Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sons of the Pioneers 75th Anniversary

This post will probably bore most of you, but since this blog is my family diary of sorts, I'll go ahead and post it. The original Sons of the Pioneers (I'm talking the 1933 group) is probably my all-time favorite singing group. The harmony is impeccable.

Whenever I mention that I listen to the Sons of the Pioneers, I always let people know that this is Western in cowboy music...NOT country/western music. Western music is about the land, the cows, the cowboy life. One thing I seems like most western music fans are born-again Christians. PTL!
In 1994 the SOTP celebrated their 60th anniversary in Tucson, AZ. We bought the VHS (they didn't have DVDs at the time). We were shocked/disappointed at the electrical instruments and the addition of a keyboard. But it was wonderful to see Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, and their son Dusty. The emphasis of the whole video was on the history of the SOTP.

Our family enjoyed several of the songs on this video...Singing the songs of the sons of the pioneers, Last of the silver screen cowboys, Ode to Roy Rogers, etc.

One note: If you intend to buy this video, do not buy the vhs. The first time you watch this video, you will want to watch every minute of it; however, after the first time, you will find yourself fast forwarding to the easy feat with dvd.

When the SOTP celebrated their 75th anniversary, we didn't hesitate to buy the dvd. We were thrilled with the music! The return to the original accoustic sound is heart-warming. Of course, the music is still first-rate. The only disappointing thing was the lack of any SOTP history. It was merely a recording of a recent concert.
There is an excellent book called Hear My Song, written by Ken Griffis. It gets updated every decade or so. My copy is 15 years old. It contains wonderful history, pictures, biographies, etc. I was sad to read that Ken Griffis passed away recently.

The SOTP are the longest performing group of any kind. During the 60s and 70s, the popularity of western music waned, and it was hard to find an audience. Thankfully, western music is alive and well now...and thriving!

So while we most often read sad news about the SOTP...the recent death of longtime member Dale Warren (more than 55 years!), and the closing of the Roy Rogers is wonderful to know the next generation is enjoying the sounds of a century ago.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

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