Thursday, January 26, 2012

Forgotten Music -- The Sons of the Pioneers

I'm not saying that the Sons of the Pioneers are really forgotten. Heck, there's still a group by that name. But I'm talking about the originals, the ones I listened to as a kid in the late '40s. Even then, Roy Rogers was no longer a member. At any rate, they recorded many great western numbers, and I loved them all. I even had some old 78 rpm records by the group.

Here's a nice tribute video with "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" playing, and here's their fine version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky." The great original of "Cool Water" is hard to beat. And my personal favorite, from the late '40s, the Sons and Roy singing "Blue Shadows on the Trail."

Finally, for those of you who'd like to know more about the history of the group, go to Wikipedia: The Sons of the Pioneers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The Sons of the Pioneers are one of America's earliest Western singing groups[1] whose classic recordings set a new standard for performers of Western music.[2] Known for the high quality of their vocal performances, musicianship, and songwriting,[3] they produced finely-crafted and innovative recordings that have inspired many Western music performers and remained popular through the years. Since 1933, through many changes in membership, the Sons of the Pioneers have remained one of the longest-surviving country music vocal groups in history.[4]

5 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Difficult to overestimate their influence.

Brent McKee said...

For a time Ken Curtis (probably best known today for playing Festus on "Gunsmoke") was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers. He was with them when they appeared in John Ford's "Rio Grande." Curtis took the lead in one of the best versions of "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" that you are likely to hear, and the group also sang "The Bold Fenian Men." Both can be found on YouTube

Josh Jernigan said...

All of the original Sons of the Pioneers are gone, Roy Rogers being the last one. The beautiful voice of Lloyd Perryman was stilled in 1977. The last album on which Lloyd performed was "Western Country" for the Granite label in 1976. Dale Warren, who joined the Pioneers in 1953 recently passed away. My favorite recordings of the Sons of the Pioneers were made in the 1960s at RCA Victor studios in Hollywood. The trio of Lloyd Perryman, Tommy Doss and Dale Warren were superb. RCA hired some of the most talented musicians in the world to provide backup for the Pioneers--Wade Ray and Glen Campbell being two of the more notable. I think the absolute best of the best was the RCA LP "Trail Dust," an original collection issued in 1964. Other top albums included "Our Men Out West" (1963), "Campfire Favorites" (1964); and "Tumbleweed Trail" (1961). The final RCA album was "The Sons of the Pioneers Visit the South Seas" in 1969. In 1977 Bob Nolan recorded a solo album titled "Bob Nolan - The Sound of a Pioneer." Various companies have released reissues over the years, making the Sons of the Pioneers one of the most prolific musical groups ever. There are literally several hundred titles available in one package or another by the Sons of the Pioneers - ranging in recording dates from about 1935 to the 1970s. At last word, the contemporary group still calling themselves "the Sons of the Pioneers" performs to sell out crowds at Branson, Missouri.

Bill Crider said...

Great comment. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

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