The following is from the Riders In The Sky website:  "Some call it cowboy music; some call it folk music; some call it the Best in Western music. Call it what you like---the bottom line is this: Riders In The Sky deliver pure and priceless entertainment. The moment America's Favorite Cowboys step up to the microphone the magic begins, allowing listeners to leave behind the frenzied pace of today's living and lose themselves in the romantic, comical and whimsical world of the singing cowboy.

Since 1977, Riders In The Sky have faithfully tended a musical tradition kindled by singing cowboy legends such as the Sons Of The Pioneers. Throughout their collaborative career, they have branded the genre with their own mark, crafted from a well-balanced mix of both classic and original western songs, smooth harmony, hot licks and slapstick comedy. Over two decades, more than 4,000 shows, 200 national TV appearances, 200 public radio shows, 2.3 million miles on the road, three television series and dozens of albums down the trail, a group that began with a commitment to carry on an American musical tradition has itself become a national treasure."

I caught up with Riders In The Sky, May 19, 2000, for their 4,122 performance in Alexandria, Virginia.  I had seen this long lived group over the years on Grand Ole' Oprey broadcasts, and even children's programs, and always was drawn to their great musical talent, "cowboy way" wholesomeness (even with the act's occasional off color/double entendre jokes), and throwback to an earlier perhaps less complicated era.

I was not disappointed by the experience!  In fact, the combination of colorful outfits, Woody Paul rope tricks, excellent musicianship/vocals (Ranger Doug is an accomplished yodeler), and something of a 'don't take life too seriously' persona made for a delightful evening.  Even better was the group's taking timeout to sign autographs, answer fan questions, and pose for photos after the show (thanks guys).  These are no dumb cowpokes either, as the riders all possess advanced college degrees, but obviously chose a career path better suited to their talents and desires (lucky for us they did).

For anyone, that wants a great family outing, I would strongly recommend an evening with Riders In The Sky!

Riders in The Sky (along with touring guest artist, and producer of two Rider's albums  Joey "The Cowpolka King") after their 4,122 performance at The Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia.  (L-R) Joey, Too Slim, Webmaster Jim, Ranger Doug, Woody Paul.

Riders In The Sky autographs (l-r), Woody Paul, Ranger Doug (note performance #4122), Too Slim, and touring guest artist Joey "The Cowpolka King" (who plays a mean accordion).

More after performance Riders In The Sky photos.  Please click to enlarge.

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Joey along with the Riders Ranger Doug & Webmaster Jim Another group shot with Webmaster Jim

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