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20 or More Things That You Never Knew About Roy Rogers

Updated on April 25, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Hey, Roy Rogers fans, here is a Pop Test! Of the list below, which actor was NOT a part of the Roy Rogers Show ensemble:

See results

His Show Name was

Roy Rogers (born Leonard Franklin Slye, November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998) was an American singer and actor who was one of the most popular Western stars of his era. Known as the "King of the Cowboys", he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. In many of his films and television episodes, he appeared with his wife, Dale Evans; his golden palomino, Trigger; and his German shepherd dog, Bullet. His show was broadcast on radio for nine years and then on television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often Pat Brady, Andy Devine, Pat Buttram or George "Gabby" Hayes. In his later years, Rogers lent his name to the franchise chain of Roy Rogers Restaurants.

Dale Evans (born Lucille Wood Smith; October 31, 1912 – February 7, 2001) was an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She was the third wife of singing cowboy Roy Rogers with Lucille Ascolese 1933 - 1936 and Grace Arlene Wilkins 1936 - 1946.

Can you believe that Rogers' birth name was Leonard Franklin Slye? I found it tough myself to believe that clean-cut, all-American Roy Rogers known far and wide for being wholesome, humble, and willing to fight for the weak was Leonard Franklin Slye, but stranger things have happened as you veteran hubbers know.

Furthermore, can you also believe that Dale Evans, firm-spoken, but with a soft smile had her birth name as Lucille Wood Smith? I am not being cute, but I can understand why the famous duo of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans did not go with Leonard Slye and Lucille Smith because in every Hollywood circle of the industry, no one even remotely going to have an acting career by using their real name. I am not being harsh, but honest.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, photo taken at 61st Academy Awards.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, photo taken at 61st Academy Awards. | Source
Dale Evans' horse Buttermilk.
Dale Evans' horse Buttermilk. | Source

I Fondly Remember

the rush that I had at age seven to be able to get in front of my sister's new Philco black and white television each Saturday morning to watch the Roy Rogers Show that always starred Dale Evans and Rogers' sidekick, Gabby Hayes.

Of course there were always bad guys wearing black hats--looking distrusting and speaking to other bad men in soft tones probably planning someone's bank (to be robbed) and always have the classic western get-away with the bank robbers being chased by Roy, Dale, Gabby, with Bullet, Rogers' German Shepherd, Trigger, Rogers' "Smartest Horse," and Buttermilk, Evans' cute and cuddly horse.

I always pulled for Rogers, Evans and Hayes along with their favorite animals, but one thing I never grasped. That was while Rogers and gang were chasing the bad men, Rogers would always be firing off his bone-handled 45's and never hitting any bad guy on the horses. Looks like to me that after so many scripted western shows, Rogers would understand this useless ploy, be wiser than the bank robbers and devise a clever trap and save all of those bullets.

Yes, those were the days alright. Roy, Dale, Gabby and company fighting for the right, investigating another land deed scam and other assorted crimes that were always solved at show's end. But I can tell you here for the very first time, that there some rather controversial 20 or More Things That You Never Knew About Roy Rogers.

Publicity photo of Roy Rogers and Trigger.
Publicity photo of Roy Rogers and Trigger. | Source

TV Westerns Fact!

This famous actor is none other than Gabby Hayes photo for NBC in 1953 used when he starred in The Roy Rogers Show.

Along with Hayes being one of the most comical sidekicks for Rogers, Hayes' I.Q. was exceptionally high, but never flaunted this amazing fact and knew a lot about history as well as early music styles.

I am so glad that you enjoyed this hub about Roy Rogers.

Special Advice to My Sweet Followers: I am not sure that you can stand the things that you are about to read, so I firmly advise you if you start feeling nervous, just start reading your evening or morning newspaper. Thank you, Kenneth.

  • Roy Rogers would never attempt to climb into an authentic gorilla suit and then charge onto the set of the Roy Rogers Show growling at the stage hands as if the "gorilla" had escaped from the local zoo.
  • Roy Rogers was never seen in any issue of Playboy and so did Dale Evans never pose seductively in any issue of Playboy or even the tempting, Hustler magazine. No, sir. These things were 100% taboo. I can say the same for Trigger, Buttermilk, Bullet and even Gabby Hayes. All were as clean as Clorox.
  • When fist-a-cuffs were going on with Roy and some bully (wearing black), Roy's fist never caused blood to be shed on any bully's face or chin. And I can attest to the same thing concerning Bullet, Buttermilk, Trigger and Gabby Hayes.
  • When the Roy Rogers Show was being filmed, no one ever heard any vulgar or profane words or off-color jokes by Roy Rogers on or off the stage.
  • Bullet, Roy's German Shepherd never bit any of the stars or stagehands while working on the Roy Rogers Show. And none of the stagehands or vendors ever abused Bullet, Trigger, or Buttermilk.
  • Roy Rogers was so conservative that he never sang any suggestive songs or whistled any off-color tunes.
  • I am not anyone to boast, but even all-American, Andy Griffith, was not considered as clean-cut as Roy Rogers. And that is saying a mouthful.
  • When Roy Rogers' wife, Dale Evans was being filmed in scenes, the camera operators never filmed any shot lower than her waist--not that she showed any flesh, it was just the clear understanding by Roy Rogers that if Evans did accidentally stumble and a flash of leg was shown, the cameraman would instantly be terminated without pay.
  • Trigger, Buttermilk, and Bullet never were guilty of over-eating while on the Roy Rogers Show or off doing publicity photos by the show's studios.
  • Many times it was uncovered that many of Gabby Hayes' lines were adlibbed while doing scenes with Rogers or Evans.
  • And it was kept covered up (until recently) that it was fully understood that Gabby Hayes was not to cause Roy Rogers or Dale Evans to burst out laughing thanks to Hayes' hilarious pranks.
  • Roy Rogers in his entire career in film and television never resorted to wearing funny disguises just to get a laugh to cause the stagehands to be relaxed while working.
  • Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes or any of the stagehands, producers, directors and scripwriters ever ran a 40-yard-dash to show that Rogers, Hayes, and (sometimes Dale Evans) were always the fastest feet in Hollywood.
  • At no time was once-popular NBC news anchor, Tom Brokaw ever tonguelashed by Roy Rogers for eating during lunch break when NBC and Roy Rogers were both young.
  • Roy Rogers, even if he had been given to the occasional clean prank, never jumped any length of space on a pogo stick.
  • Roy Rogers never took a drink of whiskey, beer, any alcoholic beverage. His high standards and quality television show would not allow Rogers to tolerate such foolishness.
  • Roy Rogers and Dale Evans although married, never kissed while on the set of the Roy Rogers Show for not wanting to cause a storm of controversy for in the early 1950s, not kissing their spouse "was" considered a controversy.
  • Speaking of Roy and Dale's marriage, Roy never got any side of his face slapped by Dale due to some irritating misunderstanding, nor did Roy ever slap her face for whatever reason. Why? In those days of the highest of morals, and I respect that, a simple lover's slap would have decimated the great public relations built by Roy and Dale and the show, the Roy Rogers Show would have to be canceled.
  • At no time was Roy Rogers ever seen running in a gorilla suit growling at the innocent tourists who paid to take tours on NBC when the Roy Rogers Show was very popular.
  • Gabby Hayes, although a comic and cut-up, had an I.Q. that could easily understand Einstein's "Remedial Version of Quantum Physics."
  • Dale Evans never sang in any opera famous or generic.
  • The animal handlers made sure that Roy Rogers took special care of the healthy diets given by Trigger, Bullet and Buttermilk.

Note: I could easily reveal more things that never Roy Rogers attempted, but covering that amount of knowledge about Roy Rogers, "King of The Cowboys," is awfully difficult to digest.

Most legends are like that.

And a fond salute to Clayton Moore. Need I take time to explain who this is?

Good night, Orange Beach, Florida.

Lynne Roberts and  Roy Rogers in Billy the Kid Returns.
Lynne Roberts and Roy Rogers in Billy the Kid Returns. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Jodah,

      I understand completely about your comments and hubs being put in certain places.

      No sweat.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      William F. Torpey,

      Thanks. I am going to look that one up that you posted.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Sakina :)

      You are right about the morals (in these shows) being so strict. I was not exaggerating about men and women kissing on the lips on camera for fear of the censor cutting scenes.

      I found out later that when Rogers and Evans had long retired, they adopted 16 children and built a place in Apple Valley, California and their family flourished.

      But Rogers on one late night talk show did comment about when his shows were on the air about (some) things being TOO strict and not easy to believe.

      But he was never the troublemaker, always the hero.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 8 months ago from Kuwait

      Wow! The actors in this TV show were so high in morals and decent. Really loved reading about them and this show too. I've never watched this show, but it sounds interesting. Greatly researched and amazingly written, Kenneth, dear buddy. :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi again, Kenneth. I was born the year his TV show finished but being in Australia we were a few years behind and we didn't get a TV until I was six years old. So I still got to watch Roy for a few years. It brings back pleasant memories for me. I have been so busy moving it is hard to get time to reply to comments on my hubs let alone read and comment on everyone else's hubs. But I try to fit them in when I can.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 8 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Ken Curtis is among the many Sons of the Pioneers who sang with the Roy Rogers' group over the years (This video is on one on my Hubs about my favorite singers):

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, Whonunuwho,


      I mean. I am not disputing the near-kidnapping incident, but hey, didn't you even think to talk to your parents about this?

      And I do appreciate and admire you for acting so "Roy Rogersly," in when this car almost hit you.

      I am still in awe.

      Write anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      (((HUGS))) to you, SA Williams,

      for the warm comment. I sincerely appreciate your comment about this topic. God bless you richly every day.

      I look forward to seeing more of your works.

      Write me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, DREAM ON,

      (notice I gave your writing name ALL CAPS?)

      The computer age has definitely gave us an open link to the past and given us the abilities to look up, research such things as Roy and Dale. What fun it was when I wrote this.

      I think I will, if life permits, write more.

      Write me soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      William F. Torpey,

      Thank you for the nostalgic comment. Sons of The Pioneers? Wow! And do you recall when Ken Curtis, ("Festus Hagan, Gunsmoke"), was a part of this group?

      I loved this type of music.

      Thanks so much. Write anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Audrey, up there in Nashville.

      I appreciate your warm and colorful comment. Honest.

      I think that your comment alone would make a fantastic hub.

      A quarter apiece to buy tickets, popcorn, drink. Wow!

      You are a true, blue American. God bless you, Audrey.

      Write me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Jodah,

      Been a while. Hope you are okay. Thanks so much for the comment. I appreciate it so much.

      Yes, this was a more simple time and why didn't I get to enjoying it while it was happening?

      I would welcome your answers.

      Have a blessed night.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Kenneth, this brought back fond memories of a more innocent time. I loved The Roy Rogers Show. His sidekicks Gabby Hayes and Andy Devine in particular added hilarity to the show. Thanks for sharing.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 9 months ago

      So much to love and enjoy even if it was before my time. Thanks to the speed of the computer we can find almost anything on You tube. What a time to live. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Roy was my favorite -- as was the group he started: The Sons of the Pioneers (I particularly liked Bob Nolan.)

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 9 months ago from United States

      My great attention and the fact that I loved all the action on the show, probably saved my life. One day as I walked on the side of a steep hill, a car slipped up behind me without the engine running. Both doors opened on the car in an attempt to run me over. I dove to the side of the roadway just like Roy and hung onto long vines above the steep hillside, preventing me from falling about seventy feet. As I regained my footing, I saw the car crank up and drive hurriedly down the hill. Both doors closed at the same time as I watched in disbelief. Thanks, Roy. I did not tell my folks until I was grown. They said they thought it might have been an attempt at kidnapping. Those dives and sprawls on his shows gave me the courage to save my life that day. Blessings to my friends. whonu

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 9 months ago

      LOL...I Love your writing Kenneth. Always so fun and entertaining!

      Thank You :)

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 9 months ago from United States

      I remember those very special days, too, my friends. Life was great back then. Enjoyed the trip back in time.Blessings. whonu

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 9 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      You're dating me my friend :) I remember these movies my brother and sister and I went to see every Saturday for only the cost of 10 cents each. Dad would give us each a quarter which paid for our ticket, popcorn, a soda and a good size candy bar,

      Those were the days. My favorite character in Roy Rogers movies was the sassy, Gabby Hays.