The Sons of the Pioneers burst onto the Western music scene in 1934—and made a star of Roy Rogers. More than 75 years later, the legendary ensemble remains the world’s premiere cowboy singing group.
By Tom Wilmes
Collector John Fullerton offers his list of landmark Sons of the Pioneers albums.
“25 Favorite Cowboy Songs” (1955, RCA) The
Pioneer’s first long play album was culled from a series of 1947 radio transcriptions known as Teleways.
“Cool Water” (1959, RCA) The group’s all-time best-selling album features Lloyd Perryman, Tommy Doss, and Dale Warren.
“Tumbleweed Trail” (1962, RCA) This fan favorite includes “Cattle Call” and “The Lillies Grow High,” and was Karl Farr’s last recording with the group.
“Westward Ho” (1961, RCA) Only 200 copies of this rare LP were released and only to radio stations. If you can find one, it sells for about $300 today.
“Legends of the West” (1965, RCA) Both Dale Warren and Tommy Doss have commented that this LP of traditional cowboy songs is an all-time favorite.
“South of the Border” (1968, RCA) The last album to feature the classic trio of Lloyd, Tommy, and Dale. Most price guides list it to be worth around $80 today.
“Wagons West” (1996, Bear Family) This set includes the group’s first RCA sessions and covers the years 1945-52, as well as the 1954 Decca Coral sessions.
“Way Out There” (2009, Bear Family) This exhaustive box set features the earliest recordings of the Pioneers, from 1934-43, as well as Roy Rogers’ solo recordings.
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