Happy Trails (song)

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"Happy Trails"
Single by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Released 1952 (1952)
Genre Country, folk, theme song
Label RCA Victor
Songwriter(s) Dale Evans

"Happy Trails" by Dale Evans, 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. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[1]

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.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

There have been numerous notable covers of Dale Evans' version of the song.

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.[3][citation needed]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.
  • In the second part of the Season 2 finale of the American sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, an instrumental plays just before the end credits.
  • Gary Daigneault and Pat Michaels sings this song every weekday at the end of their morning show some minutes before 10 am on KCDZ Z 107.7 FM, Joshua Tree, CA

For most Broadway Shows and National Tours, when a cast member has his/her last performance, the entire company sings it for the departing cast member to wish them luck. It is mostly performed traditionally backstage before the curtain goes up or after the curtain call. After it gets sung, the departing cast member gives a thank you speech.


  1. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Willing, Sharon Lee (October 16, 2006). No One to Cry To. Wheatmark. p. 80. ISBN 1-58736-686-X. 
  3. ^ palejewel676 (2006-12-08), John Lennon and Yoko Ono Dick Cavett Show Excerpt 4 of 6, retrieved 2016-06-09 
  4. ^ "Six Flags Discovery Kingdom". Sixflags.com. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 

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