Riders in the Sky (band)
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|Riders in the Sky|
Riders in the Sky appearing at the Ponca Theatre in Ponca City, Oklahoma on September 29, 2007 at a concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gene Autry. From left to right are Joey the Cow Polka King, Woody Paul, Ranger Doug and Too Slim.
|Genres||Western swing, Children's music, Country|
|Labels||Rounder, MCA, CBS, Epic, Disney, Rykodisc|
|Members||Douglas B. Green
Riders in the Sky is an American Western music and comedy group which began performing in 1977. Their style also appeals to children, and they are sometimes considered a children's band. They have won two Grammy Awards and have written and performed music for major motion pictures, including "Woody's Roundup" from Toy Story 2 and Pixar's short film, For the Birds.
For much of their career, the group was a trio: lead singer/guitarist Ranger Doug (Douglas B. Green), singer/fiddler Woody Paul (Paul Chrisman), and singer/bassist Too Slim (Fred LaBour). In the 1990s, the group re-added Joey the Cowpolka King (Joey Miskulin) on accordion, who had been with the group for a brief period in the 1980s. They usually introduce themselves as "Ranger Doug, The Idol of American Youth", "Woody Paul, the King of the Cowboy Fiddlers", "Too Slim, the Man of a Thousand Hats" and "Joey, the Cowpolka King".
In their first 30-plus years, Riders in the Sky have performed in over 6200 live performances, almost 300 national television appearances, over 200 public radio shows, 700 Grand Ole Opry appearances, three television series (including a 1991–92 CBS Saturday morning show), an appearance on an episode of "Duck Dodgers" on Cartoon Network and more than 30 albums. The group also wrote and appeared in numerous Christmas specials on TNN and CMT in the 1990s. They are based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Riders in the Sky perform authentic renditions of old classic cowboy and Western songs, as well as original works and various comedic skits and songs. Their sketches often include allusions to something being done in a dishonest or lazy manner; with Ranger Doug typically responding to this observation by saying "You fellers know that that would be the easy way. But it wouldn't be the cowboy way!"
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Riders in the Sky were named Western Music Group of the Year during the Academy of Western Artists 2006 Will Rogers Awards.
- Cowboy Jubilee
- This CD was featured on The New York Times' Best Ten List for 1982.
- Best Independent Country Album of the Year
- Saddle Pals
- Best Independent Children's Album of the Year
- Always Drink Upstream from the Herd
- 1995 Cowboy Hall of Fame Wrangler Award for Outstanding Western Recording!
- Woody's Roundup: A Rootin' Tootin' Collection of Woody's Favorite Songs
- 2001 Grammy Award Winner: "Best Musical Album For Children"
- Monsters, Inc. Scream Factory Favorites
- 2003 Grammy Award Winner: "Best Musical Album For Children"
- Cusic, Don (2003). It's the Cowboy Way!: The Amazing True Adventures of Riders in the Sky. University Press of Kentucky. 306pp. ISBN 9780813128825.
- show 189 of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour The answer to when they first began performing is given as November 11, 1977 19 minutes into the video which includes conversation and performance; taped 01-07-2002. Audio can also be had at this archive page Archived March 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.