King of the Cowboys from 1942 until his death. Faithful husband and father of ten. Singer. Songwriter. Equestrian. Surrogate father and hero to young’uns world-wide.
Queen of the West from 1944 until her death. Loving wife and mother of ten. Singer. Songwriter. Author. Equestrian. Mother-figure and heroine to children around the globe.
Patient. Just. Kind. Gentle. Firm. Merciful. Humorous. Eager. Willing.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Welcome to Rogersdale – A collection of anecdotes, pictures, facts, knowledge, reviews, summaries, and recommendations dedicated to the furthering of a legacy.
Over the Christmas season of 2012, a neighbor loaned me a ten-film collection of Roy Rogers productions. I had heard of this singing cowboy and his golden palomino before, but I had never seen any of their films. Being the cowboy equestrian advocate I am, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love. I wanted to see more. I tracked down every lead on every film I could find – which were few and far between. I watched every movie I could. My siblings teased me that I could name a film from two seconds of quoting. I could!
I was frustrated though. There just wasn’t enough information out there! I wanted songs, movies, TV appearances, and articles. These were all few and far between. Obscure and outdated websites became my best friends. While on the hunt for one such obscure resource, I stumbled across Leo Pando’s An Illustrated History of Trigger. I applaud Mr. Pando for his excellent research of the talented palomino – both the original Trigger and his sidekicks. I gobbled up every word. After that golden find, I found nothing for months on end. I picked up guitar and singing to pass the time. If I couldn’t find the songs online, I’d transcribe them directly from the videos and sing them myself.
During this dry spell, a friend of a friend heard about my fascination with his childhood heroes. Shortly thereafter, he sent me a small collection of memorabilia and films. I was thrilled to make a connection in the community, and immensely appreciative of his gifts. It was a note in his accompanying letter that gave me the next lead. He mentioned a book: Happy Trails: Our Life Story by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, with Jane and Michael Stern. I found it gathering dust on a library shelf.
I enjoy reading, and cowboy stories are some of my favorites. This biography, however, was more than just a casual campfire tale. I was captivated by the struggles and triumphs of my favorite cowboy… and his wife? Stop the press. They were married? I had enjoyed Roy and Dale’s on-screen chemistry, but had been completely unaware of their off-screen relationship!
Dale wrote of her rather spoiled early life (at least in comparison to Roy’s). She pulled me along on her fight to rise in showbiz. She let me in on her struggles through numerous failed relationships. We both rejoiced when she found “Mr. Right”. Then the children came. Roy already had two, and Dale had one. Surely that was enough for two up-and-coming cinema stars? Nope! Seven more joined the brood. I laughed with the couple as Dusty and Sandy wrangled their escapades. I groaned in admittedly amused frustration as Dodie stumbled into the English language. Debbie’s plot to slip cookies to her “jailbird” brothers was one of my personal highlights. Robin’s birth, life, and early death was heartbreaking. I knew right then I had to read Angel Unaware. Debbie’s sudden passing and Sandy’s equally unexpected demise were hard blows too.
By this point, I felt personally involved. It’s a crazy feeling – a teen involved in the lives of people long gone. It was there nonetheless. I felt as though I knew them. As if Roy and Dale were my neighbors, and we conversed on a daily basis. Browsing the net, I found testimonies from many others saying this personal feeling was common. Roy and Dale just had a way of crawling into your heart. They still do.
I wanted to share these special people with the world. I wanted everyone to know what they were missing. I wanted them to have fond memories joshing with Gabby and Pat, rough-housing with the boys, and singing with the Pioneers.
Most importantly of all, I wanted to give folks a way to learn about this wonderful couple without digging through years of archives and library storage rooms.
As such, you will find a compilation of all my research here, on this website.
- I have written summaries for all of Roy’s films, complete with cast, director, release date, original run time, and song list.
- There is a biographical section pertaining to the sidekicks, bands, and of course the King and Queen.
- The Golden Stallion has his own section of trivia, myths, and truths.
- I have compiled a list of music performed by or about Roy, Dale, and their associates.
- Be sure to check out the book list for many amazing resources – many of which will be quoted within these pages.
Learn. Enjoy. Spread the Legacy.
Welcome to Rogersdale
Note: With regards to the quotations of books. I have done my best to properly source and credit my information. If you spot a missing citation, please let me know! I do not wish to plagiarise! Drop me a note in the comments and I will mend the issue as soon as possible.