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Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?

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Big Al Whittle 09 Jul 12 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Jul 12 - 12:04 AM
JohnInKansas 10 Jul 12 - 01:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jul 12 - 01:47 AM
terrier 10 Jul 12 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,999 10 Jul 12 - 04:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jul 12 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,999 10 Jul 12 - 04:45 AM
Will Fly 10 Jul 12 - 04:56 AM
GUEST, Sminky 10 Jul 12 - 05:31 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 12 - 05:41 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 12 - 06:31 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 12 - 06:41 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 12 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Jul 12 - 08:18 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 12 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Jul 12 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Jul 12 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,999 10 Jul 12 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,EBarnacle 10 Jul 12 - 09:55 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 12 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Jul 12 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,999 10 Jul 12 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Jul 12 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Mike Rogers 10 Jul 12 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,999 10 Jul 12 - 12:13 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 12 - 12:39 PM
pdq 10 Jul 12 - 12:49 PM
voyager 10 Jul 12 - 01:30 PM
Ebbie 10 Jul 12 - 01:32 PM
catspaw49 10 Jul 12 - 02:04 PM
Don Firth 10 Jul 12 - 02:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jul 12 - 02:11 PM
Seamus Kennedy 10 Jul 12 - 02:37 PM
open mike 10 Jul 12 - 02:52 PM
Jack the Sailor 10 Jul 12 - 02:56 PM
Don Firth 10 Jul 12 - 02:59 PM
pdq 10 Jul 12 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Hop -a-Long Cassidy 10 Jul 12 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Jul 12 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Hop -a-Long Cassidy 10 Jul 12 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 10 Jul 12 - 05:39 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Jul 12 - 08:27 PM
Seamus Kennedy 10 Jul 12 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 10 Jul 12 - 11:04 PM
pdq 10 Jul 12 - 11:11 PM
GUEST,999 11 Jul 12 - 12:17 AM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Jul 12 - 12:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Jul 12 - 12:46 AM
Artful Codger 11 Jul 12 - 01:27 AM
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Subject: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 08:52 PM

Of course Roy Rogers, the bluesman can. But I've just been watching Under Nevada Skies on the box, Roy Rogers(he of Trigger, Bullet and Dale Evans fame) was playing a first position G chord round about the fifth fret - which on the face of it - seems strange and inexplicable.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 12:04 AM

Of course he could play guitar! He played and sang long before he was in the movies. He founded "The Sons of the Pioneers", in fact.

If you look closely, chances are that there are no strings on Roy's guitar, or Elvis' guitar, or most other guitars in the movies. That's because the strings would reflect the stage lights. They didn't need strings, though, because the music was recorded before the movie was made and lip-synched. But you knew that...


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 01:21 AM

And despite years of breeding attempts, they were never able to create horses that could gallop backwards so that the stagecoach wheels could spin in the right direction. Although several patented devices came from the research on the photography of stagecoach wheels, none of the patented devices actually worked - much like a majority of more modern patents.

John


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 01:47 AM

ah that's a relief....!


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: terrier
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:06 AM

JinK LOL good one :)


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:18 AM

Fretless I understand. Stringless however . . . .


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:30 AM

Mind you - imagine the disappointment in store for all those kids who came home and tried to play like Roy from his finger positions in the movies.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:45 AM

Forsooth, Al. One chord doth not a robin make.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:56 AM

In the clips I've seen of Roy playing, the strings are very visible. Lip-synching maybe, but the strings were definitely there. There are even older clips of Jimmie Rodgers playing - all strung up and ready to go!


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 05:31 AM

I'm very proud to announce that my Great Aunt Lucy once entertained Roy Rogers to tea. She was matron of some nursing home. I have no further details about their encounter - which may be just as well ;]


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 05:41 AM

Re the retro-wagon·wheels as mentioned by JohnInKansas: presumably due to the wheels going round faster [or is it slower?; can't work it out] than the film runs over the spool at 16 [was it?] frames per second? As a child who frequented the Sat morning MickeyMouseClub kiddy programme at my local Finchley Road [London NW11] Regal around 1936-9, which was of course very Western oriented [Buck Jones, Ken Maynard, Hopalong Cassidy, Tom Mix, Randolph Scott, Tim Holt...], I was always puzzled as to why our milkman's cartwheels seemed to go round the 'wrong' way: I mean, I knew even then that the camera cannot lie!

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 06:31 AM

...and all mixed up in my mind with a song v popular at the time called The Wheel Of The Wagon Is Broken, about the end of the old West; later recorded by Patsy Montana, but I think it was Joe Loss's Band who played it in the mid-30s. Can't find any source for it online ~~ don't think it's traditional, but just could be I suppose. Anyone know of any writer/composer for this song?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 06:41 AM

Hooroo ~~ found it on another thread, from last year:

THE WHEEL OF THE WAGON IS BROKEN
H. Elton Box / Michael Carr / Desmond Cox


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 07:19 AM

From: Jim Dixon - PM
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 10:19 PM

"The Wheel of the Wagon Is Broken" was written by Michael Carr, Elton Box & Desmond Cox, in either 1925 or 1935, depending on which source you believe.

AMG/All Music Guide lists recordings by Milton Brown, Jack Jackson, Patsy Montana and ***Roy Rogers***.

I couldn't find any lyrics online
.

***Which is where we came in!


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 08:18 AM

What a daft question!
Why Roy could play the guitar whilst riding Trigger, whilst sweet talking Dale Evans .. and whilst shooting at those ugly villians!


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 08:24 AM

And you always knew they were villains and he wasn't coz his hat was white and theirs were black and he had shaved this morning but they had forgotten...
and he could play the guitar and they couldn't.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 09:39 AM

Here he is, doing "Don't Fence Me In" His fingers are moving the right way, and I believe he really knows how to play guitar.

When I was a kid, he had a TV show. One day I overheard my mother saying, "I don't like that Roy Rogers show. Whenever some man does something he doesn't like, he hits him." That made me realize that despite the cowboy glamour, that it was essentially a boring obnoxious show. So I quit watching.

Seeing the video makes me realize that he could sing better than I thought. Cute dimples, too.

Those narrow eyes he had make me wonder if he had any Native American blood. Does anybody know? Idle curiosity.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 09:41 AM

forgot the link

even worse than the cowboy kissing his horse


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 09:43 AM

Why wheels seem to go opposite to their true rotation.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,EBarnacle
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 09:55 AM

He was deinitely playing guitar in that cut. Trigger was a pretty good actor/dancer, too.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 11:00 AM

You could see the fingering OK; but the actual presence of strings? Not sure.

Anyhow; surely the wrong sort of instrument for a 'cowboy' image: F-hole, metal strung, danceband style plectrum guitar. A round-hole, flat-top, gut [in those pre-nylon days] strung instrument would surely have been more appropriate to the atmosphere aimed for?

Bruce: thanks for link above about the wheel-rotation. Oh HOW I wish I had wit enough to understand a single solitary word of it!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 11:37 AM

I bet any singer of country/cowboy songs in the years following Jimmy Rodgers' heyday would be able to play guitar - if only a little.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 11:49 AM

Michael, I felt the same when I read the article.

The way I learned it from my grandfather made it very clear to me when I was ten years old. I said, "Grampy, why do the wheels look like they are going backwards?" He replied, "Would you have asked that question had they looked like they were going forward?" It's had to argue with that logic when you're ten. I still see it that way these fifty-four years later.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 11:56 AM

MtheGM: He's not an actual cowboy, he's a cowboy-shaped instrument.

No real cowboy would have worn a flowered shirt, worn such tight clothes, worn his hat indoors or brought his horse into a building.

Real cowboys didn't have guns, either.

I think it's kinda sick that his horse was named Trigger and his dog Bullet.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 12:13 PM

I heard he had a cat called Dead Injun.

For the record I have two pictures of RR with guitars - one a Martin, other an anonymous archtop, with strings clearly visible and depressed in a chord shape.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 12:13 PM

Back in 2010, Trigger sold for $266,500. I didn't see Bullet in the auction items. Perhaps he'd been fired. Who knows.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 12:39 PM

True, leeneia; but I was talking artistically: that guitar seemed to me to fight the image they were trying to project.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 12:49 PM

Tim Spencer and Leonard Sly (later to be Roy Rogers) had to play enough guitar to make the Sons of the Pioneers work as a live act.

My computer doesn't do video well, but there seems to be some fun stuff at this sight.

{Note: first Martin 0M-45 Deluxe ever made, 1930. Roy got it in a pawn shop for $30.}

                                                                                                 Roy seems to be finerpickin'


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: voyager
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 01:30 PM

Watching TCM last night -
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) - That's Trigger She's Riding! this amazing bit of trivia came to bear....

Trigger (then named Golden Cloud) was the horse ridden by Olivia de Havilland in the film. Roy Rogers admired the horse so much that he bought Trigger to use in his own films. This eventually made Trigger one of the most famous animals in show business.

voyager


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 01:32 PM

"I think it's kinda sick that his horse was named Trigger and his dog Bullet."

It was a different era, Guest/leenia, of course, so it doesn't sound sick to me. I always heard that the horse was named that because he was 'quick on the trigger', i.e. fast in his responses. I suppose Bullet was named that as an offshoot of trigger.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:04 PM

He was named Bullet because he had to shoot out from beneath the falling horse shit.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:04 PM

Yup. Voyager beat me to it. I was just writing up the bit about Roy Rogers seeing the golden palomino in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938), buying him from the studio, and renaming him "Trigger."

There was a story going around that when Trigger died, Roy Rogers took him to a taxidermist and had him stuffed and mounted. The story goes that Roy was standing there one day, lost in thought, and looking at the immobile trigger. Then he turned and gave Dale a long, speculative look. She noticed his look, then said, "Don't even think about it!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:11 PM

Good old Roy!

I used t have this novel about him when I was a kid - the ghost of the Mystery Rancho. there was nasty villain called Bronc Alamar, Roy survived being lynched, and there was this fabulous picture of Roy on the front - wearing equisite pearl handled colts and, white stetson and magnificent cowboy suit.

he never played the guitar in the story.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:37 PM

Roy was an excellent jazz-style player for rhythm. Then when the Farr brothers, Hugh and Karl, came into the Pioneer Trio which became the Sons of the Pioneers with their Reinhardt/Grapelli guitar/fiddle jazz stylings of movie western cowboy music, Roy's guitar was more in the background. But he could play.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: open mike
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:52 PM

oh, and this is the "other" Roy Rogers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Rogers_%28guitarist%29
He often played with a harmonica player, Norton Buffalo (now deceased)
here is a song of theirs which was recorded by the Grateful Dead
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u9api6tQEA
Ain't No Bread in the Breadbox.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:56 PM

Roy could play just like Seamus says and the horse could dance. Here's proof.

I think stim was wrong about the strings and right about the lip syncing.. There is no way there could audio record that performance.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:59 PM

Interesting to note that Ken Curtis, who played Festus on "Gunsmoke" sang lead vocals with the Sons of the Pioneers from 1949 to 1953.

I was watching "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" one evening in the late 1960s when both Ken Curtis and Milburn Stone, who played "Gunsmoke's" Doc, were guests on the show. They did some "Gunsmoke" take-off skits which were pretty funny, then somewhere in the last half of the show, Campbell, Curtis, Stone, one or two other fellows put together a quick pick-up group and did a medley of "Sons of the Pioneers" songs. Campbell said at the time that Curtis had been lead singer with the group for several years.

A good bit. They sounded very much like the original group, especially with Curtis singing lead.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 03:10 PM

Tim Spencer wrote "Room Full of Roses" but it was Ken Curtis who sang the lead, probably the most recognized effort from the pre-Gunsmoke Curtis.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,Hop -a-Long Cassidy
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:06 PM

Good guy was our Roy .About the meanest old shadow geetar player standing round Hollywood indem days.Sure was , aint no-wan likened to him ever since them days , no more , so there aint , Bless his weary soul, Trigger ,Bullet & Rin Tin Tin too , Lord Bless yawla them folks sadly now departed.Greetings from Tonto too !
l-o- Love , from Hop -A -Long


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:14 PM

What's a shadow guitar?


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,Hop -a-Long Cassidy
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 04:30 PM

Posturing & shaping at playing , taint no more than that


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 05:39 PM

The Pioneer Trio among other names, Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer, and Len Slye played together for a few years in southern California and were well regarded as a novelty vocal group with Guitar and Bass and three voices doing cowboy swing. But they were not special enough to be more than a local group along with several good local groups.

Somewhere along the way they met the brilliant Hugh and Karl Farr. The brothers added fine fiddle and guitar virtuosity> This allowed Len Slye to play straight rhythm and sing and yodel. Up to this point, 1933, Len Slye was the guitarist. The pristine harmony of the three singers and he Farr brothers exceptional musicality gave the band the stuff they needed to become the exceptional group they were.

Look at the movies made by Gene Autry where the Sons of The Pioneers are his back up band to see and hear how good they were. Those are real chords that Roy is playing in those songs.

Roy (Len Slye) was a fine musician and singer. His yodeling is a standard few can meet.

Don


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 08:27 PM

"And you always knew they were villains and he wasn't coz his hat was white and theirs were black and he had shaved this morning but they had forgotten..."

Early in his Hollywood career, (or maybe one should say before he had a career there) Roy did appear in a bit part as a "member of the gang" of evil-doers.

It was rather a shock to see, among the surly, weatherbeaten, scarred and swarthy faced unshaven, and mostly musclebound THUGS, toward the back of the bunch this "almost angelic" clean shaven, smooth skinned, smiling little baby-faced "cherub" - with no hat at all - (and he also had on a clean shirt).

The movie was a sub-B grade western (give it an F flat--ulent) and I hadn't paid any attention to the title before I saw him in "the gang," and they didn't show any credits at the end, so I was never able to determine if they bothered to give it a "title."

John


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 08:39 PM

Couldn't have said it better, Don M. Happy trails, pardner.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 11:04 PM

Thanks Seamus, Happy Trails to you too.

Roy shows up as a bad guy in an early John Wayne western. Typically when the Sons portray a gang of bad guys they are called the Whittaker Brothers.

Don


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 11:11 PM


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 12:17 AM

Anyone figured out the chord he's playing in that shot?

Keep in mind that the guitar he's posing with has a fret marker between the nut and the first fret, so the right-hand side where the guitar head is cropped starts at the first fret on that guitar.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 12:26 AM

Listen to the Sons of the Pioneers playing in the background of the Hollywood canteen clip. The Farr Brothers were the equal of Stephane and Django, or Eddy Lang and Joe Venuti IMHO, except they applied the jazz riffs to western music.


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 12:46 AM

'The Farr Brothers were the equal of Stephane and Django, or Eddy Lang and Joe Venuti '

wow! that is good!


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Subject: RE: Could Roy Rogers play the guitar?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 01:27 AM

And of course, cowboys took full-sized guitars with them on cattle drives, slung across their backs, and never broke a string or even went out of tune. (In real life, a guitar would have been kindling in a day, even if cookie, in an uncharacteristic act of largess and unreason, let a cowboy stow one in his jam-packed chuck wagon.)

It's well documented, however, that 'tweren't unusual for a cowboy to ride his horse into a barroom with his hat on and Colts a-blazing. A trailhand had to have a bit of fun on his occasional visits to civilization.


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