that I feel I can say something that might have meaning to them. In meeting Dale, I just shook his hand and thanked him profusely in keeping that band and music together for so many years.

To me, meeting this guy was meeting royalty. I felt that it was my only concern and duty to help on my end by playing the Sons every once in a while on my show, as I perform a few songs live with my wife and others on guitar and sometimes banjo.

Just a closing note of thanks to you both. I wish there were other ways to spread the harmonies out just a little bit more.

Sincerely, JD Smith
Pacifica, CA.


September 13, 2009

Enjoyed the new stuff this month.  love the website.  love bob nolan.  thanks for having it out there.    

buddy bryant


September 28, 2009

I liked the radio version of Gunsmoke starring William Conrad about as much as the TV version. The theme was played by guitar solo instead of an orchestra. Do you know who the guitarist was? Was it Grady Martin?

Herman King


I'm afraid we don't know, Herman. Perhaps one of our readers will.


September 29, 2009

That riddle is about Roy Rogers. You are right about a silver calfee being a bicycle!
Lois Spencer



September 29, 2009

This is a wonderful web page... I love it! May I ask who is singing the song on the Douglas B. Green page of "RECOLLECTIONS"? Something like " ... Lie Still Little Doggy..."
Dennis W. Enloe


Douglas B. "Ranger Doug" Green is singing "Night Riding Song". He wrote the words and music, too.



October 01, 2009

    I ran across something you might be interested in for your Weeds & Water collection. It's a home recording of Elvis Presley, of all people, singing "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." It's actually interesting, because he and the other singers he's harmonizing with repeat it several times and experiment with different dynamics and effects.


    According to the video description, he used to sing "Cool Water" too (you can hear someone mention it near the end of this recording), but there's no known recording of that.



Great addition, Elisabeth. Thank you!



October 01, 2009

This website is the greatest!!!! I have always loved Bob Nolan music but had only heard a few songs over the years. This website has opened the door to a wonderful world that is surely a gift to all who listen. Thank you for sharing this music with the world.

Lynn Freer



October 02, 2009
Do you have a truly clean, uncut copy of "Heart of the Golden West"? Neither Jimmie. OJ nor I have ever been able to find one in good condition. It has wonderful music like "The River Robin" and "Cowboys and Indians" and it is the one film that has both Gabby and Smiley in it! So the comedy is tops. If you don't have a relatively pristine copy, do you know someone who does? Thanks.


I'm afraid we don't, Bob. There are so many of those early Republic films that were cut. We're still looking. Someone somewhere will have a print and hopefully will make it into a DVD now that there is so much digital software readily available.



October 02, 2009

    On the subject of uncut films...I read one bit of information about these that fascinated me. Apparently some of the Roy Rogers pictures were released in Australia and the UK with running times even longer than the American theatrical versions. "Heart of the Golden West" was one of them; the uncut version was 65 minutes but the Australian version was supposedly 68 minutes long, with one extra song. Perhaps this is why there are songs listed for some of the supposedly uncut films that do not appear in them.
    I got this information from the Google preview of this book by Australian author John Howard Reid. His listing of song titles and authors confounds me, but the info on film prints is very interesting. It's also interesting that in this author's other books (also previewable on Google) he reviewed several of the missing Starretts including Law of the Plains, The Colorado Trail, Texas Stampede, Two-Fisted Rangers and West of Abilene - maybe prints of them exist somewhere in Australia?

Very interesting. Thank you, Elisabeth. Now, if only an Australian fan would contact us.... Which of Reid's books reviews several of the missing Starretts?


The other Reid books that I looked at are "Great Hollywood Westerns", "Westerns For A Rainy Saturday" and "Movie Westerns". The reviews are generally brief; some of them appear in more than one of the books.


October 02, 2009

        The Starretts bug the heck out of me. Columbia has all of them but haven't touched them in 50 years. They licensed some to the Starz Western channel but except for 1 or 2 they were all post the Pioneers even though the ones with the Pioneers are considered the best.
        As to the longer length of Roy痴 films. I知 doubtful of that. Apparently a longer version of King of the Cowboys does exist and was sent to the Armed Services during WW II. But the longer Australian versions seem questionable.

Lawrence Hopper



Oct 18, 2009

I use to click on Lyrics and hear the songs I grew up with now I get nothing but the lyrcs. My computer is not equipped with ip3 so now I get nothing. My many hours of enjoying the Pioneers has been taken away so I guess I'll just say good by to Bob Nolan and the Pioneers.
Herman Stancill


Hello, Herman. Thanks for writing. I'm in Peru for a month but I'll fix the problem when I get home in November. I'm so sorry the links to the Lyrics page have gone caput while I've been away. I sympathize with you fully. Worse yet, I can't even access the site from here at all!


Oct 20, 2009

Where could I get the lyrics from a gospel song by Tim Spencer called Read the Bible? Also I would like to get the lyrics to a song the Pioneers sang in the movie Rio Grande called Aha San Antoine. Any help would be appreciated.

Wes Hansel

Hello, Wes. Good to hear from you. Here are the words to "Read the Bible":

1. Cho:
Read the Bible when you're weary and blue
Read the Bible, brother, every word is true
Take your troubles to the book of life and pray
Read the Bible every day.

Joshua and David had their worries
Had their troubles in their day
But they knew that they could overcome them
When they heard somebody say":

Should old Sin begin to overtake you
And old Satan's at your door
Read the book for there you'll find the answer
And Sin will trouble you no more.

Let the Rock of Ages be your altar
Read a chapter every day
Raise your eyes toward the sky above you
Kneel right down and start to pray.

2. "Aha, San Antone" was written by Dale Evans.

I want some black-eyed peas
I was some mustard greens
I want some cornpone on the side.
I want my chicken fried with a golden hide.
Aha, San Antone!

When I was a kid I had a locket
And inside was a picture o' Davy Crockett
I know a gal named Ann that lives in TexArkan
Wbo loves a boy in Arkansas
But when they take a ride on the Texas side
Aha, San Antone!

These are the words from "Rio Grande" but Dale may have written more verses. If I can be of further help, please let me know.

October 31, 2009
Your bio of Lloyd Perryman does not mention his appearance in Gunsmoke in 1974 in the episode The Fourth Victim in which he played Henry Meeker, the town telegrapher and one of the victims. He did a good job of it too.'


Thanks for that, Pat!


November 01, 2009

The "videos" section is a real treat... One of the best examples of the Sons of the Pioneers' musical skills was their rendition of Bob Nolan's "Song of the Rover" - I don't know which film they sang it in, but it must have been during WW 2, since Ken Carson is part of the group. Can you put that clip up on the videos section? It would be a terrific addition, and I bet it would soon become a favorite! - Rich Flanders

November 10, 2009

Just a wonderful site. Thanks.

James Hill


November 12, 2009

Listening to the song High Sierras, I've noticed that it is recorded from acetates that contain not before released songs. Also is mentioned that there is a cassette containing more of these recordings. As a long time fan of the music of Bob Nolan want to ask if this cassette can be obtained somewhere, would be a great addition to my collection.
Ad Slaats

After some consideration, Music of the West has decided not to release a CD of these old demos because the sound is so poor. If good quality recordings should ever surface, Calin will certainly take steps to see that a CD is made available to the public. The Country Music Foundation requested (and received) a copy of the old cassette with the intention of cleaning it and releasing the tracks with the early recordings of other artists. We don't know when this series will be released.


November 17, 2009

Bob Nolan had a trio the included Rose Lee Maphis and they made a recording of the Tumbleweed song.  Can you tell me what label it is with?


 Bob sang Tumbling Tumbleweeds as a solo for RCA without the Sons of the Pioneers on July 3, 1953 with Rose Lee Maphis and Marilyn Tuttle (Marilyn couldn't remember the third person) singing backup. Master number is E3-VB 0140, Release number is EPA 589.


November 18, 2009
This is a superb, absolutely stunning website. MANY THANKS!!


November 18, 2009

Greetings....I am writing to see if either one of you can clarify for me the reason why there are two sets of lyrics for Bob Nolan's song Pali Wind? The lyrics on the www.bobnolan-sop.net website are much different than the lyrics as they are being sung by the trio on the Sons of the Pioneers Visit the South Seas album released by RCA Victor in 1969. Is there another recording of the song that contains the lyrics as they are presented on Nolan's website?

Appreciate your help, and your time!
Patty Clayton~Performing Songwriter


Yes, in a way there were two recordings with slightly different words although only one is a commercial recording. The Sons of the Pioneers recorded the selection you mentioned on "Sons of the Pioneers Visit the South Seas".  The second unfamiliar recording is a demo Bob made in the early 1950s after his trip to Hawaii. The melody is the same. We don't know who backed him with the steel guitar. This one was never recorded commercially. Both sets of lyrics are copyright, this one as "Wild Pali Wind" and the other as "Pali Wind". You'll notice that both sets of the lyrics are on the Bob Nolan website and a copy of both recordings. It's a great song. Thanks for asking.


November 19, 2009

I left a message last month but I have a feeling something must have happened to it....I wondered if you have any other Tim and/or Glenn Spencer sheet music. I was fortunate enough to acquire both volumes of "Bob Nolan's Cowboy Classics" and both of "Tim Spencer's Sagebrush Symphonies" recently, but after purchase I found that there were some pages missing from the Spencer books. I'm trying to find the second page of "Roll On With the Texas Express" and the second page of "Home Again In Ol' Wyoming." Is there any way you can help me with this?


Yes, I'm sorry I couldn't answer your message but I was in Peru for a month. Unfortunately, I couldn't even access our website! Please send me your email address and I'll scan and send you the pages you need.


November 21, 2009

I saw that somebody asked about the lyrics of "Aha, San Antone" - there are more verses. Here's a recording of Roy and Dale singing it on the radio in 1949. Also some other radio programs featuring Pioneers:


The Charlie McCarthy Show 3/28/43 ("Home On the Range" & "A Cowboy Has To Sing")


Command Performance 3/25/44 ("Cielito Lindo" & "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again")


Command Performance 3/15/45 (partial episode) ("Columbus Stockade Blues")


Radio Hall of Fame 1/14/45 ("A Cowboy Has To Sing"/"Cool Water" medley)


The Charlie McCarthy Show 3/31/46 ("Following the Sun All Day")


The Charlie McCarthy Show 1/26/47 ("Whoopi Ti Yi Yo," "Home On the Range" and "A Cowboy Has To Sing")


The Charlie McCarthy Show 12/7/47 ("Loaded Pistol, Loaded Dice")



November 21, 2009

    I stumbled across your website today as I was looking for the lyrics to "The Mystery of His Way". My Dad has the song on cd by The Sons of the Pioneers but he remembers having a 78 rpm recording on Majestic Records. Do you know who that artist is? This is driving him nuts not being able to remember the name of this singer. He said that he was a tenor and that the recording is incredible. "The Mystery of His Way" has got to be my Dad's favorite song. He has mentioned it countless times in the last couple years. If there was a way to identify the Majestic recording artist and somehow obtain a copy of that recording my father and I would be most appreciative. Any information you can pass on to me would help a great deal.
Kris Francis


 A music collector from Brazil sent us this track by the Statesmen Quartet on the Majestic label. Is this the one your father is looking for? If so, drop a line to Roberto Costa and thank him. His email address is robert4591@gmail.com. He has a fabulous collection.


November 30, 2009

Expect you know this already but in case you don't; there is a old radio program website that has a lot of Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers radio programs on it.

The pop-up player will play them in order; if you want to skip to next use >| .



December 02, 2009

Thank you so much for this wonderful and entertaining site.  I loved Bob Nolan and the SOP long before I could walk.  Born in '45 I grew up with the music in around me in Arkansas and Virginia.  I remembered Bob from TV and motion pictures and found him striking and charismatic and even though he was largely a bit player, you noticed him.   It was years later on before I understood he was not only one of the SOP but that he was the poet behind their music.  How proud you must be.  Again, thank you so much for such a wonderful site that is not only devoted to Bob, but to the Americana that all he touched represents.  God Bless.

Wayne Marshall


December 04, 2009

I just found your web site.  I can see that I'll be spending the rest of the day here.  My name is Marvin O'Dell.  I host an internet radio program on Heartland Public Radio called "Around the Campfire".  O.J. Sikes is a good friend of mine.  I wrote a song called "Where Would We Be Without the Sons of the Pioneers" that was recorded by a group called Journey West for a special 2-CD project I produced last year as a tribute to the Silver Screen Cowboys.  The CD just won the President's Award at the WMA Showcase and Awards Show and one of the songs from the CD was given the Song of the Year award.  I would like to send you a copy if you could e-mail me an address.  My e-mail is Musikode@aol.com.  Thank you for the great site - this is somewhere I'll visit often.

Marvin O'Dell

        Good to hear from you, Marvin. Yes, I've heard OJ play your song and I'm familiar with your name, of course.  I've sent your email on to Calin (Bob Nolan's grandson) and he will get back to you if he wishes a copy of your CD. I know I would like one. Please!
        We would like your permission to advertise your CD on our Discography page for Current Artists. What we would like to add to this page would be your blurb about it, the track list and an image of the cover, if you have one. If not, I can do that when I get your CD. We like to advertise current artists who are obviously trying to preserve the Sons of the Pioneers - as your song does.


December 11, 2009

I have been looking for a song sung by Bob Nolan or Pat Brady called, "Nelly Belle." I once owned the 45. I am now looking for the lyrics. My e-mail adress is kennyreynolds007@yahoo.com I want the old traditional cowboy songs to continue.

K.T. Reynolds


You must be thinking of a song by Tim Spencer which the Pioneers recorded a couple of times - "Graveyard Filler of the West". In the 1955 recording, Pat Brady's version starts off with, "Nelly Belle! Nelly Belle. Let me tell you why I'm driving Nelly Belle." The song is actually about a horse but Pat Brady changed the words a bit to fit in with both Roy's jeep (the one he used in the TV series) and his own jeep, Nelly Belle.


December 12, 2009

I remember a song title, "I Hear America Singing". Whoever named that song must have been inspired by The Sons of the Pioneers. Many thanks for your good work here.
Jim Reece


I'm not familiar with the song but I'll see if I can find it, Jim. Many thanks for your good words.


December 21, 2009

I ran across a couple more radio shows - both from 1949, the Carnation Milk Melody Hour.

Download links:
49-01-03 -  a really nice rendition of 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds' and 'Blue Shadows On the Trail' (with Buddy Clark)
49-02-28 - 'Cowboy Camp Meeting' and 'Pecos Bill' (with Buddy Clark)
Merry Christmas!


And Merry Christmas to you, Elisabeth. Thanks for all your help throughout the year!