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February 8, 2016 Old cowboy movies

Fred Sopher


March 10, 2016

Hey Everyone
Read about this actress who played in a Roy Rogers movie (see photo attached) and her career. Read her bio
Fred Sopher

Roy with Beryl Wallace in Sunset on the Desert


April 5, 2016

Hi Calin and Elizabeth,
I emailed last month at one address but never heard back, so I maybe picked the wrong address, so I am trying again with you both today. I’m a writer and musician from Texas and have been researching Roy's movie songs, and I found a couple your page lacks. The original info I sent is below but with some updates: 

The first is a version of Tim Spencer's ‘Ridin’ the Range with You’ (Roy sings it ‘Here on the Range with you’) in ‘Rough Riders Round Up’ (1939). I made a video of it you can hear here.   I made the video to get the chords and then researched further on your site and realized what it was in fact. The SOTP aren’t in that movie so I find it interesting he got that song into the story! it is in the IMDB listing for this film as Spencer's 'Here on the Range', uncredited.

The second is in ‘Heldorado’ and is ‘Si ha un buen amigo’ (“If you have a good friend”). I have the big ‘It was Always the Music’ songbook from the Rogers estate which covers ‘Heldorado’ and it is not listed at all, so no idea who may have written it. I’m in the process of translating and getting the chords for it. You can see my video of it here. it seems to be entirely undocumented otherwise.

I also have the chords worked out for ‘Starlightin’ Time in Texas’ [since I wrote this have done it in the original key too thanks to your picture of the sheet music]  as well as ‘Ridin’ the Range with you’ and ‘Plain old Plains” and can send those to you separately if you are interested. I'm also working on 'He walks with the Wild and the Lonely'.

Your  website is just stupendous, it is the best website I have ever seen for a musician.  I have learned so much and have such esteem for Bob Nolan now.  I believe this music still has a lot to say to the world,and I enjoy learning all his songs very much, he understood music in a complex way which is great to puzzle out and know.  Those videos are unlisted to the public as I didn’t want to infringe copyrights but please share with any parties you know are interested. Thank you so much for sharing Bob's story [I am very sad the Rogers family has no such website like this for their folks!] and I hope this info is interesting to you, Hopefully you can tell me if this is the right address to send those chords to you! thank you again. Jena


Hello, Jena.

    You have the right address now! It's wonderful to see how the music still fascinates and entertains. Thank you so much for letting us know and for sending us the videos. Yes, the Pioneers' music made it into many movies they didn't appear in personally.

    You may not have discovered this page of Bob Nolan's songs as I'm not quite finished building it. I've deliberately made it harder to find until it's complete.
    I do have the song, "Good Neighbor",  from Heldorado on this page.   Click on "Songs". It includes the Spanish version.
    If you think I can help you in any way, just ask. I'll be delighted.
Best wishes, Elizabeth


April 6, 2016 Orthacoustic / Thesaurus radio transcriptions; A guide

    As you have probably noticed people, mainly collectors, have used the terms Orthacoustic and Thesaurus interchangeably when referring to RCA Victor transcriptions.
    To clarify:
ORTHACOUSTIC - Derived from two Greek words. Ortho, meaning Upright, Erect, or Clear, and Acoustic, relating to sound. Thus they were combined to form ORTHACOUSTIC.
ORTHACOUSTIC refers to RCA-Victors sound recording technology. Orthacoustic would translate to Clear Sound but that doesn't have quite the marketing ring.
THESAURUS - A collection of words of like (synonymous) meaning interpreted in this case to mean a collection of like music (Jazz, Big Bands, Vocal Performances, etc) to form a library of material which in many cases was not released commercially.

    THESAURUS was not the only programming category issued by RCA-Victor. Many smaller size libraries of special interest were released to radio stations such as Symphonies of the Sage by the Sons of the Pioneers.
These were issued on Orthacoustic discs with the Symphonies of the Sage set title on the label.
    The THESAURUS were issued on Orthacoustic discs with the Thesaurus set title on the label. Simply put when referring to ORTHACOUSTIC, one is referring to the technical sound quality of the product and when one refers to THESAURUS one is speaking of the the programming content on the disc.
    Does this help make things clear?

Larry Hopper


April 7, 2016

    Thank you so much for your help setting me straight and thank you for these links! Your website is so grand I've gotten happily lost in it many times.
    I admit when I started this little project last year I was overwhelmed with the amount of music, then was sad this great stuff is so ignored now and angry so much good music was lost to cutting room floors. I did a couple years of museum studies in grad school including a year project on theaters and learned movie studios indeed have little sense of preservation of their own history. Technology prevails over all sadly, so your website is really a gold mine for people like me interested in this part of our culture.
    I only knew of Roy and Dale as elders, though I worked a week with Dusty Rogers once at the Texas Cable Convention over 20 years ago when I was in college and he was so nice and a great musician himself. Nolan is quite an interesting hunk of natural history and to me, very like Thoreau
(except on a mountain and not a pond) but I read his speech to The Ladies' Club and see he ranted against 'They' the same way Thoreau did in 'Walden," same philosophy and ethos, and very visionary. He was truly a gifted composer.
    I am sending you the chords to 'Starlightin' Time in Texas' below and maybe you can use them. I have a few other songs worked out and if you like I can send you those later. I would like to help people remember Nolan's music, the more I hear the more impressed I am with him.



April 6, 2016

    I've got a question.  Something that's bothered me for years. We all know Roy Rogers is known as King of the Cowboys.  The question is, how did this come to pass? I don't recall there ever being a vote for King of the Cowboys, and I was seven at the time.  Perhaps I missed something in a fan magazine or a newspaper contest.  The last probably in the regional papers.

    My sense of how Roy became King of the Cowboys was that Republic had a habit of using various gimmicks in their film titles (Days of ..., / Bells of .... / Fighting ... / Heart of ... / In Old ...), you get the idea.  One of their gimmick was King of.... This began with KING OF THE PECOS (1936 03 09) and was followed by:










a slight variant - RADAR PATROL vs. SPY KING


    Now Gene Autry joined the Army on 1942 07 26 eliminating him as competitor at the studio.  Was this the time Republic decided to use "KING OF THE COWBOYS" and an extra publicity push to move Roy to the top of the Western star ratings?  KING OF THE COWBOYS, the film, went into production in January of 1942. While in production it had the working title "Starlight on the Trail."

    Does anyone have any memorabilia, newspaper or magazine clippings supporting either the studio decision on the use of the title or was it given as a result of an election or poll?

Larry Hopper


April 14, 2016

To the best of my knowledge, Republic decided RR was King of the Cowboys and spent much money to publicize it. In THE SINGING COWBOYS by David Rothel, page 121, mentions money spent and how the news was distributed to the public. I have seen mention of this in other books and it was always Republic’s idea to brand RR as King of the Cowboys.



May 5, 2016

One time co-star with Roy Rogers in
Heart of the Golden West - 1942
Man From Music Mountain - 1943
Hands Across the Border - 1944



Larry Hopper


July 16, 2016

I'm from Chicago visiting Winnipeg right now until Monday. Is there some place here where there is a Bob Nolan display?
And are his remains buried somewhere here? I know the present Sons of the Pioneers brought them here a few years ago.
Maria Melnyk


I'm sorry to have to tell you, Maria, that the Canadian government moves slowly. The memorial has not been designated yet and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame still has the ashes.


July 24, 2016 Bob Nolan story as a movie?


        Saw this last night, "I Saw The Light," the Hank Williams story. It's been getting a lot of mixed and sorta bad reviews, but I can't see why, I thought it was excellent. Watch the trailer, rent the movie, should be on Netflix by now. The director, Marc Abraham, does a fine job, difficult subject, and Tom Hiddleston is superb as Hank Williams, my opinion. Maybe the critics just don't understand or appreciate what they're looking at.
       Abraham knows how to make a music movie, and Tom Hiddleston could do Bob Nolan going away. Maybe you need to talk to some of the Western music people who've done well, Jack Hannah of the Sons of the San Joaquin, Rusty Richards of the Sons of the Pioneers, Doug Green of Riders in the Sky, see if you can get to Marc Abraham, ask him to take a look at the Bob Nolan story. Too many people have never heard of Bob Nolan, and the Sons of the Pioneers, and the Western music they invented, they formed and defined it, Bob Nolan is really the patron saint of Western music, without him, what would it be? He showed us the way. This is a story that shouldn't be lost, needs to be told.
        One night Hal Spencer showed me a newspaper from 1947, NY Times, reporting that the Sons of the Pioneers sold out Madison Square Garden 19 consecutive nights, that's about 1.1 million tickets in one venue in less than three weeks. As far as I can find out, nobody else has come close, before or since. Adelle sold out Madison Square for four nights this summer.

Ray Kraft


July 30, 2016 Re: Picture on the Mystery Photos page.

This picture must have been taken during a Sons of the Pioneer's appearance on the Hoagy Carmichael radio show in 1945. There's a picture on Western Clippings of Dale Evans and Hoagy Carmichael and he appears to be wearing the same suit. ~ Kristy  See http://www.westernclippings.com/treasures/westerntreasures_gallery_44.shtml)


August 10, 2016 Sons of the Pioneers Live at the McPherson Opera House on Oct. 15th, 2016 at 7:30pm. Tickets: McPhersonOperaHouse.org

Fred Sopher


August 13, 2016

My name is Stephen Van Osdell and I just found your Bob Nolan site. I used to collect SOP music starting in early 70’s. I’m 67 now. I used to know Fred Goodwin well back around 1980. Saw the SOP’s in person in Collegedale TN back in 1981. I still play their music often. Do you know what happened to the transcription disc collection that was being held by the John Edwards Memorial Foundation in California? Was it taken over by another University maybe? I hope it is not lost. I understand Ken Griffis passed away. Do you know when? You can find me on facebook. My reel to reel copy of the Orthacoustic Transcriptions is getting pretty old. Are they now available somewhere on CD’s? Keep in touch and nice to talk to Bob’s grandson. I grew up with him it seems.
Sincerely, Stephen Van Osdell (now living in Cincinnati)


The Orthacoustic Transcriptions have been reissued as two albums: "Sons of the Pioneers, the Essential Collection" and "Sons of the Pioneers, Symphonies of the Sage". (Both albums are available on www.amazon.com and other venues.) To see the track lists, go to the Discography page on our website and select the album cover. Neither album has the total collection of Orthacoustic Transcriptions. We supply the information but we do not sell the CDs.


Ken Griffis passed away in 2008 and a great deal of his collection was donated to the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina where the John Edwards Memorial Foundation material is archived. To learn more about the collection, email Steve Weiss, Director of the Southern Folklife Collection.)


September 11, 2016

I thought you might be interested in this excerpt from Cleda Slye Willoughby's book, My Brother, Roy, if you haven't read it before. Cleda provides an interesting, if opionionated, view of Roy's life throughout her part of the book. This is the only reference to the Pioneers that is of any importance, and here Cleda is talking about her and Roy's mother, Mattie Slye.

~ I think of when Bob Nolan had his nose fixed. He was a handsome Canadian and his nose was Roman-like and suited him. I guess he didn't like it so he had an operation to straighten it. The first time he went to see my folks, my mom said, "My G-d, Bob, you are ruined." It was her outspoken way to say exactly how she felt. She did not mean to hurt anyone, but she felt compelled to speak her mind. Bob was not offended. ~  My Brother, Roy by Cleda Slye Willoughby and John Roger Simon, Copyright © 2014 John Roger Simon

By the way, if my name or email looks familiar to you, it's just because I contacted you a short while ago about one of the "mystery photos" on the web site. I have a blog on westernsthat I recently started westernreservoir.blogspot.ca, and I appreciate the depth of research (research is almost too weak a word) that has gone into the Bob Nolan - Poet Laureate of the West webpage.
Kristy Bruce


Thanks, Kristy, for the heads up on the book. Nice to have the story of Bob's nose job confirmed, too. Check out this page on our site: http://www.bobnolan-sop.net/Recollections/LaVida%20Brickner/Brickner,%20LaVida.htm for more on poor Bob's nose. In fact, he wasn't the one who decided to have a nose job. The owner of Columbia Pictures ordered it!


October 26, 2016

In my Ebay searching for Roy Rogers pictures I discovered a photo collection that has just come up for sale.  It's someone's collection of over 150 old photographs.  Some of them include autographs, but the thing I noticed was that Roy Rogers and other members of the Pioneers are the subjects of some of the photos.  Anyway, just thought I'd let you know in case you at the Bob Nolan website wanted them.

Here's the link if you're interested:



Jennifer Delamarter


November 17, 2016

Saw Rusty Richards here in Loomis at the Cowpoke Poetry Gathering Friday last. He's looking great, sounding better than ever. Do you have his new CD, Trails Old & New? One of the very best ever, by anyone, he's outdone himself in every way, awesome songwriting, his voice has never been better, great guitar work.

Ray Kraft


Yes, it's a great album. Contact Rusty for your copy at workcowboy@aol.com





01. Jim's Marker

02. Take Me Home, Lord

03. I Long to go Back to Wyoming

04. I Love America

05. Night Hawk

06. Take a Last Look at the Clown

07. It's Never Too Late to be a Cowboy

08. Viejo

09. Back when the Longhorn was King

10. White Water River

11. Gettin' High on Life

12. Old Pioneers


December 4, 2016

Affordable Old Time Radio Sons of the Pioneers shows on one DVD on eBay:




This series is available as 330 digital mp3 episodes archived on one DVD. Because the content is digital, the programs on this DVD:

•Can be played on any computer with a DVD drive.
•Can be played on some - but not all - DVD players designed to play videos on a television. Because some DVD players do not have the capability to play mp3 content, we can only guarantee that computers equipped with a DVD drive will be capable of playing this disk.
•Can be played on an iPod or other portable mp3 players if content is copied from the DVD. A computer with a DVD player can be used to copy files from the disk(s) to a portable device.
•Can be copied to a properly formatted flash drive and played on most automobile entertainment systems equipped with a USB port.
•Cannot be played using a CD Player designed to play audio CDs.