Saturday, July 6, 2013

Remembering Roy Rogers November 5, 1911 - July 6, 1998

Roy Rogers was born Leonard Franklin Slye in Cincinnati, Ohio and got started in the music business by playing at square dances.  He took the name Roy Rogers in 1937 and his big break in the entertainment industry took place the following year when he was cast in a film to replace Gene Autry following a contract dispute.  The rest is history.  His nickname was "King of the Cowboys"

Rogers became a legendary film cowboy and made many films (mostly western) with his golden palomino, "Trigger" and his trusty dog, "Bullet"  In 1944, Dale Evans, his wife and partner came together when Dale was offered a role alongside Roy in "The Yellow Rose of Texas"  Together, they made 400 recordings and 27 films along with their hit television series "The Roy Rogers Show" and then "The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show"

He was also an accomplished musician and early in his career, formed the "Sons of the Pioneers" a popular Western Cowboy music group that had hits including "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"

Other films include "Dark Command" with John Wayne "Trucolor," and "The Old Homestead"

Rogers and Evans co-hosted a television show "The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show" that ran on ABC and he made numerous appearances on other popular television shows. Rogers and Evans were strong advocates for adoption and and were outspoken Christians.

He was one of the most marketed and merchandised stars of his era and was the namesake of the Roy Rogers Restaurants.

He appeared in the Top Ten Money Makers Poll of all films in 1945-46 and was listed 15 consecutive times on Motion Picture Herald Top Ten Money-Making Western Stars.

He received numerous honors during his lifetime and posthumously .  Rogers died on July 6, 1998 from congestive heart failure at the age of 86.

Thousands gathered for his service at the Church of the Valley in Apple Valley.  Following the services, the funeral procession took him one final lap around his beloved Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum before being laid to rest in the Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Apple Valley. Pictured are his funeral program and thank you card.

Happy Trails!

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