This week we were so pleased to release HAPPY TRAILS: A PICTORIAL CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ROY ROGERS AND DALE EVANS by Howard Kazanjian and Chris Enss. This book, highly illustrated with rarely seen memorabilia, is a unique and captivating collection of photographs and stories chronicling the lives of the King of the Cowboys and the Queen of the West.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans made their first movie together in 1944, and so began a dazzling partnership with a devoted public following that lasted 52 years. But for most, Roy Rogers was a huge star already, in part thanks to his famous Palomino Trigger. Here are six facts about “The Golden Boy of the Horse World” from HAPPY TRAILS.
FACT: Billed as “the smartest horse in movies,” Trigger was Roy’s riding partner in eighty films and one hundred television shows.
FACT: Roy purchased Trigger in 1938 from Hudkins Stables in Los Angeles for $2,500. He knew Trigger was a special horse the moment he saw him trotting through a field.
FACT: With the help of expert horse trainer Glenn Randall, Roy worked with Trigger to teach him a myriad of tricks, including counting, writing, and bowing to an audience.
FACT: Trigger was a star with four stand-ins. He made $750 a week and received 200 fan letters a month.
FACT: In the mid-1940s Roy received a substantial offer from a wealthy Texan to purchase Trigger. Roy refused the $200,000 sum and promised worried fans that he “wouldn’t sell Trigger for all the money in Texas.”
FACT: Trigger died in July 1965, having reached the age of thirty-three. Roy grieved for a long time over the loss of his old friend. A look-alike, Trigger Junior, took the famous palomino’s place in rodeos and state fairs.
HAPPY TRAILS transports nostalgic readers back to a time when the good always save the day and lovers ride off together into the sunset to the now-famous tune written by Dale Evans that would become the couple’s theme: “Happy Trails.” It is both a classic reminder for aficionados and a beguiling introduction to new fans, demonstrating how even when both career and family are in the limelight, they can still be well-lived.
HAPPY TRAILS is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.
CLICK HERE for more information or to order.
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