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Sons of the Pioneers
February 3 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Artesia Arts Council proudly presents-The Legendary Sons of the Pioneers Western music stars as they return to Artesia. Thursday February 3rd, 6:30pm.
The group’s current lineup is Tommy Nallie (lead guitar and vocals), Ken Lattimore (vocals, fiddle), Roy (Dusty) Rogers, Jr., (vocals), John Fullerton (vocals, rhythm guitar), Paul Elliott (fiddle), and Chuck Ervin (bass, vocals). Last year, the Pioneers released their first album in eight years, “85 Years of Harmony,” to wide acclaim.
Long regarded as the most influential and most enduring Western music group, the Sons of the Pioneers are on their 86th Anniversary Tour. The Pioneers are considered the gold standard for Western music, delivering thrilling harmonies, iconic yodeling, and poetic images of the West. Signature songs like “Cool Water,” “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” forever rooted in Western lore, are stirring new audiences of all ages. Both “Tumbleweeds” and “Cool Water” have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
When Roy Rogers (then Leonard Slye) and gifted songwriters Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer began developing their trademark “Pioneer sound” in the 1930s, little did they realize they were launching a juggernaut that would become one of the most decorated and longest-lived groups in American music history. Since then, 47 official members have rotated through to keep the Pioneers’ musical campfire burning brightly.
“So many of these songs are masterpieces, and we try to stay true to the famous harmonies and music,” says Nallie, the current leader and only the fourth “trail boss” in the group’s history.
One development that Rogers—whose storied film, TV, and recording career earned him the moniker “King of the Cowboys”—might not have foreseen is the addition of his son, Dusty, into the group in 2018. “How many guys get to join their father’s group that their dad started 86 years ago?” says Rogers. “I think it’s almost unheard of.”
The Pioneers’ songs have appeared in more than 100 Western films and continue to be used widely, such as in the Coen brothers’ “The Big Lebowski” (1998) and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (2018), Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” (2018), and in Ken Burns’ epic “Country Music” TV documentary (2019). A Broadway musical about Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, “Happy Trails,” is due out in 2021.
The Pioneers are the most decorated group in Western music, winning honours from the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Western Music Association Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Texas Swing Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to name a few. The Smithsonian Institution has named the group one of America’s “National Treasures.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.sonsofthepioneers.org