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Photo courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Happy Cowboy

aka Happy Rovin' Cowboy

(Bob Nolan)

 

Nowhere to go aní nothiní to do,

Iím just a happy roviní cowboy.

Let me ride that long trail down to the end

Where the skies are always blue.

 

Refrain:

Hear my song as I ride along

Iím just a happy roviní cowboy

Herdiní the dark clouds out of the sky.

Keeping the heavens blue.

 

I ainít got a wife to bother my life

Iím a happy roviní cowboy.

Let me make my bed where the varmints prowl

Beneath a sky of blue.

 

I ainít got a dime, jesí spendiní my time

Iím just a happy roviní cowboy

Let me sing my song till they call me home

To the land beyond the blue.

 

        One of the most popular of Nolan's cowboy songs, "Happy Cowboy" was a favourite on the KFWB radio programs of the Sons of the Pioneers (or Gold Star Rangers). They included it on their 1934 Standard Radio Transcriptions and it was recorded by Decca on March 7, 1935 but Bob did not register it for copyright until March 16, 1936. The sheet music was published in "Sons of the Pioneers Song Folio No. 1", © 1936 by CROSS & WINGE INC.

        The song was used by the group in several films such as "Song of the Saddle" (Dick Foran 1936), "Cattle Raiders" (Charles Starrett 1938) and "Man from Cheyenne" (Roy Rogers 1942). It gained further popularity as the theme to Hank Williamsí Health and Happiness transcribed radio programs in 1949. It is often referred to as "Happy Roving Cowboy". "Hear My Song" by Ken Griffis derived its title from the second line in this song.

        In 1935, the Sons of the Pioneers were offered a part in Liberty Pictures' "The Old Homestead", a feature length film. They had real parts as hillbilly farmers visiting the big city, all involving a lot of singing. Production took place in mid-February and the film was released on August 10, 1935. Karl Farr joined the group after the completion of this film.

 

Recordings:

1934 08 Standard Radio transcription (#1679)

1935 The Old Homestead soundtrack

1935 Decca (take 1)

1935 Decca (take 2)

1935 Decca unissued

1936 Song of the Saddle soundtrack

1938 Cattle Raiders soundtrack

1940 Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage"

Thesaurus

1942 Man from Cheyenne soundtrack

1951 11 15 Lucky U series

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

 

 

 

"Sons of the Pioneers Song Folio No. 1", © 1936 by CROSS & WINGE INC.

 

Typed copy of the lyrics from the repertoire box.

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS:

Standard Radio Transcription #1679-A

Orthacoustic "Symphonies of the Sage (064382)

NBC Thesaurus Transcription

10-2-4 Time: 1945 04 30 (#514) 64862-04

Melody Roundup: #374 and 512

Teleways Transcriptions: #5-32-65-77-223

Lucky U Programs courtesy of Larry Hopper:

    Audition Disc No. 1 and No. 2.
    15 November 1951. Transcription Disc TR-93, 94
    25 January 1952. Transcription Disc TR-212, 213
    6 February 1952. Transcription Disc TR-228, 229
    26 February 1952. Transcription Disc TR-256, 257
    12 May 1952. Transcription Disc TR-363, 364
    16 May 1952. Transcription Disc TR-371, 372
    14 July 1952. Transcription Disc TR-443, 444
    5 August 1952. Transcription Disc TR-463, 464
    9 October 1952. Transcription Disc TR-511, 512
    3 November 1952. Transcription Disc TR-545, 546
    31 December 1952. Transcription Disc TR-628, 629

Lucky U without the Sons of the Pioneers:

    24 March 1953. Lucky U Transcription Disc TR-748, 749
    19 May 1953. Lucky U Transcription Disc TR-828, 829