With the understanding that this may very well change as my CD collection grows, here is an alphabetical list of my top 25 Roy Rogers songs. Unsurpassed in tone and talent, I’ll listen to anything he recorded, but these 25 are the ones I turn to over and over. I think one of the reasons I love Roy’s music so much is its positive message, fun sound, and exquisite beauty. He is truly one of the greats.
Alive and Kickin’ (Roy’s way of saying thanks to his fans, this song sums up a lifetime of happiness in a few verses.)
Along the Navajo Trail (Similar in feel to “Blue Shadows” and every bit as beautiful, this song is definitely one of his best.)
Blue Shadows on the Trail (From Disney’s Melody Time, this hauntingly beautiful song is one of my very favorites. Probably in my top 3.)
Born to the Saddle (To me, this song is Roy Rogers.)
Cool Water (I’ve heard 2 versions of this song; 1 with Roy taking lead vocals, the other with Bob Nolan in the lead. Both are awesome.)
Don’t Fence Me In (Not many people love Roy’s music and movies the way I do; but my dad does almost as much and this is one of his favorite songs too.)
Dust (First recorded in the 1930’s, when the Dust Bowl was devastating the West, this plaintive melody sends shivers down my spine.)
Happy Trails (Roy and Dale’s most famous song; my favorite version is the one on his Tribute)
Headin’ for Texas and Home (An upbeat celebration of cowboy life, this song is sure to bring a smile.)
Here’s Hopin’ (A prayer, a wish, and good advice all rolled into one, this song is a beautiful melody with beautiful lyrics. Duet with Randy Travis.)
Hi Ho Silver (After Trigger, Silver is probably the most famous cowboy horse, and this fun song is all about him.)
Hold On Partner (I could listen to this song over and over again – the music video is loads of fun too. Duet with Clint Black.)
Hold That Critter Down (Another one of my dad’s favorites, this song is a toe-tapping sing-along.)
It’s Home Sweet Home to Me (From Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers early days, this track is both sweet and fun.)
King of the Cowboys (Actually a Roy “Dusty” Rogers Jr. song, this one is about who Roy was, how he became the King of the Cowboys, and a tribute to his life.)
Lovenworth (A fun song promoting faithfulness and the beauty of family, this song is one of my very favorites.)
My Chickashay Gal (This song is on the very first Roy Rogers CD I ever owned and was my first favorite.)
Rodeo Road (Seldom do 2 voices fit as well together as Roy’s and Willie Nelson’s do on this great song.)
Roll On Texas Moon (A catchy tune and fun lyrics make this one a joy to listen to.)
San Fernando Valley (Ditto.)
Tennessee Stud (Guaranteed to get both my dad and my little brother singing along, this ballad fits Roy’s heavenly voice like no other.)
(There’ll Never Be Another) Pecos Bill (Another Melody Time song, this one is a hit with everyone – even those who aren’t fans of his other songs.)
When Payday Rolls Around (It’s hard to sit still listening to this song; I like to play it when I’m exercising.)
When the Golden Train Comes Down (With solo parts by several of the Sons of the Pioneers, I can’t help smiling when I listen to this song – especially since you can hear them smiling as they sing.)
Yellow Rose of Texas (Roy’s awesome voice does ample justice to this well-known classic.)
Are there any other Roy and Sons of the Pioneers fans out there? If so, what are your favorite Roy Rogers songs?
I flipped the TV on today and one of the rerun channels was playing old Roy Rogers movies. My very first celebrity crush, Roy and his movies hold a very special place in my heart. I am the only Roy Rogers fan that I know. (Mama used to watch his movies with me; we were our own little fan club.) I find myself defending him and his movies every time the subject comes up. Seems like no one else appreciates his work.
Roy never played a villain. Or even a morally ambiguous hero. Straight-shooting, straight-talking, thoroughly on the up-and-up, Roy was your cookie-cutter white-hatted hero. And sometimes his movies had lame plots and corny dialogue. Through no fault of his, of course. And, sadly, most of the versions you can find today have been heavily edited. But they are still something incredibly special.
I don’t know if it can be put into words, but Roy Rogers had that indefinable something that set him apart from the rest. If he was anyone else, I’d say it was what’s referred to as “star quality;” but somehow that’s not the right term. In my book, he wasn’t a star. He was quite famous of course, an iconic screen cowboy, but not a star. At least not to me. I guess because he never really seemed like an actor. I don’t think he ever acted a day in his life. I think that every time he got in front of a camera he was just himself. Which is what makes him so incredible – he really was the hero he portrayed on screen. The innocent, boyishly charming, straightforward hero that a whole nation fell in love with.
This is what sets him apart from the crowd. Why his movies are still around when just about every other B-western from that era has been forgotten. The reason a Roy Rogers movie could rise above its low budget and sometimes poorly-written script to become a classic. Because he was a real-life hero. He was an inspiration to a whole country then and he’s still inspiring today. He embodies the best of what it means to be an American and a Christian. From his refusal to remove prayer from his shows to his and Dale’s opening their hearts and home to orphans. Roy Rogers is a real-life American hero – yesterday, today, and tomorrow too.
Boots. Just one word is enough to put a grin on my face. I adore boots. Dress, riding, combat, ankle, hiking, work, tall, short, black, brown, white, gray, with heels, without heels, zippered, lace-up, or pull-on – any and all boots are my favorite. But the absolute top of the heap when it comes to boots are unequivocally cowgirl boots. Or cowboy boots, if you’re a fella. I don’t remember not being in love with them. I don’t wear them all the time (unfortunately), but when I do, I feel like the queen of the world.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved the idea of cowboys and the Wild West. Cowboys and rustlers was my favorite kind of role-play as a kid. (Tea parties was my other favorite – riddle me that if you can.) I devoured western movies and books. Still do actually. I recently found a copy of a very old cowboy book that I had as a kid, which I unfortunately lost. But every cloud has a silver lining and this one was no exception. The book was for sale as part of a set – and I had never heard of the other book. So not only did I recover a long-lost favorite, I found a new favorite as well. My grandpa loved cowboy stuff too. I remember his boots and hats and country music and his extensive John Wayne video collection.
Despite my love for all things western, especially boots, I didn’t own my first pair until I was nearly grown. It was primarily a money issue. Good boots aren’t cheap and money was kinda scarce growing up. My first pair of cowgirl boots (which I still have) came to me second-hand. From a flea market of all places. Fit me perfectly and in very good condition. I paid $8 for them. I was so excited. I was gonna take a picture of myself wearing those boots and the western shirt from my grandma and send it to her and my grandpa. Two days later my grandpa went to heaven. He never saw the picture, but I think of them as my “Papa boots” – a little piece of him that I will forever cherish. I can almost feel him smiling down on me every time I wear them, and that makes me smile all the more.