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Curley Fletcher and Bob Nolan

 

The Calin Coburn Collections 2004.

 

            This picture was among the souvenirs that Bob Nolan left his grandson, Calin Coburn. From background clues, it appears the snapshot was taken at a small rodeo. From Bob's shirt we can see the date is around 1936 and the man with him bears a strong resemblance to a 1936 photo of Curley Fletcher.

            Perhaps the mother of the two children took the photograph because both Curley and Bob were becoming well-known at that time. Curley finally published his famous "Strawberry Roan" in 1931 and his book of poetry, "Songs of the Sage" in 1936. The Sons of the Pioneers had recorded "Strawberry Roan" for the Standard Radio Transcriptions in 1935. You are listening to part of that recording as you read this. Yes, that is Roy Rogers (still Leonard Slye) singing lead.

            Curley and Bob both worked at rodeos and they also collaborated on a song called "Desolation".  Of course, we will not know for sure this is Curley Fletcher until someone comes up with another snapshot taken at the same time. For your interest, compare this close-up of the man in the dark hat and the picture of Curley from the frontispiece of his book of poems, "Songs of the Sage".

 

Left: photo from the frontispiece of "Songs of the Sage", 1936.