Roy and Dale

Roy and Dale

My mother would have been in the movies if she hadn’t married my dad. She was beautiful and extremely talented. She played the piano better then Liberace and had a personality that drew love and attention from everyone that she met. Mom knew all the famous movie stars and when they came to Salt Lake City they were invited to stay at our home.

She use to be Kirk Douglas’s sweetheart, when he was trying to break into the movies, if it hadn’t been for my dad Kirk would have been my father. Oh well, that’s another story!

I guess I was lucky as a teenager because I personally knew most of the famous movie stars. I could pick any of the stars in that period of time and tell you a good story, but one in particular stands out in my mind. Both he and his wife Dale Evans stayed at our home in Salt Lake many times, yes, I’m talking about Roy Rogers.

I remember one wonderful summer when I spent a whole month on Roy Rogers ranch in Apple Valley, California. I met and sang with the famous Sons of the Pioneers. Gabby Hayes love to tell stories around the campfire and many a night I spent out in the yard listening to Gabby’s folklore. Stories of the wild, wild west.

One of the highlights of my summer was when Roy let me ride the famous Trigger. I’d heard how amazing Trigger was and believe me what I’d heard was no exaggeration. I fell in love with that beautiful horse the minute my butt hit the saddle. I think trigger kind of liked me too.

Republic Pictures made over eighty movies staring Roy Rogers and they were all successes, it’s no wonder with a combination like this how could they not be;

They had Roy Rogers (the King of the Cowboys), Trigger (the Smartest Horse in the Movies), Gabby Hayes (the most-beloved sidekick), The Sons Of The Pioneers (the finest singing group to be heard), and Dale Evans (the most beautiful and vivacious leading lady in Westerns).

Roy Rogers was everyone’s image of what a cowboy should be, he was honest showed integrity and rode high in the saddle. He always had a warm, reassuring smile, he was the epitome of what a cowboy should be from his white Stetson with its silver hatband to his hand-tooled boots.

Roy Rogers was a man with tremendous faith who loved his God, his family, and his country. He was that rare public figure who was just the same on screen as he was off. He has a special place in my book of memories.

Roy Rogers Theme Song “Happy Trails”

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.
Happy trails to you,
Keep smilin’ until then.

Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song, and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you,
Til we meet again.

Foot Note

When Cincinnati-born Leonard Franklin Slye headed west in the spring of 1931, it was as a would-be musician, working jobs ranging from driving a gravel truck to picking fruit in California’s Central Valley. In less than two years, he’d co-founded the greatest Western singing group of all time, the Sons of the Pioneers, and barely four years after that, he’d started a career as a movie star under the new name Roy Rogers. Ultimately he found great fame as a movie and TV cowboy and even founded a very successful chain of restaurants.


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