‘Riders in the Sky’ Concert on Ozark Folk Center State Park stage
For more than three decades, Riders In The Sky have been keeping the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, reviving and revitalizing the cowboy musical genre.
This year they will bring their special music and humor to the Ozark Folk Center State Park stage on Saturday, Sept. 5. There are still tickets available for this Celebrity Concert.
Riders are known for their entertaining radio show and concerts. And while remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they have themselves become modern-day icons by branding the genre with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit, and all along encouraging buckaroos and buckarettes to live life “The Cowboy Way!”
Riders In The Sky are exceptional not just in the sense that their music is of superlative standards (they are the only exclusively Western artist to have won a Grammy, two actually), but by the fact that their accomplishments are an exception to the rule.
Tickets are available by calling 870-269-3851 from 10-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. All seats for this concert are reserved; there is no general admission. Tickets are $20 for Premium Seating and $15 for Regular Reserved.
Guitarist Ranger Doug, “Governor of the Great State of Rhythm,” sings lead and baritone vocals with an ever-present big grin and a yodeler’s of breathtaking technique. He is also an award-winning Western music songwriter in his own right – and a distinguished music historian whose 2002 Vanderbilt University Press book, “Singing in the Saddle: The History of the Singing Cowboy,” was the first comprehensive look at the singing cowboy phenomenon that swept the country in the 1930s.
Upright “bunkhouse” bassist Too Slim, easily the sharpest wit in the West, was, prior to the Riders, a janitor, industrial galvanizer, puppeteer, rumor-monger, hay stacker, burlesque show emcee, sportswriter, wildlife manager, and electric bassman. Besides his superb bass play and comic wit, he has inspired thousands to whack out tunes on their faces.
Woody Paul, “King of the Cowboy Fiddlers,” sings lead and tenor vocals, and gained early experience in country-western music by hanging out with the likes of Roy Acuff. When not dazzling Riders fans with his fiddle, he’s thrilling them with intricate rope tricks which he swears he’ll get right before his career is over.
Accordionist Joey, the CowPolka King, “plays both ends against the middle,” as they say, on his “stomach Steinway.” The master musician, who apprenticed with the late polka king Frank Yankovic and has recorded with everyone from Roy Rogers to U2, is also the Riders’ album producer and a licensed driver.