Sons of the Pioneers

More a revolving cast of characters than what you would think of as a band or musical group. Though formed in 1933, Sons of the Pioneers is still in active group. So you can see, it’s more about the legacy of the group than it is about any founding/original member(s). But what a legacy.

Synonymous with the “singing cowboy” trope, Sons of the Pioneers were as much a product of the silver screen as radio. Monolithic hits like “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” helped launch the acting career of Roy Rogers. It’s possible the group will continue forever.

Sons of the Pioneers are mentioned in these episodes of the Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast.

Spade Cooley

CR003 The Murder Ballad of Spade Cooley

1200 630 Cocaine & Rhinestones

Spade Cooley came to California in the early 1930s, as poor as everyone else who did the exact same thing at the exact same time. Only, Spade became a millionaire. And all he needed to accomplish that was a fiddle, a smile and a strong work ethic. If it sounds like the American Dream, stick around to hear how it became an American nightmare of substance abuse, mental illness and, eventually, sadistic torture and murder.

If this episode doesn’t screw you up, you’re already screwed up.

Recommended if you like: Western Swing, murder ballads, My Favorite Murder, True Crime Garage (or any other “true crime” or “murder” podcasts, really), Tex Williams, Bob Wills, fiddles and having nightmares.

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