Happy Trails is one of those tunes that gets stuck in my head and goes around and around. Especially the bass part at the beginning. Boom ba-da-da, Boom ba-da-da, Boom ba-da-da da-da-da-da (continue ad hominem). Roy Rogers and Dale Evans sure made a big impact on music.
Such a sweet melody, and a wholesome feeling to it, too. When I decided to play this tune tonight, I seriously considered saving it for December 31st, but I figured this is the tune I’m inspired to play tonight, and there are lots of good ways to end the year.
Happy Trails according to Wikipedia
“Happy Trails” by Dale Evans Rogers, was the theme song for the 1940s and 1950s radio program and the 1950s television show starring Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Rogers, always sung over the end credits of the program. Happy Trails was released in 1952 as a 78 RPM and 45 RPM by Rogers and Evans with the Whippoorwills and Orchestra on RCA Victor Records. It was re-issued in 1957 as a 45 RPM record on RCA Victor/Bluebird.
In 1951, Foy Willing wrote a song titled “Happy Trails” for the Republic Pictures movie, Spoilers of the Plains, starring Roy Rogers with Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage. Subsequently, the first three notes of Foy’s song and the title were used by Dale Evans in writing her version of “Happy Trails” for both the original The Roy Rogers Show and the short-lived The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show, which aired on ABC in 1962. Dale’s is the version that is popularly played and sung today, albeit without giving credit to Foy Willing.
There have been numerous notable covers of Dale Evans’ version of the song.
- In 1968, Quicksilver Messenger Service released an album called Happy Trails, on which the song appears.
- The song was played on the 1993 debut album of bluegrass band Nickel Creek, back when they were children.
- Slim Whitman covered the song in 2010 on his Twilight on the Trail album.
Dale Evans’ version of “Happy Trails” is a common good-bye song.
- Janis Joplin left a taped recording of the song as a birthday greeting for John Lennon on October 1, 1970, three days before her death. Lennon, whose birthday was October 9, later told Dick Cavett that her taped greeting arrived at his home after her death.
- Van Halen covered the song on their 1982 album, Diver Down, and usually the band would end live performances they did with their first lead singer, David Lee Roth, with that song.
- Mark Lamarr plays the song at the end of his God’s Jukebox show on BBC Radio 2 every week.
- The Kidsongs Kids sing this song on their Country Sing-Along video and DVD as an ending.
- Vallejo, California’s theme park, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, plays this song during park closure.
- The Kansas State University Marching Band often plays the song during the closing minutes of home football games as a send-off to defeated opponents.
For most Broadway Shows and National Tours, when a company member has his or her last performance, the entire company sings it for the departing person to wish them luck. It is mostly performed traditionally backstage before curtain goes up or after the curtain call. After it gets sung, the departing company member gives a thank you speech.