Riders In The Sky Picks Up Cowboy Spirit Award

Brody Vercher | April 9th, 2008

  1. Chris N.
    April 9, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Johnny Cash, as Homer’s coyote spirit guide, uttered the third best ‘Simpsons’ line ever: “This is just your memory. I can’t give you any new information.”

  2. Rick
    April 9, 2008 at 10:27 am

    I enjoy listening to the Riders In The Sky on the Opry but they are a cowboy shtick vaudeville act at heart. Yes they love the music and heritage, but its still a vaudeville act that unfortunately is about the only cowboy music most country music fans ever hear these days. There are great current cowboy music artists around, like Dave Stamey, that are still creating fine new songs in the cowboy genre. Its too bad real cowboy artists like Dave don’t get more media exposure…..

    Bill Wescott’s article about country music and divorce is a hoot. I’d say the divorce rate is lower among religious folks and the country music audience nationwide includes a lot of religious folks (especially in the South), so I’d guess the divorce rate among country fans may actually be lower than the average. That’s assuming both husband and wife love country music so music taste incompatibility is not as issue and drinkin’ and cheatin’ aren’t involved….

    Last night “rising country star” Julianne Hough (pronounced Huff) got eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars” due to partner Adam Corolla. Now she can concentrate on promoting her current single on country radio which is moving up the charts.

  3. M.C.
    April 9, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Anyone who sings cowboy music has to have a little vaudeville in them, going back to Gene Autry. The whole classic catalog was mostly written by Tin Pan Alley guys for Hollywood B-movies or musicals on stage and screen. Anyone writing in that tradition today builds on those great old melodies and images.

    Riders in the Sky should be commended for doing it, for what, 30 years or so now. When they started, there wasn’t the western music circuit that existed today, slight as it may be. They did it wholly out of love for those old songs and that cowboy image and ideal. They helped keep that stuff alive through some real thin years, for them and the music. Besides, their work in “Toy Story” alone deserves more respect than calling them shtick.

    But, yes, they’re funny and entertaining, and even call themselves comedy and western sometimes. But Doug Green is a helluva tenor and a good acoustic picker–they don’t feature him in the Time Jumpers for nothing–and his knowledge of the Western song catalog is twice as deep as anyone alive. Woody Paul is a fine fiddler, too. And Too Slim, well, he is really funny. Maybe it’s just my kind of shtick.

    I wouldn’t say they get a whole lot of media exposure themselves, not any more. But just because someone else doesn’t get much, I wouldn’t begrudge Riders what attention they do get.

  4. Lucas
    April 9, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Riders In The Sky – Love what they do. Saw them at the Opry, great family fun, they keep that HEEHAW spirited style alive.

    Strait – Who even cares who reviews the album, anything the guy touches turns to gold… then platinum a week later.

    Charlie Daniels – I don’t blame him, it has to be disheartening to lose the rights to any song you wrote.

  5. Rick
    April 9, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    M.C. I apologize for coming off so harsh. Every April I attend the Santa Clarita Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival at Gene Autry’s old Melody Ranch studio and get to see performers like Don Edwards and The Sons of the San Joaquin, and this year The Hot Club of Cowtown. The cowboy and western music artists who perform there mostly take their music seriously although Sourdough Slim does a vaudeville act straight from the 1920′s intentionally. Cowboy music can be extremely moving and powerful when done by skilled artists, but The Riders just remind me too much of the kind of goofy acts I saw at Disneyland as a kid back in the 1960′s to take seriously.

    Artists performing on the Opry this coming Saturday night include Jamey Johnson, The Wrights, and Joe Nichols and NONE of them will perform during the televised GAC broadcast segment! Instead we get Jewel, Jason Aldean, and Jason Michael Carroll (along with John Anderson who should be on). Is the Opry seeking to mirror Top 40 country radio these days? Heaven (and Hank) forbid! (lol)

  6. Mike W.
    April 10, 2008 at 7:11 am

    I think Country music has less to do with the divorce rate and the rise of people deciding not to get married and just live together is more of it.

  7. M.C.
    April 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm


    That makes sense, I can understand how the Riders could come off that way in that setting. They used to tailor shows for different audiences, maybe they don’t do it as much as they should.

    The Opry Live portion gets heavily negotiated, as you would imagine. The network wants names that will draw viewers, and some bigger-name artists only come on for the broadcast and to promote something specific.

    I agree with you, a lineup of Johnson, The Wrights, Nichols, etc., would be better than what they’re showing. Usually the lineup is influenced by artists who are promoting new albums, etc. In this case, it doesn’t look very appealing or make sense from any angle, other than Anderson, who they are smart to put on nationally. It’s too bad the Opry can’t slide in the Wrights, who most viewers would love and want to know more about.


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