Roy Rogers was another of the singing Western movie stars who moved real easily onto the TV screen. His show ran from the beginning of 1951 through most of 1957.
What I remember most about this show was "Bullet", the dog. I think this was the first regular cowboy show to have a dog that was almost as big a star as the star's horse!
In the Fall of 1951, Post Cereals agreed to sponsor "The Roy Rogers Show". So they had a 30-minute premier called "Presenting Roy Rogers - King of the Cowboys" (today we would call this a "pilot"). They featured songs by Dale (and the Whippoorwills), some funny stuff by Pat Brady, and Bob Hope promoting "Son of Paleface", the movie he and Roy had just made together. They even had Trigger in a sketch with Roy and Bob Hope. Then they showed the movie which established the setting and the characters for the TV series.
All About the Show
The Roy Rogers Show was more contemporary than the other old TV cowboy shows - it wasn't like the "old West" - they had cars and telephones, but the action was mostly on horseback. Dale Evans, Roy's wife, co-starred. And their bumbling helper was Roy Roger's sidekick, Pat Brady.
"Trigger" was his beautiful Palomino horse; "Buttermilk" was Dale's buckskin horse; and Pat had his cantankerous jeep "Nellybelle".
Not only did this show provide us with the usual horse star (Trigger was beautiful, very talented, and all decked out in fancy sadle and bridle), but it went one step further and gave us "Bullet", the dog star (a really smart German Shepherd)!
Roy owned the Double R Bar Ranch in Mineral City and Dale ran the Eureka Cafe. The "King of the Cowboys" got plenty of help from his assortment of partners while he fought for law and order. He wanted kids to see that life rewards courtesy, bravery and hard work. In his show, goodness always prevailed. He took care of all the bad guys, taught us kids some important lessons in the process, and managed to keep those colorful, fringed shirts that he always wore neat as a pin!
Roy and Dale created the "Riders Club" for all the little buckaroos who were their fans. The Club had these 10 rules for us kids to live by:
1. Be neat and clean.
2. Be courteous and polite.3. Obey your parents.4. Protect and help the weak.5. Be brave but never take chances.6. Study hard and learn all you can.7. Be kind to animals and take good care of them.8. Eat all your food and never waste any.9. Love God and go to Sunday School regularly.10. Respect your country and its flag.
They loved children and were a great role model for us!
Would you like to see the show's opening again? Just click on the center button in the video box below for that familiar scene!
Each show closed with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing their famous theme song "Happy Trails To You"! To hear Roy and Dale, and see some great pictures of them, just click on the center button in the video box below, sit back, and enjoy!
Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers) was born on Nov. 5, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before becoming Roy Rogers, he starred in movies under the stage name Dick Weston, but the studio thought that name was too bland and wanted to change it. So they chose Rogers because Will Rogers was loved by all America, and added the first name of Leroy. That was shortened to Roy and, in 1938, Leonard Slye became Roy Rogers. In 1942 he made the name change legal.
Roy Rogers appeared in his last movie, "Mackintosh and T.J.", in 1976. He died of natural causes on July 6, 1998. He was 87 years old and his health had been failing in the 2 years prior to his death.
Frances Octavia Smith (Dale Evans) was born on Oct. 31, 1912 in Uvalde, Texas. She suffered from congestive heart failure and died, surrounded by her family singing the hymns that she loved so much, on Feb. 7, 2001.
Robert Ellsworth O'Brady had always been called Pat, so his character's name became Pat Brady. He was a lifelong friend of Roy Rogers, was a very funny guy, and was a member of the "Sons of the Pioneers". He served in France with Gen. Patton's 3rd. Army during WWII and was decorated with 2 Purple Hearts. Alcoholism plagued his life after the war and he died in an alcohol rehab center on Feb. 27, 1972 at the young age of 57.
What do you remember most about Roy Rogers?
Do you have favorite memories of the Roy Rogers Show? Maybe it's Trigger, or Nellybelle. Please share them with us!!
What Other Visitors Have Said
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Roy's Western wear His dressy, sleek cowboy outfit was the best! His cowboy ranch pants, designed by Nudie Cohn, had smile pockets front & rear with continuous contrast piping …
His good looks, of course!! haha Not rated yet No story to tell, really. I'm just one of thousands of little girls who had the biggest crush on Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lash LaRue, Rex Allen, well, …
Pat Brady Not rated yet I loved watching The Roy Rogers Show on Saturday mornings, back when shows were worth watching, even if hokey by today's standards. I love the show, but …
Sons of the Pioneers Not rated yet Actually, I watched Roy Rogers before he became a cowboy star in the late '30s and early '40s singing in the background of a western movie as a member …