Having been born in 1947, I entered this world just at the beginning of the Baby Boomer era. Roy Rogers was very popular when I was a child growing up. Television was not really “in” at the time, but as youngsters, Roy Rogers was one of our favorite idols. Until I had the occasion to look further into the background of the Sons of the Pioneers recently, I was not aware that our favorite cowboy was a founding member of the Sons of the Pioneers. I was also not aware that Roy Rogers was not his real name – it was Leonard Sly…
Over the years there have been many other musicians involved in the Sons of the Pioneers. Early members of the musical group with Roy Rogers were Bob Nolan (born in Winnipeg, Man.), and Tim Spencer; later on they were joined by Lloyd Perryman. Hugh Farr and Karl Farr. Current “Trail Boss” of the Sons of the Pioneers is Tommy (vocals, bass), who joined the group in 1983, and members Ken Lattimore (vocals and fiddle), Roy (Dusty) Rogers Jr. (vocals/M.C.), John Fullerton (vocals/guitar) and Paul Elliot (fiddle). Bob Nolan wrote much of the music being played by the Sons of the Pioneers – Cool Water, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Blue Prairie…on and on!
The new Sons of the Pioneers have been very active raising funds in Saskatchewan and other places over the years. They have been instrumental in raising funds for the new Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon through the Pattison Group. Money raised for the hospital was matched by the CPR.
This year, they are raising money for the Rose Garden Hospice in Prince Albert and Ronald Macdonald Houses in Alberta. They are hoping to sell tickets on a signed guitar and have prizes from local businesses given to people who support the Hospice. Prizes will be given away at the show on June 21st after the intermission.
In order to accomplish this, they are offering free advertising of local businesses at the show or complimentary tickets as a discount to ad rates. They have a handbill designed and ready to print in exchange for advertising local business or sending a message to the audience, hoping to sell out the theatre and help our community as well.
The Sons of the Pioneers have been invited to play on the Grand Ol’ Opry again this fall, 2019, in Nashville.
Twice in the past year, Cool Water has been featured in movies: 1) Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” (which we have seen and highly recommend!!!) and 2) Coen Brothers: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. A while ago, “Tumbling Tumbleweeds was featured in The Big Lebowski with Jeff Bridges et al.
There will be a new musical appearing in 2020 called “Happy Trails” – the story of Roy Rogers, with son Dustin involved in the Production.
At present, a brand new CD is being created and it will be coming to Canada for sale by the current band Sons of the Pioneers – on the occasion of their 85th Anniversary.
The website of Sons of the Pioneers is www.sonsofthepioneers.org. Tickets can be purchased off the schedule part of the website. Merchandise can be ordered as well. Tickets will be available at the Rawlinson Centre at 306-765-1270.
Let’s see if we can fill every seat and enjoy the good old yodelling and favorite songs from the past, including Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Cool Clear Water and April Wine, to mention a few, that make this talented group so special – a night to remember!