Roy Rogers The King of the CowboysRoy Rogers Queen of the WestHats off to Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

King of the Cowboys

Queen of the West

The life, career, and accomplishments of both Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were truly astounding. Presented here - in no particular order - are some facts and trivia about the King of the Cowboys. I hope you enjoy reading this tribute as much as I enjoyed compiling it.

In 1943 Republic Studios declared Roy Rogers to be the "King of the cowboys". The cowboy superstar from Duck Run, Ohio, fit the silver-saddle throne like no man before or since. As a sagebrush movie hero, he shot the straightest, and rode the fastest. He sang, yodeled and strummed the guitar. He was fabulously well-dressed in fringe, and his partner, Dale Evans, was just about the prettiest cowgirl there ever was.Roy Rogers and Trigger

By the early 1940's Roy had become the screen's top Western star. From 1943 through 1954, he was the number one ranked Cowboy Star, based on box office receipts, and for a few years, he even ranked in the top ten for all movie stars! In 1950 there were more than two thousand Roy Rogers fan clubs around the globe. Roy and his wife Dale were in great demand for public appearances. They regularly rode in all the biggest parades and performed at all the grandest rodeos throughout the nation.

In 1951 Roy and Dale moved to television and starred for six years on "The Roy Rogers Show", with co-star Pat Brady, and his dog Bullet. They also created several long-running radio series that featured their singing duets and dramatic sketches. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were simply the most popular cowboy and cowgirl the world has ever known.

Facts and Trivia:

Leonard Slye's boyhood home- Leonard Slye was born on November 5, 1911 in Cincinnati and grew up as a farm boy in Duck Run, Ohio. Due to hard times he was forced to drop out of high school after two years, and to go to work in a shoe factory beside his father.

- In 1931 he moved to California with his father where they worked as fruit pickers.

- Roy was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame twice. Once as a member of "The Sons of the Pioneers" in 1980, and again in 1988 as Roy Rogers.

- The original name of Roy's band was "TheRogers with the Sons of the Pioneers Pioneer Trio", but it was later changed to "The Sons of The Pioneers" at the suggestion of a radio announcer who thought they looked too young to be Pioneers. Leonard aka Roy was only twenty two at the time.

- His biggest song hit was "Happy Trails" which was penned by Dale.

- In Roy's debut - Under Western Stars - he rode a magnificent palomino stallion initially named Golden Cloud, but but was later renamed Trigger.

- Some of Roy's best-loved movie sidekicks
Rogers & Gabby Hayes
include Gabby Hayes, Andy Devine, Pinky Lee and Pat Brady.

- Roy performed many of his own stunts. He was an outstanding athlete and stayed in superb physical condition.

- He was perhaps the best horseman of all the leading cowboys in Hollywood.

Roy and Dale's Wedding Photo- In 1944 Rogers did a film entitled 'The Cowboy and the Senorita' alongside a feisty cowgirl, by the name of Dale Evans. Three years later Roy and Dale were married.

- In 1950 there were more than two thousand Roy Rogers fan clubs around the globe, and he once received over 78,000 pieces of fan mail in a single month

- He was an excellent marksman, with handguns, rifles, shotguns, and even a bow and arrow.

Roy & Dale in Vietnam- Roy was a patriot who loved his flag and country. He sold millions of dollars worth of War Bonds during World War II and made numerous USO tours of military bases with Trigger. Years later he also made a tour of Vietnam.

- Roy had a way with animals and at one time owned 37 coon dogs. He even raised and raced pigeons.

Rogers family on boat- Roy and Dale loved children. Through the years, they made hundreds of visits to children's hospitals and orphanages all over the country, and even opened their own - Happy Trails Children's Foundation - for severely abused and neglected children.

- Their love of children showed most in their home life. They where the parents to nine children, with 15 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren. They truly had an International family, adopting Dodie, an American Indian girl, Debbie, a Korean American girl, and Sandy, a little boy from Kentucky, who had been severely abused. Marion, a foster daughter from Scotland, came to live with them as a teenager.

R Rogers at the bowling alley- Roy was a man of many interests. He was a rancher, horse breeder and trainer. He was a sportsman, outdoors man, hunter and fisherman. He was an avid bowler and an occasional golfer.

- At one time Roy was asked to run for Congress on the Republican ticket. His reply was, "I have both Democrat and Republican fans and I can't afford to lose any of them!"

- Roy was a firm believer in our 2nd Amendment Rights, and appeared in TV commercials as an NRA spokesman.

- Roy was a 33rd Degree Mason

Rogers Museum- The Roy Rogers & Dale Evans museum is located in Branson Missouri. Their joint autobiography, "The Story of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans: Happy Trails," was published in 1979.

- Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were proud Christians, who at the top of their careers in 1950, made a decision to include a religious song in each of their many live performances.

Roy signing with Country Western stars- In later years, Roy and Dale appeared many times with Billy Graham in Crusades all over the country, singing gospel songs and giving their testimony.

- In 1991 he was prevailed upon to record a new album, called "Tribute," which served as a valedictory for his career. The album had the 80 year-old cowboy singing with Kathy Mattea, Ricky Van Shelton, Randy Travis, and nine other country stars. It ended with them all singing "Happy Trails" together. One of the songs a musical duet with Clint Black titled "Hold On Partner," found it's way onto the country music charts.

On July 6th, 1998, Roy Rogers - The King of the Cowboys, rode off into the sunset. Sadly, Dale Evans followed on Feb. 7th, 2001.

Roy and Dale in the '90s

Happy Trails, Roy & Dale...until we meet again!

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