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Cover Songs

Happy Trails By Roy Rogers & Dale Evans & Notable Covers

Photograph of the blog post author, Music Gateway Team

Music Gateway Team


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happy trails song

The iconic song “Happy Trails” has been a beloved classic since its creation in 1950. Originally written as the closing theme for the Roy Rogers Show, the song has since been covered by numerous artists. In this article, we will explore the history of “Happy Trails” and some of the most notable covers of the song.

“Happy Trails,” a song by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, served as the theme for their 1940s-1950s radio program and TV show. Written by Evans, the duo performed it during the closing credits of both programs.

“Happy Trails” Lyrics

Some trails are happy ones,

Others are blue.

It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,

Here’s a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you,

Until we meet again.

Happy trails to you,

Keep smiling until then.

Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?

Just sing a song, and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you,

Until we meet again.

Happy Trails by June & Gordon

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In their live shows, Happy Trails was always the closing song. For their EP, the artists made a conscious decision to stay true to the original version and honour the vocals and harmonies of Roy and Dale. The goal was to recreate that classic Country Western sound that takes them back to their early days in California. David West played all the instruments on the track, while Tom Lackner provided support on drums. Lackner has been a musical friend since their earliest days together and remains a good friend.

June Bisantz and Gordon Morrell

In 1971, June and Gordon met and immediately connected through their compatible singing talents. Over the years, they sang together from Maine to California at various clubs, concerts, and studios. Despite the separations, their voices consistently harmonized seamlessly.

June Bisantz

Happy Trails Song

June Bisantz, a singer and visual artist, has collaborated on numerous original vocal jazz albums that have received national acclaim. She has performed and recorded worldwide with prominent jazz musicians such as Steve Swallow, Bob Moses, Paul Brown, Lew Soloff, Jerry Neiwood, Mike Stern, Jon Burr, Steve Davis & Will Lee.

Her work has been highlighted in publications like People Magazine, USA Today, Downbeat, Jazziz Magazine, Jazz Podium Magazine, Jazz USA, New York Newsday and The Boston Globe. Her music can be found under Pausa and Nova labels in Los Angeles; Alpha Records in Japan; and Arabesque Records in New York.

Gordon Morrell

Gordon Morrell and Happy Trails Song

Gordon Morrell has been adept at multitasking since his days as an Education PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the 1970s. Throughout his career, music has remained a constant passion. He started playing piano and Hammond organ at five years old before advancing to ukulele and guitar.

During the transformative 70s, Gordon switched from electric to acoustic guitar, acquiring a Martin and later an Ovation guitar that he still plays today. Despite various stylistic changes and different instruments, Morrell’s vocal prowess and outstanding harmonizing skills distinguish him as a valuable leader and bandmate. His easygoing nature, genuine style, and natural connection with audiences make him an engaging and captivating performer.

Happy Trails by Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

Released: 1952

Genre: Country, folk, theme song

Label: RCA Victor

Songwriter(s): Dale Evans

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, a married duo, performed the closing theme for their 1951-1957 NBC Western TV series, The Roy Rogers Show. Although Evans is credited as the composer, the song was based on Foy Willing’s work from Riders of the Purple Sage. They supported Rogers in his Western films and his 1940s radio show.

Willing originally wrote “Happy Trails In Sunshine Valley” for Rogers’ 1951 film Spoilers of the Plains. Evans transformed it into a TV theme in 1952 with new lyrics and a shorter title. Willing expressed dissatisfaction with his wife Sharon Lee Willing’s book No One To Cry To: “It’s my copyright [but] I never did anything about it; they’ll just have to live with it. I just wonder sometimes how they feel.”

In 1990, Randy Travis recorded a duet with Roy Rogers for his album Heroes & Friends, and Rogers appeared in the music video for the title track. Janis Joplin recorded this song as a birthday greeting for John Lennon three days before her death on October 4, 1970, during her last recording session. Lennon received it after Joplin’s passing.

Van Halen covered the song for their 1982 album Diver Down and frequently used it to close their shows. When asked about it by Sounds magazine’s Sylvie Simmons, then-frontman David Lee Roth explained that they enjoyed singing TV commercials and radio jingles in harmony; having grown up watching TV influenced them to cover “Happy Trails.”

The song’s appeal likely stems from its message of meeting again rather than a permanent goodbye. In 2010, the Western Writers of America ranked it among the top 100 Western songs ever.

Roy Rogers

Roy Rogers, an American singer, actor, and TV host, initially worked under his birth name as a co-founder of the Sons of the Pioneers and later as an actor. After rebranding himself, Rogers emerged as one of the most renowned Western stars of his time.

Dale Evans

Dale Evans

Dale Evans Rogers, an American actress, singer, and songwriter, was the third wife of the renowned singing cowboy Roy Rogers.

Other notable song covers

Quicksilver Messenger Service’s album, Happy Trails (1969), features the song.

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On October 1, 1970, Janis Joplin recorded a birthday greeting for John Lennon containing the song, just three days before her passing. Lennon received the tape after her death and later discussed it with Dick Cavett.

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Van Halen performed an acapella four-part harmony version as Diver Down’s (1982) closing track and often concluded live shows with David Lee Roth using this song.

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Randy Travis also covered the song alongside Rogers on his Heroes & Friends album (1990).

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What year did Happy Trails come out?

The song was released in 1952.

When did Dale Evans write Happy Trails?

In 1950, Dale Evans composed “Happy Trails,” which became Roy Rogers’ Happy Trails theme song. She jotted the lyrics on an envelope and taught the tune to Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers just moments before their radio broadcast.

Why is it called Happy Trail?

Happy Trail Definition & Origin | Slang by Dictionary.comThe song’s title was inspired by Roy frequently signing his autographs as “Happy trails, Roy Rogers,” where ‘Happy Trails’ represents a friendly way to wish someone well.

What was Roy Rogers’s favourite saying? 

“Until we meet again, may the good Lord take a liking to you. “Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

Who whistles on the song Happy Trails?

LaSpisa earned an honourable mention by whistling the famous “Happy Trails” in his favoured two-tone harmony.

Summary of Happy Trails

In conclusion, “Happy Trails” by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans has become an iconic song that has been covered by numerous artists over the years. The message of the song, to wish someone well on their journey, continues to resonate with audiences today and is perfectly encapsulated in the cover by June & Gordon. “Happy Trails” is a true testament to the enduring legacy of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and their impact on American culture.

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