‘Sons of the Pioneers’ slated at Ellen Eccles Theatre

The current members of the legendary "Sons of the Pioneers" will perform on Sept. 27 at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in downtown Logan.

LOGAN – A genuine national treasure is slated to perform at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in late September.

That performance in downtown Logan on Sept. 27 will star the legendary cowboy singing group the “Sons of the Pioneers.”

“Over the years, Logan’s flagship theater has hosted world-renowned acts such as (bandmaster) John Phillip Sousa and (comedians) Bud Abbot and Lou Costello,” recalls Wendi Hassan, the executive director of the Cache Valley Center for the Arts.

“We are eager to have the ‘Sons of the Pioneers’ continue that legacy by sharing their talents with Cache Valley,” she adds.

The historic singing ensemble was originally founded in California in the early 1930s by Ohio native Leonard Slye, who would later leave the band to find fame as the singing cowboy Roy Rogers.

Initially dubbed the “Pioneer Trio,” the band’s name changed when a radio announcer remarked in 1934 that they were too young to be pioneers, but they could be “sons of the pioneers.”

By that time, radio appearances had spread the group’s reputation beyond Los Angeles and they signed a contract with Decca Records. Their first recording for Decca was their own composition, the haunting “Tumbling Tumbleweeds.”

By the 1950s, the “Sons of the Pioneers” had appeared in numerous Hollywood films including Roy Rogers westerns for Republic Pictures and the John Ford classics “Wagon Master” (1949) and “Rio Grande” (1950). They also sang the theme song of “The Searchers” in 1956, a film that John Wayne always called his proudest performance.

Although the original “Sons of the Pioneers” have long since passed away, the group’s fame continued to grow as new members joined. In 1977, the Smithsonian Institution designed the “Sons of the Pioneers” as a national treasure in recognition of their noteworthy contributions to the art and culture of America. The group was inducted into Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City in 1995. That same year, they became the first country-western group to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

CacheARTS marketing director Alex Nelson says that tickets for the “Sons of the Pioneers” show at the Eccles Theatre on Sept. 27 can be purchased by calling 435-752-0026, at the theater box office (43 S. Main St.) and online at www.cachearts.org/sons-of-the-pioneers

The Cache Valley Center for the Arts is an independent non-profit organization that promotes the use of Cache Valley’s publicly owned cultural arts facilities.

Those facilities include the Ellen Eccles Theatre, the Thatcher-Young Mansion and the Bullen Center.

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