Drat it, I’m late posting again. My family took a two-day trip to Georgia and got back late last night. So, here’s Wednesday’s post:
Music played a large role in getting Roy and Dale to Hollywood, but it also continued to be a major factor in their lives. In Roy’s regular westerns, there was always at least one song in the script. The music was written for the film, and designed to convey the feeling that the director wanted the audience to have about the film. Sometimes, the songs revealed information about the plot, or kept the good guys busy while the villains were rigging a trap. The music was used to provide lulls in the action, and of course, to help Roy get his girl.
Dale was interested in Broadway. She ended up on the opposite side of the U.S., but she still insisted on playing in musicals. That’s how she ended up in Roy’s films. Her agent, Danny Winkler, resisted Republic’s offers for Dale to appear opposite Roy. He was sure she wouldn’t look right in Westerns. In the end, however, Republic won out and Dale started her musical-western career. The Cowboy and the Senorita (1944), was Dale’s first role as Roy’s leading lady.
Roy and Dale sang in every film they were in together. Dale wrote the Roy Rogers Show theme song, “Happy Trails” which the couple sang during the credits of every episode.
Music was a big part of the Rogers’ family. Allow me to quote Dusty Rogers from his forward in Eric van Hamersveld’s It was Always the Music:
“…My earliest recollections of hearing music was my father playing the guitar and singing to me “My Little Buckaroo.” As I was growing up, mom would sing religious songs around the house, and who could forget Christmas holiday songs around the piano. All of us kids, 9 in all, would sing or play some kind of instrument…. Music was a huge part of our family’s life….”
Also, here’s an excerpt from Dale’s forward for the same book:
“Music has always s meant a great deal to me. It helped me celebrate the good times, and it helped me get through the bad times….”
For your enjoyment, I have included the audio link to “Happy Trails”.
Roy first sang “Dust” in Under Western Stars (1938). He sang it again in Under California Stars (1948). In the 1948 film, Roy and the gang are celebrating Roy’s 10th year in the movies. Here is the “Dust” clip from Under California Stars: