Sparkling Vintage Fiction. Among other things.

Sunday Serenade: Singing Cowboys

Here’s a sentimental piece from the 1930s called “The Voice in the Old Village Choir.” The Ranch Boys were a radio-based group of singing cowboys that featured Ken Carson, who also sang with a better-known group called Sons of the Pioneers.

Started in the mid-1920s and epitomized by Gene Autry, the singing-cowboys trend remained hot throughout the 1930s and 1940s, spurred (sorry) by the popularity of the Western film, which nearly always included a cowboy song or two. These songs emphasized bravery, honesty, the grueling work and lonely life of the trail, and–like this one–fond memories of home and loved ones left behind. Other well-known singing cowboys included Ken Maynard and Roy Rogers. Even John Wayne “sang” in some of his early Westerns, although his singing voice was dubbed–apparently he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Enjoy a Sparkling Vintage Sunday!

5 Responses to Sunday Serenade: Singing Cowboys

  • Madison says:

    *looks delighted* Oooohh! A post dedicated to the singing cowboys, featuring my own Ken Carson?! Say it isn’t so! 😀 Oh, this tickles me to no end. I’m a huge fan of the silver screen cowboys (heh, that goes without saying– I’m Ken Carson’s biographer!), so it always gives me a thrill when other folks give ’em a shoutout. 🙂 I’ve subscribed for updates– in addition for being a fan of the siging cowboys, I’m a huge fan of the early 1900s, particularly the 40s! You’ve got the most darling website here. 🙂

    Cheerfully,
    Madison

    The Ken Carson Tribute

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks, Madison! How fun that you’re his biographer. I’ll be sure to check out the Ken Carson Tribute.

    • Madison says:

      The link on the bottom of my comments doesn’t work because I forgot the “http//:” in the HTML…. shew. Well, my name links to the same. 😀

  • Madison says:

    Oh yes. Here’s a couple things (pardon me, in addition to being a cowboy-and-1940s enthusiast, I’m a perfectionist!):
    Ken Carson (then performing under his real name of Hubert, nicknamed “Shorty”), wasn’t the featured performer of the Ranch Boys– if any of them were, it’d be Jack Ross. But Kenny got a few solos here and there. His voice vastly improved by the 1940s, like so:
    Goodbye Old Paint — Ken Carson

    ………anyway. I do tend to ramble. 😛 Another thing was that I’m near certain that Ken Maynard never sang. I’ve only seen one of his movies, but in that movie they dubbed in another voice and had him lip-sync it because he didn’t have a good singing voice– maybe you meant Gene Autry? He was one of the most famous (if not THE most famous) singing cowboy, along with Roy.

    Did I mention that I can talk forever when I get started on my beloved cowboys? 😀 I tell ya, I go around wearing my cowboy hat and wearing a Ken Carson Tribute pin on my vest. People look at me funny sometimes….but that’s their problem for not appreciating the treasures of the Golden Era!

    The Ken Carson Tribute

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the clarifications! I do wish the singing cowboy (and heroes like him) would return. That was the kind of wholesome, cheerful entertainment we could use more of, IMO.

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