The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35911   Message #495160
Posted By: Art Thieme
29-Jun-01 - 10:09 PM
Thread Name: Strawberry Roan - ( & Sheepherder version?)
Subject: RE: Strawberry Roan
Nontana Slim (Wilf Carter) did many variations of the song.

In the early 1950s, Gene Autry did a color film called THE STRAWBERRY ROAN. My mother took me to the Oriental Theater in Chicago to see the film which did feature the song as sung by Gene. But these were the days of "stage shows" in the big downtown theaters in many larger towns. After the film ended, a disembodied voice announced, "Here he is kids, in person, Gene Autry and the wonder horse, Champion !"

Gene rode Champ out onto the stage in the middle of the spotlight. The kids loved it. Gene got Champ to do all sorts of tricks like rearing up on his hind legs, kneeling to pray, reaching back to get (and eat) Gene's hat etc. etc. Then, as Gene was dismounting from his horse, Champion put a huge pile on the stage bigger than Pike's Peak. Mr. Autry never saw it. He just walked to the microphone and sang "Strawberry Roan" and "Riding Down The Canyon". When a maintanence guy came out on stage with a broom and a shovel to clear the stage of the **stuff**, the kids just went nuts. It was a highlight of my generally boring childhood.

Art Thieme