The Sons of the Pioneers are legends in Western Music. One of the longest-lasting country vocal groups, the original Pioneers lineup began singing Western songs in 1933. Before the 1930s, “Western music” as we now know it was not recognized by most people, but that changed with the rise of cowboy stories in radio and film. Sons of the Pioneers were, well, “pioneers” of the genre. Founding members Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, and Tim Spencer were the first Western singing groups to diverge from “sweetheart songs” sung by guitar-playing cowboys at the campfire. The trio began writing and singing songs about the West itself, both as a reality and the mythic concept of “The West,” the quintessential American frontier. Their songs about cowboys, horses, cattle drives, prairies, tall timber, and deep canyons made an impression on listeners across the country.
Sons of the Pioneers gained fame in nationally syndicated radio segments and from their involvement in cowboy movies. The group appeared in more than 80 films. Their music continues to be used in movies, including The Big Lebowski and Rango. The band has undergone many lineup changes. Today the current Sons of the Pioneers, Luther Nallie, Gary LeMaster, Ken Lattimore, Randy Rudd, Mark Abbott, and Ricky Boer carry on the Western musical traditions of their predecessors. They still awe audiences playing Sons of the Pioneers classics like “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” “Cool Water,” “Teardrops in my Heart,” and “Blue Shadows on the Trail.”
Sons of the Pioneers have prestigious award sfrom the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, the Western Music Association, and the Grammys. They have their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and have been named “National Treasures” by the Smithsonian Institution.
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