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King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West: Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

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Overview

    For more than sixty years, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans personified the romantic, mythic West that America cherished well into the modern age. Blazing a trail through every branch of the entertainment industry—radio, film, recordings, television, and even comic books—the couple capitalized on their attractive personas and appealed to the nation's belief in family values, an independent spirit, community.
    King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West presents these two celebrities in the most comprehensive and inclusive account to date. Part narrative, part reference, this impeccably researched, highly accessible survey spans the entire scope of Rogers's and Evans's careers, illuminating and celebrating their place in twentieth-century American popular culture. Following the pair through each stage of their professional and personal trajectories, author Raymond E. White explores the unique alchemy of the singing cowboy and his free-spirited yet feminine partner. In a dual biography, he shows how Rogers and Evans carefully husbanded their public image and—of particular note—incorporated their Christian faith into their performances. And in a series of exhaustive appendixes, he documents their contributions to each medium they worked in. Testifying to both the breadth and the longevity of their careers, the book includes radio logs, discographies, filmographies, and comicographies that will delight historians and collectors alike. With its engaging tone and meticulous research, King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West is bound to become the definitive source on the lives of these two great American icons.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"Roy Rogers and Dale Evans entertained Americans for more than 60 years and, in so doing, created their own special image of the mythic American West." With this premise, White (history, emeritus, Ball State Univ.) chronicles the husband-and-wife team as popular culture icons. In addition to biographical background, he concentrates on the wide scope of their careers in radio, film, recording, comics, and television. Presenting them as archetypes of the romantic West, he shows how they fashioned an image supported by their marriage and completed by their Christian philosophy (to which he devotes a chapter). The book's strength lies in its research and accumulation of data; it is a valuable reference source for minutiae and lists, including a log of radio appearances. Compared with more personal bios (e.g., Cheryl Rogers-Barnett's Cowboy Princess) and other popular perspectives, this work stands as a career analysis. White is more concerned with how Rogers and Evans became popular culture symbols than with intimate details. Unfortunately, the price is a bit high, considering it contains only 115 pages of actual text. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries where interest warrants.-Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"White presents a wealth of new, carefully organized, and highly readable information—the largest source I have seen yet on the professional careers of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. A detailed narrative is accompanied by thorough reference materials that point fans to recordings, videos, comics, and memorabilia."—Gary A. Yoggy, professor emeritus of history at Corning Community College, editor of Back in the Saddle: Essays on Western Film and Television Actors and author of Riding the Video Range: The Rise and Fall of the Western on Television
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299210045
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 7/21/2006
  • Series: Ray and Pat Browne Book Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 550
  • Sales rank: 435,859
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond E. White is professor emeritus of history at Ball State University.
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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    outstanding biography and reference on these two popular culture figures

    Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' fans and students of popular culture will appreciate especially the voluminous and what must be virtually definitive references and documentation on the more than sixty-year career of the cowboy couple. Although some of the material goes back to before they met and became married. The eleven appendices begin on page 117 and run through the start of the notes on page 485. In addition to the filmography and discography of each noted in the review's heading, the appendices contain material on each's radio and television appearances, song compositions, appearances in comic books, inspirational books by either one or both (many written with a coauthor), and a 'log' of more than 275 'A Date with Dale' radio programs between 1984 and 2000 noting location, topic, song, and guest these were 30-minute 'spiritual talk shows' hosted by Dale Evans. The biography preceding the appendices goes over the success of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in the different areas of popular entertainment while also devoting chapters on them as symbols of the mythic American West while being at the same time exemplars of the wholesome family life which was a prime social ideal in the post-WWII years from the late 1940s to the early '60s when they were at the height of their popularity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2005

    Sure to Please Their Fans!

    It has been 10 years since Robert W. Phillips published his Bio-Bibliography on Roy and Dale. One might have thought that this work would be the most comprehensive work available. But now, we have Raymond White's exhaustive look at the life and career of two of America's entertainment royalty. While there is some overlap between the two books, Mr. White expands the boundaries and his extensive research has added a new layer to information on the stars dual careers. He begins with an entertaining look at how the image of Roy and Dale entered his early life and proceeds to expand beyond their personal lives and movie appearances to include both of their radio and tv appearances, a very complete discography, song compositions, comic books and the inspirational books written by Dale. Each of these sections includes illustrations from their lives and careers and is introduced by a background look at how this part of their careers evolved. A very interesting chapter tells about how their Christian beliefs evolved and became an integral part of their personal and professional lives. The extensively researched bibliography includes a 'notes' section that further expands their story and a listing of locations of research collections on the entire western film genre. There is also a great listing of written materials on Roy and Dale and their movie screen contemporaries. In the past few years, we have seen several books about Roy and Dale-one written by their daughter, another about their lives and a third 'mini' coffee table book combining their lives and careers. Each presented a familiar story and included some great photos.Now we have the other side-a work that presents the background, the how and why, the unfamiliar story and it fills in the missing pieces and ties their entire careers together. Never again will we have a couple like Roy and Dale grace the silver and tv screens. Never again will we have the kind of entertainment they provided. But thanks to authors like Raymond White, we can read and enjoy their lives, watch their movies and learn the behind the scenes stories of how they and their careers came to be. I highly recommend this work for all true fans of Roy and Dale and for fans of the 'B' western. I hope that bookstores, libraries and museum gift shops will stock this title for all to see. For those who are on a budget, the publishers have indicated that a softbound edition will be published at a later date. Thank you, Mr. White, for sharing your love of this genre and your hard work to create this fine addition to the western film bookshelves.

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