Len Slye and Frances Smith
Roy & Dale
|Leonard Franklin Slye
Leonard was born November 5, 1911 to Andy and Mattie Slye, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The home place was located at 412 Second Street. It was a red tenament buildin' and if they didn't have a huge downpour, the roof didn't leak. It was close to the United States Shoe Factory, where Leonard's dad worked.
Years later, they built a baseball park on the property, which they called, Riverfront Stadium. Leonard was born, just 'bout where second base was. Riverfront Stadium is gone too, by way of progress!
Leonard's dad Andy had led an interestin' life as a young man. He had been an acrobat for a short time. A self taught musician, he once was an entertainer on a showboat. Everyone enjoyed his guitar playin' and the mandolin at square dances throughout Ohio.
Mattie had been workin' in a laundry when Andy Slye met her and started takin' her out. From the very beginin', Mattie had let him know if there were ever thoughts of a future down the road with her, he'd have to settle down, hold a job and raise a family. For a wee little woman, she had a whole lotta spunk!
Mattie was born in Kentucky and had a deep love for music. She played a variety of string instruments and loved to go to dances; although she was crippled from polio.
As timed went by, Andy felt imprisoned workin' at the shoe factory and the hustle bustle of the city. He yearned for the out of doors. Travel keep comin' up in his mind and he persueded his blind brother Will to help him build a houseboat from remnants from a wrecked steamboat.
Good friends called it "Andy's Ark", but Andy called it a ticket for his family to have a better life.
In July of 1912, Andy took his family and they boarded their new home. It was a twelve-by-fifty-foot, three room home and it floated down the Ohio River toward Portsmouth. It's been said it was a journey that the Swiss Family Robinson's would have really appreciated.
Along the way, Andy found odd jobs. He set fish nets for boats in return to be towed on down the river. For the next four years, the furure "King of the Cowboys" spent more time on the water then he did on land.
Leonard couldn't remember the "big flood" that set their home afloat and ripped regular homes from their foundations.
Durin' the thirteen day flood, Andy's Ark rescued many people, stray animals and personal belongin's.
Andy guided the ark and rested on a piece of property in Portsmouth, he had already purchased prior to the flood. He had it in his mind to build, but the houseboat became their instant HOME. At the time, Mattie was with child for the fourth time and little Mary was near school age.
For young Leonard, the city didn't provide what livin' on the houseboat did; no squirrels to chase, raccoons to track and no rabbits to hunt.
Through the years, the Slye home took in an abundance of many stray animals.
Leonard's compassion for others led him to want to become a doctor. With his mom bein' crippled and his Uncle Will's blindness; he could help them, if he became a doctor.
He once aided his mongrel pup after it got it's leg broken. With his mom's help, they placed a splint on the dog. After an appropriate length of time, the splint came off, but the mongrel didn't put any weight on it. It's leg was useless. That broke Leonard's spirit, but made him determined more than ever, to become a doctor.
Time passed and Andy wanted to get his family back out in the country, away from the city. He was able to save a little bit of money and he bought a second hand Maxwell tourin' car.
In 1919 Andy bought a small farm twelves miles from Portsmouth, on Duck Run. With help from his relatives and young Leonard, they built a six room house to replace their houseboat. It had no electricity, but plenty of coal-oil lamps.
The farm life was harder than Leonard thought it would be. The farm didn't make them very much money, so Andy went back to work at the shoe factory in Portsmouth. He stayed in Portsmouth durin' the week, but went home on the weekends.
Leonard's grades in school "wasn't the best", as he had so many chores in the mornin' 'fore school, and after he got home. He was embarrassed by his low marks so Leonard became the class clown.
After many a shananigans Leonard pulled, the Lord sent a man named Guy Bumgarner to save the day. He was influential in the change that came over Leonard Slye. No other people were as much a possive influience in Leonard's life, as that school teacher from Duck Run!
Guy Bumgarner started a 4-H group and that's where young Leonard bought and acquired his newly born Poland China pig, he named Evangline. She grew up and won the Grand Championship of the Scioto County Fair held in Lucusville and won a trip to the state capital, Columbus, Ohio.
When Leonard was seventeen, the family moved back to Cincinnati. He decided it was his time to help his dad with the family finances, dispite his mom's reservations. He quit school and went to work with his dad at the shoe factory.
Tryin' to go to night school and workin' long days at the shoe factory, it finally took it's toll. Leonard Slye decided someone else would have to grow up and help the afflicted.
As often as possible, Leonard would return to the farm in Duck Run, where his sister Cleta and her husband lived.
One morin' Leonard approched his dad and told him the jobs at the shoe factory wasn't goin' any where. He had 'bout ninety dollars saved up and he thought his dad had 'bout one hundred dollars saved. "Let's go out and visit Mary" (his sister had moved to California with her husband) he said "and take a look at California". Mary had said in letters there were jobs out there, to be had. That was in the spring of 1930.
They loaded up their belongin's and headed WEST! Th old 1923 Dodge didn't quite make it all the way. But the Andy Slye family did. The old Dodge quit in Magdelina, New Mexico 'fore the bearin's went out. They fixed the truck by replacin' the worn out parts with used parts from another Dodge, from the junkyard.
When they arrived at Mary's, they were weary, hungry and broke, but they had made it just fine.
They drove gravel trucks for four months, 'fore headin' back to Ohio.
Andy had planned to try and sale the farm and go back out to California for good, but Leonard couldn't stay put when they returned home. It was gettin' much cooler, and the warmth of the California sun was too much for him! He was hardly back home in Ohio, 'fore he turn 'round and headed right back to California.
The followin' spring the family headed West once more.
Right off, Andy and Leonard got truck drivin' jobs. They were doin' pretty good, 'til they showed up at work one mornin', as they were haulin' off the trucks (the truck company went
After no profit two months of fruit pickin', Andy heard they were hirin' at a shoe factory in Los Angeles. Len just couldn't bear to go with him.
He could sing a little bit, and folks seemed to enjoy his singin' and his music.
After some music disappointments, a small radio station in Inglewood, Califonia was havin' a amateur singin' contest. His sister Mary and his mama Mattie urged him to enter it. The night of the contest, Leonard Slye got more nervous. When they called his name, he froze in the chair. Mary nudged him a few times with her elbow and he finally got up and sang a few songs. Leonard never remembered the names of the songs he sang, he was so nervous that day!
He didn't even place, but the very next day, he got a call from a man who said he was the manager of a Western music group called "The Rocky Mountaineers". Not bein' swamped by that many offers, Leonard jumped at the chance.
His association with the Mountaineers didn't jump him into another tax bracket, but it introduced him to two very important young men, that would eventually help change his world.
Bob Nolan was an outstandin' baritone who came from Canada and joined the group shortly after Leonard, but left when he realized that paydays were far and few between. He took a job as caddy at the Bel Aire Country Club.
Tim Spencer answered the call for a baritone and yodler.
The livin' arrangements were pretty bad and hard to go by and people were droppin' out of the group, faster than they could be replaced.
Tim Spencer and another man named Slumber Nichols weren't so dissolutioned, so we joined another group called the "International Cowboys". They got back on the radio, but with a new bookin' agent.
The International Cowboys then hit the road, but changed their name to 'O-Bar-O Cowboys'. They had many failures with the crowds and while they were in Yuma, Arizona, they paid their lodgin' bill with Leonard's wrist watch.
It was June 1933 when they arrived in Roswell, New Mexico for a bookin'.
Short on money, they got the manager of a tourist court to extend them credit until they were paid for their show. They went to the local radio station and the station manager let them sing a few songs to promote themselves. He even loaned them his rifle so they could get their meals the old fashion way, by shootin' it. The wild game got far and few between.
They thought of an old ploy that worked back in California, so when they went on-the-air at the radio station, they mentioned the offhand of food, hopin' some poor soul would take the hint and drop by the station with a cake, pie or freshly baked cookies. What they wanted was FOOD!!
No sooner than they were off-the-air, a young lady called and said if he would do "The Swiss Yodel" the next day, she would drop by with a whole lemon pie. "The Swiss Yodel" was the first song that was sung the followin' day.
They got off-the-air, but no young lady, and NO LEMON PIE! Sadly, they loaded their instruments and returned to the tourist court. To their surprise when they arrived, there was a woman and a young lady standin' at their door with TWO LEMON PIES, still warm!!
They introduced themselves, "I'm Mrs. Wilkins from across the street" she said "and this is my daughter Arline, who called you at the station. She loved your Swiss Yodel!"
Arline smiled, and Leonard forgot 'bout the pies for a moment. She was the prettiest girl he'd ever seen! It was love at first site!
Leonard returned the empty pie plates the next day to the Wilkins. They invited 'the boys' over for fried chicken that evenin'. Things were lookin' up.
Well, their show in Roswell, New Mexico didn't make them any money. The Lion's Club agreed to let them do a square dance for them. They made just enough money to pay their tourist court. So they canceled the rest of their tour and headed home to California.
Slumber got a job with a radio station in Fort Worth and Tim got a job with Safeway sackin' groceries. Lenard Slye joined a group called "The Texas Outlaws". When Leonard wasn't workin' at KFWB radio, Leonard wrote to Arline.
Leonard couldn't give up the notion of makin' it in the music business. So, after a certain length of time, he contacted Tim Spencer. They found Bob and they formed "The Pioneer Trio". They debuted on an early mornin radio on KFWB with "Jack and his Texas Outlaws". The station agreed to put them on staff and pay them thirty-five dollars a week. After awhile, they left the Outlaws and soon were workin' on a regular basis. They earned enough money to hire staff musicians and get a talented fiddle player named Hugh Farr.
The Pioneer Trio was renamed after they were announced as the "Sons of the Pioneers" by mistake. A radio announcer thought they looked way too young to be called the Pioneers, so he announced them as the "Sons of the Pioneers". The name stuck with them.
The following year the state of Texas was celebratin' it's Centennial in Dallas and they were asked to entertain.
Leonard wrote to Arline and suggested to her he was comin' her way, en route to Dallas; not for a piece of lemon pie, but for a piece of wedding cake. Arline and Leonard were married in her family's livin' room on June 14, 1936.
It was the fall of 1937 when Len stopped at the western hat store to pick up his cowboy hat. A anxious young man ran into the store and was so excited! Len asked him what was goin' on, and the young man told him he had to get a hat, 'cause he had an audition at Republic Studios the next mornin'. The studio was lookin' for a new singin' cowboy. Needless to say, Leonard went over to Republic the next mornin', but he was told he couldn't go through the gate by the guard, 'cause he didn't have an appointment. Len went outside the gate and saw a large group of 'bout fifty extras comin' in together, and he got in the middle of them, and walked right in. Just inside the gate, there was a tap on his shoulder. He crenged but when he turned 'round, it was Sol Siegel. Len told him he was gonna check into that new singin' cowboy that Republic was lookin' for. Sol explained that they hadn't found what they wanted, and he never thought of him, 'til just now. "I know you've been here with the 'Sons of the Pioneers', and I believe you've got what it takes.
He must have had what it took, for Lenonard Franklin Slye changed his name to Roy Rogers, and became "King of the Cowboys"; the number one box office draw for twelve years in a row.
Well folks, as Paul Harvey would say, "that's the rest of the story!".
Frances Octavia Smith
Frances Octavia was the first born child to Walter and Betty Sue Smith, October 31, 1912. Although her parents farmed near Italy, TX, she was actually born in her grandparents home in Uvalde, TX.
Her father was a farmer and owner-operator of his own hardware
At the age of three, Frances performed her first solo; a gospel song at their small church in Italy, TX.
Age seven saw Frances movin' to Oseola, AR with her parents. Frances's uncle told her dad of the many crops of cotton in the fields and how profitable they were.
Their first year there was not a good one and it was non-rewardin' to say the least It wasn't a happy time for young Frances, that first year.
Frances entered school at age seven. Her mom had taught her the basics; readin', writin' and arithmetic prior to that. She only stayed in the first grade for a half year. She advanced all the way to third grade. Later on she'd skip the seventh grade. At age eleven, Frances was in eighth grade.
She always went at 'high speed' at everythin' she did. She spent an intire summer in bed, 'cause she pushed herself so much.
As a young girl, she rushed into things that she wasn't ready for emotionally.
Twelve years old found her as a freshman in high school.She was so anxious to fit in socially along her peers in the higher grades. Frances acted and looked older than she was. She was so disappointed when her mom wouldn't let her go out with the many invitations she got from the young men.
She finally persuaded her mom to let her go to a dance as long as her mom was one of the chaperons.
Two years later Frances met an older boy from a neighborin' town and fell 'head over heels in love'. As time went on, they spent most of their free time together. Frances' mom worried 'bout this. Betty Smith told her daughter they couldn't see each other any more. Frances disobeyed her mom and continued to see Tom behind her mom's back. She was fouteen and old enough to make her own decisions.
One evenin' Frances was suppose to be rehearsin' for a play and spendin' the night at her girlfriend's. Instead, she and Tom obtained a marriage license and drove to Blytheville. There, they lied 'bout their ages and were married in the home of the minister. They drove to Tennessee and spent their honeymoon at her new mother-inlaw's home.
After the shock had subsided, they went back home and lived with Tom's dad and his step-mother.
Tom Fox and her became parents a year later, and shortly afer that, Tom left for the last time; leavin' her alone and with a child.
Her parents decided to move to Memphis and she went with them.
She waited a year to pass 'fore filin' for a divorce. At seventeen, she found herself bein' a divorcee.
She found herself runnin' everywhere and gettin' nowhere. She dared anyone to knock the chip off her shoulder. She tried to rationalize her feelin's of guilt and failure, to justify her wrongdoin's.
Her mom offered to adopt her child, but she was bound and determined to take care of Tommy herself. And to do that, she had to get a job.
She tried her hand at writin' songs, but most of them landed in the trash. This one song she was pleased with, and took it to a Memphis publisher and sang it to him. It had possibilities, so she left it with him. A few months later, she heard the same song she wrote, but with alterations to it, in a record store with another composer's name attached it. It's a lesson she learned the hard way!
Frances landed a secretarial job workin' for an insurance company, with fifteen dollars a week.
One afternoon the boss was gone and Frances decided to work on a song she was writin' and sang it as she wrote. The song died as the door slammed and her boss told her she might be in the wrong business.
She was surprised when her boss complimented her on her singin' and asked her if she was interested singin' on the radio The insurance company she worked for was a sponsor for the small, local radio station. Frances Fox made her debut on the radio, the followin' Friday night doin' a song titled, "Mighty Lak a Rose". She wasn't paid, but it didn't matter, for the station asked her to beome a regular on a thirty-minute reqest program. She started performin' at civic luncheons, banquets and occasional parties, while still workin' at the insurance office by day. Once in a while she'd get five or ten dollars, but usually, it was a 'thank you very much'!
In a short few months, Frances graduated from a request show at a small local station, to a program at the largest station in town.
In 1930, to become a great radio personality, there was only one place to play, and that was on one of Chicago's powerful radio stations.
After bein' in Memphis for four years, she loaded up her young son Tommy and headed for the Windy City.
No radio station, club manager or big band in Chicago was impressed with her success in Memphis. She managed to get a secreatarial job for fifteen doollars. In the city, that wasn't much. Expenses was much, just for the basics.
After along and thoughtout process, Dale decided Chicago wasn't the place for a growin' young man.
After nearly two years, Frances decided to wire Mom and Dad, to send money for them to come home. Her mom and dad had moved back to Italy, TX in favor of farmin'.
After a few days in the hospital, she started feelin' lots better. She had gotten acute malnutrition in Chicago.
Not long after, Frances found a job at WHAS in Louisville, KY as a female vocalist. Her mom knew she would be chasin' rainbows and suggested Tommy stay with them and her younger brother on the farm. Frances wanted Tommy with her.
Upon her arrival at the Louisville station, the program directer gave her two things. First off, they gave her more money than she'd ever made, and, a brand new name, Dale Evans. It was easier to pronounce and spell. She loved the name! And it meant she was headed in the right direction of bein' a professional in the business.
After a scare from the polio outbreak, Dale decided it would be better if they lived closer to home. She thought how very much Dale loved her son and they were on a train headed for Texas. Tommy loved the farm and the healthy life it gave him.
Dale seached for a job closer to home, but none was found. She traveled to Dallas and got a job at WFAA as a singer on the Early Bird program.
Dale agreed to let Tommy stay with them on the farm, while she worked and lived in Dallas durin' the week. On weekends, she traveled home.
Good changes were finally comin' to them. They both were healthy and happy now. However, bigger changes were to come.
Robert Dale Butts, a piano player she dated on occasion from Louisville, KY called her and said he'd quit his job and was headed for California. He was gonna stop in Dallas to look up job oportunities and see if there were anything for him, along the way. If things worked out, he might stay for a while, and would she be interested in seein' him? "Yes", she told him.
Dale Butts ended up playin' the piano and servin' as arranger for WFAA. After seein' each other regularly for a year, Dale Evans ended up marrying him in the late 1930'S.
They decided to move to Chicago to futher their careers. After a year, Robert Dale landed a job as a composer-arranger at NBC. Dale Evans registered with a number of agencies and went on auditions. She was invited to join the Jay Mills Orchestra, which played at the Edgewater Beach Hotel regularly. She was limited to singin' jazz numbers as another girl singer did the soft ballads.
At least she was gettin' noticed. She was delighted when she was asked to audition for the Anson Weeks Orchestra, playin' at the Aragon Ballroom at the time. She was hired and they toured the country for the next year.
Twelve months had gone by and she was ready to rest up for a while and spend more time than an occasional day or two with her son and husband. A job opened up at a Chicago station and it was given to her.
She continued to work for the CBS-based station while workin' the supper clubs at night. She worked the Blackstone, Sherman, and Drake hotels, Even the Chez Paree Supper Club!
One night at the Chez Paree, Ray Bolger and Ethel Shutta came to her after the show and had a heart-to-heart talk. He told her her voice was great, but the music was workin' against her. She needed new material that would would get the people's attention. He said, "maybe some original material would help".
A couple of nights later, she performed her own song, "Will You Marry Me, Mr. Laramie?", as Ray played her stooge in the audience. The audience loved it!
She worked with Fran Allison, who rose to fame later on to be part of Kukla, Fran & Ollie. She even did a recordin' session with a western group of singers that didn't impress her very much. They called themselves the Sons of the Pioneers!
Dale Evans made sure she covered all the bases by doin' another radio show called "A Gal From Texas". Her husband's schedule was as hectic as her's and both of them were very career oriented. There were days on end when they'd pass each other only to say "hello" and "goodbye" enroute to their individual pursuits.
Tommy was ready for Junior High and she made sure they attended church regularly. Quality time with Tommy was important as her career had a crazy schedule. Dale Evans wanted Tommy to have a firm and solid foundation of Christianity and faith.
She was progressin' quite nicely. The money would send Tommy to a fine college when time came for that. Her career was expandin' and she was enjoyin' some degree of fame. The little ole country gal from Texas was doin' pretty good and was feelin' satisfied.
Then, the call from Hollwood came! She had dreamed of doin' a musical comedy on the Broadway stage one day. Hollwood and movies never entered her mind.
She received a wire from an agent Joe Rivkin sayin' he had heard her on the radio. He wanted her to send photographs to him. She thought that was funny. She knew she wasn't a Harlow or Garbo, but she was fine with the way she looked. She laughed 'bout it all and forgot the whole thing! A second wire came:Paramount is looking for a new face for female lead in "Holiday Inn." Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire to star. She showed it to her program director and thought he'd find it as funny as she did. He told her to send photos, "what do ya have to lose?"
Three weeks later, the third wire arrived and said "Come at once."
After talkin' it over with her husband, she and Tommy boarded a plane for Los Angeles, CA.
She didn't look like her photos Joe Rivkin said as he picked them up at the airport. Dale thought he didn't like her hair color, the lipstick or the weddin' ring on her finger. He asked her how old she was. She lied and told him she was twenty-two. He told her, "as of right now, you're twenty-one and single, understand?"
At the hotel, she got her hair done and found the appropiate attire for the trip to Paramount Studios.
Although she didn't get the lead along side of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, they did want to keep her for a screen test.
Dale dampened the spirits of her new agent, but she broke down and was honest with them.
studio wanted to keep Tommy a secret, so she agreed to go along with a suggestion of passin' her son off as her younger brother, if Tommy agreed with it also.
'Bout a month later, she heard from Joe. Paramount wasn't interested, but Twentieth Century Fox was.
It would also be a great opportunity for her husband, as a composer-arranger in Hollywood.
Dale's mom accompanied Dale and Tommy to California to help find a place to live. Dale's husband had to stay behind in Chicago to finish out his contract.
It looked like her career was startin' off, when they caneled the college musical. They didn't think it was the proper time in American history to have a movie 'bout carefree college life. World War II had just started.
Dale was doin' little movie work, but her singin' career was just fine. She was travelin' all over entertainin' the various trainin' camps, and her brother Hillman was in the Air Corps. She outranked him, 'cause the Air Force had made her honorary captain for her entertainin' efforts. She recorded songs that were shipped overseas.
Dale Evans did like six hundred shows for the USO and the Hollywood Victory Committee. Her husband accompanied her on the trips to play piano for her, as often as his schedule allowed.
She wasn't doin' movies, but she was workin' with some big names in Hollywood such as Pat O'Brien and Marlene Dietrich at the trainin' camps.
Dale needed to get a new agent, since Joe Rivkin had entered the service. He recommended a Los Angeles agent, Art Rush who had never had a female client in his life.
He came by the house with his wife Mary Jo and they both liked her. He told her he'd do what he could to get her a radio audition.
Without notice, she officially became history to Twentieith Century Fox as soon as her contract expired.
Art Rush had an honorable quality that Dale liked; "unquestionable honesty."
Art arranged for an audition for her, for the "Cahase and Sanborn Hour," starin' Edgar Bergen and Charlie Mc Carthy, as well as Don Ameche and Ray Noble, who needed a female vocalist. A few days later she signed the contract.
Dale was doin' good professionally, but it was gettin' to her, lyin' 'bout her son.
On two different occasions, one such excetutive connected with Chase and Sanborn in New York asked her to have dinner with him. She declined both times as she already had previous engagements. Her option was not renewed in 1943.
From the beginnin' Art Rush kept tellin' her 'bout this singin' cowboy star with a promisin' future. She was singin' at Edwards Air Force in Lancaster, CA and sharin' the stage with the Sons of the Pioneers. Art Rush made a point to introduce her to his young protege.
Roy Rogers was just a shy, well mannered young man with reasonably good looks and a nice singin' voice. Nothin' more, nothin' less.
When Dale received her walkin' papers from NBC radio, she called Art's office. "He's out of town on behalf of Roy Rogers" his secreatary said.
When he returned, she told Art Rush she was not happy with him in as much as he was too busy handling his new protege, Roy Rogers and Nelson Eddy; that they needed to go their seperate ways.
Danny Winkler became her third agent. and he immediately set out to redirect her career towards the movies. With a little bit of help from Art Rush as she learned later, that Republic Studios was plannin' a production of a musical and wanted new faces. Art dug out her screen test and made sure Armand Schaeffer, an executive at Republic Studios, saw it. Winkler took the ball from there and she was signed to a one year contract with Republic.
Two weeks later, Dale was in rehersals for the movie, "Swing Your Partner". It was what you call a country musical and a promisin' start.
Durin' the next year, she did nine more movies. Dale toured the whole southwestwest, visitin' Arny bases. In her spare time, she was in the recordin' studio.
Republic renewed her contract. Herbert Yates, owner of Republic Studios summoned her and told her of the musical "Oklahoma" in New York City that he saw. She was thinkin' he wanted to do a movie version, but the fantasy didn't last long.
Their Roy Rogers westerns had been doin' quite well and he thought they needed a female lead who could also sing. "I think you're what what they're lookin' for" he said.
B-Westerns was not what she had in mind, but she started rehearsals the followin' week for "Cowboy and the Senorita" with her bein' the senorita. So here she was, starin' in a movie with that cowboy protege of Art Rush's, Roy Rogers
She was hopin' if she performed so well in the westerns, surely they'd put her in better pictures and give her better roles.
The movie was a great success. Movie managers urged them to keep her teamed with Roy Rogers.
Before the year was out. She had made three more pictures with Roy. Fan mail kept pourin' in and she thought, this isn't all that bad, ridin' horses.
After workin' with Roy in pictures, she found him to be a delightful person; not like her jealously of him earlier. For the status he had gained, he was't affected by it all. He was down to earth and not phoney like some others. Instead of goin' to parties, Roy was a family man and gleamed as he talked of his wife and two girls.
Dale noticed when they were on tour, Roy took to the children right off. He had a way with them, and seemed to enjoy the children alot!
After seein' Dale was gonna be a permanant fixure, in Roy's movies, her folks called to ask 'bout him. To put her parents mind at ease, she reminded them that she was a married women and over twenty-one.
Dale set down after their phone call, and wrote them 'bout Roy. How he was kind to all his crew people and co-actors. He was humble and plain and reminded her of her brother Hillman. "He's an honest man" she wrote.
Tommy graduated from high school with bein' a fine musician. She wanted to help prepare him and spare him some of the bumpy roads ahead. Dale had traveled and had gotten to know some influential people in the music business. She felt she had to help with the door-openin' some, since she forced him to lie 'bout bein' her son.
Her career was doin' well, but her marriage to R. Dale Butts was declinin'. Neither of them considered makin' their career secondary to their marriage. It was unfortunate, but in 1945, they were divorced.
Dale did nine movies, 'fore she tired of bein' fourth billin' to a horse.
She went to Yates and told him she wanted better roles, or she'd quit. Yates told her she would have legal action against her if she tried to quit, because she was still under contract. Dale went on and made ten more Westerns.
Dale was part of Roy Rogers movies. Roy and she had become close friends, but they had different ideas on their careers. When her contract from Republic ran out in 1947, she made no effort to renew it. They had just finished filmin' "Bells of San Angelo".
Dale went back on radio takin' a job as featured singer with Jimmy Durante' and Garry Moore on their network show.
While Dale was in Atlantic City, appearin' at the Steel Pier, she looked out in the audience and saw Roy and Art Rush wearin' suits.
She joined them as soon as the show ended. It had been almost a year since Arline's untimely death. Roy was doin' fine and the girls were looked after by the housekeeper.
Conversation of their movies came up and they wanted her to join them again. They wanted her to come back to Republic and shoot western pictures.
She thanked him and said "no".
After a while, Dale found Yates and said she was ready to return to her horse. She enjoyed workin' with the Sons of the Pioneers again, Gabby and even Trigger. A strong family kindship on the set was more evident this time.
After gettin' in the swing of things once more, uuddenly it all began to make some sense to her. The axiom 'bout there bein' a place for everybody and everbody havin' a place had some truth to it.
Before the year 1947 ended, they had another movie done. They'd go on tour includin the cities of Philedelphia, Detroit, St Louis and Chicago. It would become famous as Roy and Dale were astride their horses in the Chicago Stadium when Roy told Dale he had just talked to the kids at home and they said to tell ya hello. The conversation wasn't a normal one in any means, as Roy reached in his pocket and brought out a small box. "Hold out your finger" he said. It was a pretty gold ring with a ruby settin'. "What a thoughtful birthday present" she said since her birthday were only weeks away.
There were no smile on Roy's face as he asked Dale what she was doin' on New Year's Eve?
"I have no plans," Dale answered.
"Fine" he said. "Why don't we get married then?"
Just as Dale was 'bout to give him an answer, the announcer called his name to ride out into the arena.
Well folks, we know what the answwer was.
To read more on their life, please click on Their Story.
Happy Trails Forever,