The Singing Cowboys
Outside of the actual realm of country music (country
and western music are actually two very different things), which developed
in the Appalachians in the early part of the century, the Singing Cowboy
was a nostalgic throwback or recreation of the American West (Texas, Oklahoma,
Wyoming, etc.) and its "cowboy" or western songs from the 19th century,
which had long since passed.
ROY ROGERS (1911-1998)
Cincinnati-born Rogers was part of the "Singing Cowboys" phenomenon of the 1930s and 1940s. Although "cowboy singers" started recording in the 1920s, it was in the '30s when Hollywood decided to make musical western movies that they became a really big fad. Gene Autry was the first big star of this kind, appearing in the movies and releasing records. After a contract dispute in the late 30s, he was replaced by Roy Rogers, who became the next big star throughout World War II and the following years.
Roy Rogers was one of Keith's first idols, around the age of 7-8, when he would attend western matinees in Dartford.
I distinctly remember this conversation I had with Keith (when we first knew each other). We lived in the same block and I asked Keith what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said he wanted to be like Roy Rogers and play guitar. I wasn't particularly impressed with the Roy Rogers bit but the part about guitar DID interest me.
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