PROPERTY FROM THE ROY ROGERS - DALE EVANS MUSEUM
Leonard Franklin Slye's (Roy Rogers) career as a professional musician came to fruition in 1933 with the launch of the Western Music ensemble Sons of the Pioneers. Founded by Slye, along with Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer, and Hugh Farr, their unique style of cowboy music sung in tight four-part harmony became synonymous with the Country and Western Music scene in Los Angeles prior to World War II. By 1934 their syndicated radio show on KFWB had broadcast their sound across America, which won them movie work as well as a recording contract with Decca Records the same year. The group would record 32 songs for Decca over the next two years with hits like Way Out There, Cool Water and Tumbling Tumbleweeds. They would earn the respect of seasoned Hollywood performers like Gene Autry and Bing Crosby and go on to win work with studios like Warner Brothers, Republic Pictures and Columbia. By 1935 Leonard Slye was finding work as both a musician as well an actor. In 1938 he won the audition as leading man replacing Gene Autry at Republic Pictures where he took the stage name to Roy Rogers and permanently shifted the focus of his work from music to acting. Throughout his career Rogers would appear in over 100 films establishing him as a matinee idol in Western Films. Along with his wife Dale Evens, The Roy Rogers Show would expose him to the generation of post war children on both radio and television earning him an endearing following that dubbed him The King of the Cowboys.
Roy Rogers has twice been voted into Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. His first induction was in 1980 for his contribution as a founding member of the Sons of the Pioneers and again in 1988 for his work as a solo performer.