Thursday, November 5, 2009

Roy Rogers: The King of the Cowboys

Born Leonard Slye this date in 1911, Roy Rogers would be 98 years old today!

Roy first came to Hollywood in the 1930's as a member of the group "The Sons of the Pioneers" (That's him below, second from the right)

In addition to playing nightclubs, they landed a job in the movies. Roy's youthful good looks and smooth voice moved him forward from the backing musical novelty and got him a few speaking roles, including one in "The Big Corral" where he plays a bad guy to Gene Autry. After a fistfight, Gene convinces Roy to go straight and help him nab the real bad guys.

Roy did.

He was a good guy from there on out.

Gene Autry was having some salary disputes with the studio and was also called to service in WWII about the same time. This lead to Roy being set up to star in his own series of B Westerns and soon became Gene's chief competitor for the kiddie western matinee dollar.

Along with his sweetheart and soon wife Dale Evans he starred in over 100 films and a long running radio show, then TV show.

Ah, for those days when the good guy really did wear a white hat, had a smart horse and could yodel.

The plots are always straightforward. Some bad guy comes along and Roy puts him in his place. Always winning, for one simple reason...he was on the side of right. We need him back.
All of 'em.

Roy and Dale Evans...
Trigger, the smartest horse in the movies...

Dale's horse Buttermilk...

Roy's trusty dog Bullet...

Roy's goofy sidekick Pat Brady and his Jeep, Nellybelle.

We need Gabby Hayes too.

If only Roy Rogers and his loyal band of followers were still around keeping an eye on things, Osama Bin-Laden wouldn't have a chance.

Like Roy used to say, "So till we meet again, on the screen or in person, goodbye, good luck and may the good lord take a liking to you."

And Happy Trails.

Thanks Roy.

1 comment:

Marco said...

Roy and Dale used to hang out at the museum in Victorville a lot before it was stolen from us.

One way to make this kindly old gentleman mad as a hornet, was to ask him why he had Trigger stuffed. His eyes would narrow, and he would give the person who asked a look that would stop any outlaw in his tracks! Roy would go into a tirade about how Trigger (and Buttercup) was "mounted" and not "stuffed", and explain the difference to all for about 5 minutes.

Then, when his rant was over, he'd say "how about we sing a song?". Cool place, the Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum, saddened me when they packed it up and moved to Branson.

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