Riders In The Sky are great modern champions of the cowboy music, or Western style of country music. Founded in 1977, this Nashville-based band revives the singing cowboy, with a hefty dose of old-school vaudeville or medicine show comedy. Often pitched at a younger audience, their repertoire includes children's songs, holiday music and plenty of windswept ballads about the lone prairie... Here's a quick look at their work...
Riders In The Sky "The Best Of The West Rides Again" (Rounder, 1990)
Riders In The Sky "Saturday Morning With Riders In The Sky" (MCA, 1992)
Riders In The Sky "Cowboy Songs" (Rounder, 1996)
Riders In The Sky "Yodel The Cowboy Way" (Rounder, 1998)
Riders In The Sky "Three On The Trail" (Rounder, 1979)
Riders In The Sky "Cowboy Jubilee" (Rounder, 1981)
Riders In The Sky "Prairie Serenade" (Rounder, 1982)
Riders In The Sky "Weeds And Water" (Rounder, 1983)
Riders In The Sky "Live" (Rounder, 1984)
Riders In The Sky "New Trails" (Rounder, 1986)
Riders In The Sky "Saddle Pals" (Rounder, 1987)
Kiddie comedy versions of old cowboy ballads and original songs by this western music revivalists. I find it a little precious, but I bet a live version -- ie seen in person, live, and when you're six years old or under -- would have been a lot of fun.
Riders In The Sky "Best Of The West" (Rounder, 1987)
Riders In The Sky "The Cowboy Way" (MCA, 1987)
Riders In The Sky "Riders Radio Theater" (MCA, 1988)
Riders In The Sky "Riders Go Commercial" (MCA, 1989)
Riders In The Sky "Horse Opera" (MCA, 1990)
Riders In The Sky "Harmony Ranch" (CBS, 1991)
Riders In The Sky "Merry Christmas From Harmony Ranch" (CBS, 1992)
Riders In The Sky "Cowboys In Love" (Epic, 1994)
Riders In The Sky "Always Drink Upstream From The Herd" (Rounder, 1995)
Riders In The Sky "Public Cowboy #1: A Centennial Salute To The Music Of Gene Autry" (Rounder, 1996/2007)
(Produced by Joey Miskulin)
A fun, free-spirited tribute to genial Gene Autry, the king of the singing cowboys... Ranger Doug and his posse put this album out in 1996 (when Autry was still around, to celebrate his 100th birthday!) and it garnered plenty of well-deserved praise. The second time around was just as sweet, packed with Autry-identified oldies such as "Back In The Saddle Again," and hits-of-the-day that Autry recorded such as "Sioux City Sue," "You Are My Sunshine" and "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You." There's plenty of nice pickin' and sweet yodeling, songs about sunsets and dusty old trails -- and there are four added bonus tracks that weren't on the original '96 edition. Fans of the style will want to check this one out... it's pretty dandy!
Riders In The Sky "A Great Big Western Howdy..." (Rounder, 1998)
Ranger Doug, Too Slim and Woody Paul are back, with a pretty snappy little album... Well produced and tuneful; the comedy angle only get in the way occasionally... Nice harmonizing, and a pleasantly stripped-down musical approach. Not bad!
Riders In The Sky "Christmas The Cowboy Way" (Rounder, 1999)
A for-kids holiday album, cowboy'n'western acoustic tunes with a bit of western swing fiddling in the mix. Probably too cutesy for most of y'all, but for the right lil' buckaroo, this disc might be kinda fun.
Riders In The Sky "Woody's Roundup: A Rootin' Tootin' Collection Of Woody's Favorite Songs" (Disney, 2000)
Riders In The Sky "A Pair Of Kings" (Oh Boy, 2002)
Riders In The Sky "Ridin' The Tweetsie Railroad" (Self Released, 2002)
An homage to the Tweetsie Railroad, a steam-engine on a 3-mile track left over from an older commercial line in North Carolina. It's now part of an amusement park, a family-themed attraction where the Riders have presumably played a time or two... Available through the band's website.
Riders In The Sky "Monsters, Inc. Scream Factory Favorites" (Disney, 2002)
Riders In The Sky "Silver Jubilee" (Acoustic Disc, 2003)
Riders In The Sky "...Present Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier" (Rounder, 2004)
Riders In The Sky "Live From The Golden Age Of Riders Radio Theater" (Riders Radio Records, 2006)
Riders In The Sky "Lassoed Live" (Nashville Symphony, 2009)
The Riders playing live at the Schermerhorn Theater, along with the Nashville Symphony... Fancy!
Riders In The Sky "Land Beyond The Sun" (Riders Radio, 2011)
(Produced by Joey Miskulin)
A nice singing-cowboy gospel album, mining familiar veins of Bob Nolan and other classic western artists, along with a few new originals by Ranger Doug and his posse, with perky guitar, zippy accordion and plaintive harmonies galore. There's a big camp meeting in the sky, and these fellas are gonna be singing around the fire... Saddle up, folks!
Riders In The Sky "America's Favorite Cowboy Songs" (Cracker Barrel, 2012)
Riders In The Sky & Wilford Brimley "Home On The Range" (Riders Radio, 2013)
The Riders back the play of much-mustachioed TV and movie actor Wilford Brimley worked as a ranch hand in his youth, and it was through his work on '60s westerns that he gradually found a career as a character actor, playing a loveable old coot in parts on The Waltons, and in films such as Tender Mercies and Cocoon. Here he indulges a love of cowboy poetry, in as gruff and soft-hearted a style as you might imagine.
Hick Music Index