“It’s the way you ride the trail that counts”

daleevansI grew up with Dale Evans Rogers, the “Queen of the Cowgirls,” as a role model. I wonder how many little girls wanted to grow up to be Dale Evans. I love her title quote: “It’s the way you ride the trail that counts.” Growing up on an eastern Montana ranch during the 1950s and ’60s taught me that lesson. It could have been my motto.

Dale Evans began life as Frances Octavia Smith and stands out as one of the most powerful female presences in cowboy culture throughout the 20th century. She married young and was widowed at 17. In 1947 she married Roy Rogers and made 28 movies with him.  In 1950, Dale wrote”Happy Trails to You,” the song most closely associated with the cowboy fascination of the ’50s,  while preparing for a radio show. Scribbling on an envelope, she wrote the famous lyrics and taught the medley to Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers forty minutes before show time. The song eventually served as the closing song for their half-hour television series, The Roy Rogers Show, which ran until 1957.

Dale Evans Rogers died in 2001 at age 88. A real cowgirl hero to many of us.

Published in: on January 5, 2009 at 1:11 am  Comments (12)  
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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. She was always a heroine to me! I wanted to see more of her and less of Roy. Maybe thats why I have a thing for buckskin horses?
    Anyway thanks for the memory!

  2. I grew up in the same era as an avid fan of Roy Rogers. He and Dale Evans showed an idealized and very decent view of the West. They were good people.

  3. Wow! This dates us, doesn’t it? I loved both Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as well as the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry and others. I never realized my dream of being a cowgirl, but my daughter did and currently teaches therapeutic riding to kids with physical and emotional challenges.

  4. That’s pretty interesting info. Thanks!

  5. Wow, I think if I would have had Dale Evans’s last night, I would have changed it, too.

  6. Wow! Interesting stuff! That’s a great motto to live by.

  7. Guess I have always had a fascination, too. I even gave Roy and Dale a mention in my novel.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Author of The Ride

  8. Dale Evans Rogers was a very talented lady. I can’t image creating the lyrics and music to a song in just 40 minutes!

  9. Thanks, fellow bloggers for checking out my post today! This is fun, isn’t it?

    Happy blogging, all.

  10. Wow – that took me back. I was mesmerized as a child with the Roy Rogers show. And didn’t know that Dale had written the soundtrack song. good post.

  11. How interesting! I had no idea Dale Evans wrote the theme song.

  12. Dale wore Roy’s classy cowboy clothes on a few occasions; during their movie ” Moon of Texas ” ; Roy saves Dale from drowning in the Kern River; he takes her back to his ranch, ” loans ” her one of his fancy pants outfits, Dale admires herself wearing Roy’s great cowboy duds while looking in a mirror. Dale looks as “cute as a button “cross-dressing in Roys’ cowboy clothes. His ranch pants are big on her but she looks pretty sexy in them anyway, plus sporting his cowboy boots,ranger pants belt & Western shirt. A sexy mini-Roy.

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