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Q&A 2015



January 7, 2015

Hi Calin!

I just used your website as a primary source for a Wikipedia article on Ken Carson. (Heck of a website in a larger sense, by the way.)

I learned of Ken only recently, as a byproduct of a webpage project of my own, at http://www.lousander.com/songs.htm

I had never heard of him before starting that project. He was quite a man, and I thank you for recording so much information about him.

You can see the Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Carson

Thanks again for your very good work.

Louis "Skip" Sander
Pittsburgh, PA



January 31, 2015


We could never thank him enough for his support of our Bob Nolan project since 1998. Any time we needed his help recording a newly-discovered Bob Nolan song, Dave willingly produced a fine copy, playing all the instruments and singing all the parts himself. Just before the last Christmas we asked him if he could make a recording of Bob's "A Prayer for Christmas Time" for the home page of this website and he made it immediately. We had no idea he was so ill or that the recording would be the last he made. We miss him already.


June 06, 2016

I went to the art museum where Cheryl Rogers was talking today. The art museum is going a lot on western art and things associated with the west. Today was Cheryl Rogers who spoke about Roy and Dale. She showed a 25 minute video someone made on Roy's life and also a lot on the Pioneers. I noticed one clip was from "Man From Oklahoma" and it was one that I have never seen before. It was where Roy calls the square dance with the Pioneers on stage but showed dancers dancing in front of him. This was an extended version of the square dance. Apparently she got this from someone who has the uncut version of the movie. Below is a photo of what I saw on the screen today. I asked her where she got this from and she said someone made it for her. She told me to email her and she might be able to assist me in getting a copy of the movie. I plan to do that. In the uncut version of this movie there are more songs with Roy and the Pioneers.

Fred Sopher


June 30, 2015

An entertainer was at a gathering a few weeks ago and had been playing cowboy songs, quite a few of Bob's.  When he said he was going to do "Along the Navajo Trail" by Bob Nolan, without thinking, I put in my two cents' worth and said, "He didn't write that one."  He questioned me and I told him I was positive.  He accepted my word after a little discussion.

Grace Thompson


You’re right, Grace! "Along the Navajo Trail" was written by Larry Markes, Dick Charles and Eddie De Lange. Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers sang it in the movie of the same name.


June 30, 2015

It is amazing how many people make wrong assumptions about who wrote a song or even what its title might be over the years when it only takes a little bit of work (oops, can't use that word, bad connotation), a little bit of effort to learn the facts.  


Song credits can usually be found on record labels, sheet music, in song books and liner notes, and in the front credits of many films.  Nowadays with the 5 minutes of credit crawl at the end of films you will usually find music credits there. Nowadays, also, it is extremely easy to learn the credits of a song simply by typing the title into your Google, Bing or other search slot and reading the results.


Most libraries have reference volumes like:

Lissauer's Encyclopedia of Popular Music in America

The Great Song Thesaurus - Lax

Popular Song Index (4 volumes)

Popular Music (original editor Nat Hentoff) multiple volumes by decade.

Avoid the Song Index of the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore) since it has two very irritable problems.

     1. Only last names are given in the song credits so there is no differentiation of songs written by writers with the same last names.

     2. This presents an additional problem in the Writer Index when you look up, say - NOLAN, and go down the list of titles you will find "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and others by BOB Nolan intermixed with songs like "Little Annie Rooney" written by MICHAEL Nolan all lumped together under NOLAN.


For specialist collectors Cinema Sheet Music by Stubblebine. If the song was a big part of a movie it was most likely issued on sheet music or in a song book and in this volume.

(Lawrence Hopper)


July 1, 2015

The lyrics for Down Where the Rio Flows on the Bob Nolan webpage do not include the Spanish. Do you know where they might be found and who spoke them so poetically?
Wayne Tyson


The spoken words in the song were by Ken Carson. The translation is courtesy of OJ Sikes:


Here’s the Spanish, altho there are several mistakes. I’ve left it as they wrote it:

“Ah, mi querida, esta noche te ves hermosa y adorable.
Tus ojos, tus ojos son como las estrellas del cielo.
Ah, tus labios, tus labios son muy dulces,
tus labios son como la rosa del rojo.
Ay, ay, ay – está por mí.
Ay, seguro que si.
No te imaginas lo mucho que yo te adoro.
Je, mi mundo es completo con tu a mi lado.”

The lines about “labios son como la rosa del rojo” and “con tu a mi lado” are the most noticeable errors: “con tu” should be “contigo,” and the line referring to “la rosa” would probably be “tus labios son rojos como la rosa,” but I left everything the way it was spoken.


Ah, my dearest
You look so beautiful and adorable tonight
Your eyes are like the stars in the heavens
Ah, your lips, your lips are so sweet
Your lips are red like a rose
Ay, ay, ay, that’s for me! (second voice): Ay, of course!
My world is complete with you at my side.


July 2, 2015

This has long been one of my favorite Sons of the Pioneers songs. I've long been interested in what I call "sweet talk," especially cross-culturally (e.g., in the movie, "Walkabout"). Or pan-culturally. And, of course, I love to use it. A woman translated it for me from the record in about 1958. At the time I was doing it phonetically, and screwing it up a bit, not knowing Spanish.

In Down Where the Rio Flows, I "knew" intuitively, that the whole piece was special as art, the whole folded together into a synergistic peak experience from the "parts."

Now I am getting "curiouser and curiouser," about how this piece came together.

Apart from that, Nolan's unique voice always "made" the Sons of the Pioneers music, and songs without him rang untrue. 

I never ran into Nolan, but I shot skeet once with Rogers (and another time met his wrangler, at a saloon across from the stable in North Hollywood--we looked over the "Ben Hur" horses) and was introduced to Hugh Farr at a San Fernando honky-tonk once. What a grand converging of unique talents!




July 18, 2015

In the FAQ section it was asked if Bob Nolan did any commercials or voice overs. Only one voice over is mentioned.

I think that after retiring from the Sons Of The Pioneers he did a commercial for the Phillies Cigar Company. The product was the “Phillies Cheroot”.

The part of the song that I recall went “You’re really smoking, when you smoke a cheroot. A Phillies Cheroot.”

I’m pretty sure it was Bob Nolan. I don’t think it was Tommy Doss.

Do you have any more knowledge of this or a copy of the song?



July 30, 2015

Huge collection of Sons of the Pioneers items for sale. Contact: yodel2@mindspring.com


August 7, 2015

Does anyone have a recording from the Lucky U Broadcasts of Shug Fisher's version of "I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat."
Larry Hopper



September 21, 2015

http://www.redbox.com/movies/love-and-mercy   The Brian Wilson story, the songwriter who created the Beach Boys. Very good. Don't miss it. Ten thumbs up.

Somebody could do something like this about Bob Nolan.

Who directed Love & Mercy?

The Beach Boys were the rock band with the best vocal harmonies, I've always wondered if the sound was influenced by the Sons of the Pioneers.

Ray Kraft


Here is the answer to your director question, and others, regarding Love and Mercy.

Lawrence Hopper.


October 21, 2015

If you haven't read it already, you must find a copy of "Ghost Riders in the Sky -The Life of Stan Jones the Singing Ranger" by Michael K. Ward. Well written and full of information on the man who wrote a good many of our favorite Sons of the Pioneers' songs. An excellent read and most informative. It is available at Amazon.com.


December 2, 2015 The Glen Campbell Show featuring Roy and Dale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq5Mu3YM3E4  They sing "Song of the Bandit".




December 3, 2015

Hello, I am a Botkin family historian and Perry Botkin Sr. is a 2nd cousin to my father (his son Perry Jr. and I are 3rd cousins).


I just came across your great website about Bob Nolan, and I was especially interested in the photo on this page of Roy Rogers, Sons of the Pioneers, and Perry Botkin and his Goodyear Rubber Band.


 I was wondering if you would be willing to email me a higher resolution version of that photo. I will share it with Perry Jr. and his sister Molly. I have gone through Perry Jr's memorabilia with Perry Jr. and Molly (now housed at the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY), and this particular photo is not among his collection. It's always meaningful to us when we find a new photo.


I thank you for your consideration. 

Jan Botkin Therkildsen


December 11, 2015

Here are some I have never seen before. Looks like the early to mid 1960's. I wonder what show they were on.
- Fred Sopher


Contact John Fullerton, Fred. He'll know.


December 11, 2015

The three listed SOP appearances at the bottom [of the above YouTube pages] omitted this one since it wasn't strict cowboy stuff but it has some things the others don't.  Johnny Bond, Carl Cotner and some unidentified singers joining the SOP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Axdz2_wRAHe

According to OJ this was a Melody Ranch program on which Gene Autry didn't take part.

- Larry Hopper





December 18, 2015

Thomas "Snuff" Garrett died yesterday [December 17, 2015] about 5:30p. As you know he produced Bob's last album. He was also known for the series "FIfty Guitars of Tommy Garrett" and produced many recording artists and theme albums, notably Rhapsodies for Young Lovers.  On the first of the Rhapsody albums the girl model went on to become Mrs Kenny Rogers.

-Larry Hopper