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PRAIRIE PRATTLER

Volume 4, Number 4

(A Modern Screen Fan Club Ass'n. Member)

JUNE - JULY - AUGUST

1947

 

 

 

Page 2

 

EDITORIAL (excerpts)

    Roy has his own circus and he is starting his tour in June. His first stop is New York. He will be in the City from June 15-22. From here he goes to the Red Bird Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, from June 24-26; then he goes to Victory Fields, Indianapolis June 27-July 3; Parkway Field, Louisville, KY, July 4-6; Crosley Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 7-12 and Forbes Field, Pittsburgh July 14-19. Then he will return back to Hollywood to start making pictures. The boys will be with him. The name of Roy's circus is The Roy Rogers Thrill Show. 

 

FALL RODEO TOUR

Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, PA Sept. 3 thru 10

Olympia, Detroit, Michigan Sept 12 thru 21

Arena, St. Louis, Missouri Sept. 26-Oct. 5

Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Oct. 9 thru 26

 

    The Pioneers appeared on the stage of the Paramount Theater in Hollywood, along with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans when their new movie, "Bells of San Angelo" was previewed. (Martha Retsch)

 

NEWS OF THE SONS (excerpts)

    Now about Pioneertown, which was mentioned in a much earlier issue. Seems that it is coming along at a great pace. There are about six buildings up now and more coming along. There's really a syndicate that formed this town. The members of the company are: The Sons of the Pioneers, Roy Rogers, Russell Hayden and Dick Curtis. The town is located in the San Bernardino Mountains about 35 miles from Palm Springs, Calif.

 

    Any of you interested in seeing the Pioneers in a personal appearance tour, here's the list of dates:

 

Polo Grounds, NY June 15 thru 22

Red Bird Stadium, Columbus, Ohio June 24 - 26

Victory Field, Indianapolis, Ind. June 27 thru July 3

Parkway Field, Louisville, KY July 5 & 6

Crosley Field, Cincinnati, Ohio July 7-12

Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PA July 14-19

 

PIONEERS GROUP MARQUEE ASSET by William R. Weaver (excerpts)

    The special appeal of the Sons of the Pioneers for folks of middle age and upwards - about 50% of their fan mail comes from people over 45 - traces to their policy of digging up old songs of both the prairie and the folk variety, for use on the radio where the boys work out once weekly on a national commercially-sponsored original broadcast and five times weekly via transcriptions and in their pictures.

    Some 85 radio stations carry their transcriptions with local sponsors, and the dimensions of this phase of the sons of the Pioneers'' activities are such that the young men operate their own company, Pioneer Radio Productions, to keep this outlet supplied. They also formed, sic months ago, the Tim Spencer Music co., to publish their own songs, of which they have written no less than 450 since founding their organization in 1932. Tumbling Tumbleweeds and Cool Water are among the top hits already recognized as American folk classics, in their list of successes.

    Between the start of their Columbia contract and now, they have appeared in 71 pictures; 28 for that studio, 36 for Republic, 4 for Warner Brothers - in one of which they started Cole Porter's "Don't' Fence Me In" on its way to the Hit Parade - and 3 for other studios. And between those points in time, the productions of Westerns has undergone change. Mr. ?Spencer, answering the several questions reflected in the foregoing:

    "We used to do a Western in 12 days. Our last one took 58. But the essential appeal of the Western is still the same. They like to see riding and action in the period of the West and without the phony elements introduced. The kids and youngsters come to see Roy - as long as there are kids there'll be Western fans - and the oldsters come not only to see him and follow the story, but also to hear the kind of music we give them - music that reminds them of the time when the time when they were young."

 

 

 

MY TRIP TO MODESTO by Grace Fitzgerald, 16 Goethe St, Daly City, CA.

    On the evening, before the morning after the night before, yours truly started out on a trip from San Francisco to Modesto, California, to see the Sons of the Pioneers. Since the Sears Roebuck store in this town sponsor a transcribed program by the Sons, it was decided to have them come down for the re-opening of a part of the store on March 20th.

    Being one of those persons to whom the most outrageous incidents causing delays can occur, it seemed wise to start out early to make up for lost time, in case anything did happen. The trip came off without a hitch (save for loss of sleep). When the "zero" hour approached, I went off to the furniture department where a platform had been set up for the Sons' use. Every article of furniture that could bear weight was pressed into service; and since I was early, I secured a comfortable seat.

    In the meantime, it was announced the Sons would be delayed because of an electric storm over the mountains. By the time they put in their appearance, the whole store was filled to overflowing. Seemed that about four times as many people showed up as were expected.

    The minute the Pioneers hit the platform, things started rolling right along. It turned out that Bob and one of the others had come up by train earlier, and while waiting to go on the air, Bob put in his two bits' worth commenting on how, during the war, one heard of flight commanders sweating their boys in from a mission - then he proceeded to mop his brown.

    Pat, Lloyd, Bob, Tim, Hugh and Ken were present and accounted for. Karl was absent due to intestinal flu but, according to Bob, "He'll live."

    Some of the songs sung by the boys were: COOL WATER, TUMBLING TUMBLEWEEDS, WAY OUT THERE, BABY DOLL, HAPPY COWBOY and RANCHO GRANDE. There were some instrumentals featuring Hugh was were tops. Pat did two comedy numbers, a parody of IT HAD TO BE YOU and YOU TELL HER I STUTTER. He repeated these songs several times during the course of the day and so help me, if he didn't manage to change something each time. It came to the point where one wondered what he'd come out with next. Ken soloed with OUT CALIFORNIA WAY and TWILIGHT ON THE TRAIL. Of course, the trio did a grand job on their numbers and when the group joined in on a song, the result was something special, such as COWBOY CAMP MEETING and LOVE SONG OF THE WATERFALL.

    Pat was a riot when he started on those comedy songs; wonder if he ever runs out of ad libs? It was really something to see Hugh play that fiddle - not to mention his foghorn voice on COWBOY CAMP MEETING. Tim certainly came out with something unusual when he wrote that song.

    Judging form the way Bob shed his coat and hat, and had a hanky handy for mopping his brow, MC-ing isn't as easy a job as it sounds over the radio. Lloyd seemed to be enjoying himself and, as usual, did very well on BABY DOLL. Ken doesn't know how close on of his songs came to serving as a lullaby for once certain person. Would have liked to have seen Karl play his guitar, but maybe next time. Next time - there seems to be only one thing wrong with seeing the Pioneers in person - you want to see them again and pronto.

    Near the end of the first broadcast, Pat came to Bob and told him, in an amusing way, that the next broadcast time was changed. Whereupon Bob told the audience that Pat really earned his money; then he did a double take and denied it.

    Originally, the Sons were scheduled to do only two shows, but due to the large crowd, they put on an extra show at Sears' farm store. Here, they were up on a wagon, around which the audience stood. Just before this show, which lasted a few minutes until time for the scheduled one, came to an end, Bob made a little speech. He thanked everyone for coming down to the farm store to see them, thus making it possible for others to get in on the next show. Then in a very sincere voice, he said: "I hope you haven't been too comfortable." That brought down the house.

    Since the next show could be heard over the store public address system, quite a few of us who had been at the farm store stayed to listen. It proceeded along the same general lines as the other two, with a few changes thrown in for good measure. After the broadcast, the Pioneers continued singing up until it was time to leave. About this time, Yours Truly also departed and groggily wended her way towards the bus station, shuddering at the thought of the morning after, but definitely deciding that the morning and the night before had been well worth it.

 

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