Calif. -- Riders
in the Sky are a western music band, comedy group and a children's
band. They are made up of lead singer/guitarist Ranger Doug, singer/fiddler
Woody Paul and singer/bassist Too Slim. They were formed in 1977
and have been touring the country ever since. Riders in the Sky
have written and performed songs for the movies "Toy Story
2" and "For the Birds." To date, they have made
over 6,200 live performances, 700 Grand Ole Opry appearances,
300 television appearances, 200 public radio shows and much more.
Look for Riders in the Sky to perform at the Stagecoach Festival
in Indio, Calif. on Sunday at 3:50 p.m.
were looking for a name when we started and Too Slim went into
a record store," said Douglas B. Green, who uses the stage
name Ranger Doug. "He was flipping through some albums from
the Sons of the Pioneers, who were our heroes. Their brand new
double album from 1973 was called Riders in the Sky. He said,
'That's it, perfect name.'"
consider you guys a western music band while others call you a
comedy group or a children's band. Which title do you prefer the
answer is yes, all of those things," he added. "We appeal
to a wide demographic. We've had many children's appearances and
we've had many western appearances, which is what we mostly do.
We have comedy in every show. It's just entertainment. Many people
will remember us from the song 'Woody's Roundup' from the movie,
'Toy Story 2.' It's been a great career, 35 years of it."
have had many hit songs over the years. Which one is your favorite
still love 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds,' because the audience always
loves it and appreciates it," Green explained. "Bob
Nolan was the songwriter. Tim Spencer and Roy Rogers founded the
Sons of the Pioneers many years ago. That was the second song
he ever wrote. He copyrighted it in 1933 or so and it's been a
standard classic ever since."
it like performing with "America's Got Talent" finalist
Taylor Ware at the Grand Ole Opry?
a dear girl, really a nice kid, very talented," he said.
"I think we recorded with her. I can't remember what she
did, probably 'I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart.' She recorded
one of my tunes called 'How Does She Yodel.' We recorded with
her quite a bit."
give me some highlights of your new album, America's Favorite
can only get it at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store,"
the lead singer/guitarist added. "It has tunes like 'Tumbling
Tumbleweeds' and 'Back in the Saddle' and 'Red River Valley' things
like that on it. It's all classic, old-time western songs."
next on the horizon for you guys?
have a new album coming out with the great western character actor
Wilford Brimley," Green explained. "He does a benefit
every year in the little town that he lives, which is called Greybill,
Wy. He has brought his grandchildren to see us many times. Out
of the blue, he asked us if we'd do the benefit. We said sure,
so we drove out there, we were out west anyways so it worked out
fine. We discovered that he sang and asked if he'd come up on
stage and sing a song with us. He did and he was good. We had
a blast. Joey, our accordion player, turned to him and said, 'We
really should make a record. Call me up.' We did it. It was a
riot, we really a great time."
Brimley from the TV commercials. Have you gotten a chance to do
one with him yet?
most people remember the oatmeal commercial," he said. "I
saw him in 'Terms of Endearment' just yesterday. We'd love to
[do a commercial]. No mention was made of it as of yet."
discuss your upcoming performance at the Stagecoach Country Music
Festival on Sunday.
have played that festival twice before," the lead singer/guitarist
added. "It's just the most incredible festival in country
music. We're glad that they've always had a western stage as part
of the festivities. It's just a delight. They treat you like gold.
It's just a beautiful setting. We love coming back to California."
give me a preview of that show?
do our standard mix of cowboy classics like 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds'
and 'Riders in the Sky' and 'Back in the Saddle Again.' Then,
we'll do a number of our own songs. Of course, as I said, there's
plenty of comedy in the show. We might do some rope spinning and
just have a good time with the audience. We'll bring back some
memories of the people who remember this music from when it was
popular. We hope to introduce a lot of young people to the beauties
and joys of western music."
do you guys have for the next five to 10 years?
to 45 years," Green laughed. "We're just now finishing
up the Wilford Brimley project. Then, yes, we'll start another
one after that."
more information about Riders in the Sky, visit their website
You can also visit their Facebook
California's Country Music Festival returns for the seventh year:
April 26 - 28 in Indio; Fans
enjoy 7th Annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif.
Brimley with Riders in the Sky
set times for the 2013 Stagecoach Festival
set times for the 2013 Stagecoach Festival
the official website of the 2013 Stagecoach Country Music Festival