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Hopalong Cassidy Music


To go to each section directly, click on these links:

The Actor Who Was Hopalong Cassidy

New song about Hopalong Cassidy

Music in Hopalong Cassidy Films

Alan Livingston and The Capitol Record-Readers

Hopalong Cassidy music on CD-ROM NEW!

Hopalong Cassidy and Bing Crosby on Radio

Hopalong Cassidy Radio and Television Programs

Hopalong Cassidy books

Hopalong Cassidy in magazines

A Tribute to Actress Grace Bradley Boyd (Mrs. Hopalong Cassidy)

Hopalong Cassidy Festivals and Reunions

Hopalong Cassidy Song Series NEW!

 


 

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The Actor Who Was Hopalong Cassidy

by Roger Hall

 

 

Hopalong Cassidy was the western character played by William Lawrence (1895-1972)in 66 films between 1935 and 1948, the longest running series of any fictional movie character.

William Boyd also made 52 half-hour television programs and 104 half-hour radio episodes that were broadcast in the early 1950s.

He was one of the top box office western stars from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s. William Boyd didn't just play the part, he LIVED the part. He was loved by millions of adoring fans and was known by just one name: "Hoppy."

There were many actors who played Hoppy's sidekicks, including Britt Wood, singer Brad King, Jay Kirby, George Reeves (later in SUPERMAN on television), Jimmy Rogers (son of Will Rogers), and Rand Brooks.

There were also his two main comic sidekicks: George Hayes (as Windy) and Andy Clyde (as California).

Robert Mitchum also began his acting career in a Hopalong Cassidy western: BAR 20 (1943).

The first time a trio of cowboys received top billing was in Hopalong Cassidy westerns.

The best of the threesomes in these westerns were:

First Threesome:

Shown left to right: Johnny Nelson (Jimmy Ellison), Windy Halliday (George Hayes), and Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd).

First film as a threesome: BAR 20 RIDES AGAIN (1935)

Jimmy Ellison in Hoppy films from 1935-1937
Geoorge Hayes in Hoppy films from 1935-1939

Second Threesome:

Shown left to right: California Carlson (Andy Clyde), Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd), and Lucky Jenkins (Russell Hayden).

First film as a threesome: HILLS OF OLD WYOMING (1937).

 

In 1998, Roger Hall wrote to a national directory and asked them to put in an entry for William Boyd's birthday. They agreed to put it in the directory that year and every year afterwards. Look in this directory on June 5 and you'll see the announcement of the"William Boyd Birth Anniversary" (June 5, 1895) in

Chase's Calendar of Events

A New Song about Hopalong Cassidy

Songwriter Roger Lee Hall has written a new song,
with beautiful lyrics by Susie Coffman, and titled,

"The Angels handed me a rose
(Hoppy's Song For Grace)

Read how to get your copy of the instrumental version
of this song on the CD, "GENTLE PEACE" -- click here.

This song is dedicated in memory of
Mrs. Hopalong Cassidy (Grace Bradley Boyd)

 

 

Music in Hopalong Cassidy Films

by Roger Hall

Most B-western fans know about the singing cowboys of the 1930s and 1940s, such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, and others .

Maybe you assume that because Hopalong Cassidy wasn't a singing cowboy there were no songs in his westerns. Wrong! There were actually over 40 songs featured in the Hoppy films. There were also talented music directors, such as Boris Moross who worked for many years at Paramount.

Highly skilled composers were also employed to write the background scores.These composers included: John Leipold (who did 8 Hopalong Cassidy scores), and Victor Young (who did 4 of them). Both of these composers received Oscars for other films:

John Leipold received his Oscar for John Ford's STAGECOACH in 1939.

Victor Young received an Oscar posthumously for Mike Todd's Oscar-winning film, AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS, in 1956.

 

1930s

In the first film of the long-running series, titled HOP - A - LONG CASSIDY (1935), "Following the Stars" was sung by Jimmy Ellison as Johnny Nelson -- he wasn't a strong singer but did very nicely making the song an important part of the film's story.

The first singing group featured in a Hoppy western was Chill Wills & His Avalon Boys, who sang in BAR 20 RIDES AGAIN in 1935, and again in THE CALL OF THE PRAIRIE in 1936. But only their voices were heard on the soundtrack.

There was even a Hoppy western with several Irish songs. In NORTH OF THE RIO GRANDE (1937), Walter Long playing Irishman Bull O'Hara, warbles the song, "Wearin' of the Green," accompanied at the piano by George ("Windy") Hayes -- who wasn't really a piano player! Later in the film, singer Bernadene Hayes as Faro Annie sings the popular song,"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.

The St. Bendan's Boy Choir directed by Robert Mitchell were featured in THE FRONTIERSMAN in 1938. This fine choir sang a bunch of traditional songs in this Hoppy movie, including "Home on the Range," "Columbia, The Gem of The Ocean," and "Auld Lang Syne." The film also featured a young Dickie Jones (who didn't sing), and then he became known as the voice of the wooden boy in Disney's animated film classic, PINOCCHIO. Many years later, Dick Jones was a guest at the Hopalong Cassidy Festival in 2006 in Cambridge, Ohio.

The next year of 1939 featured the first singing quartet in a Hoppy movie. They were known as The King's Men and sang two songs in THE RENEGADE TRAIL. This was one of the Hopalong Cassidy westerns with a young boy in the cast. His full name was Moyer MacLaren ("Sonny") Bupp [shown at right with Hoppy]. A few years later, he played Charles Foster Kane 's son in CITIZEN KANE. Sonny told me many years ago that he had really enjoyed playing in that Hopalong Cassidy movie opposite William Boyd, who treated him very kindly.

 


The first song in THE RENEGADE TRAIL was "Lazy Rolls The Rio Grande" with a solo by future singing cowboy star, Eddie Dean.

The other song was "Hi Thar, Stranger!"

Hopalong Cassidy with The King's Men
in THE RENEGADE TRAIL (1939)

One of the members of The King's Men was Ken Darby, who later worked at 20th Century Fox Studios as an arranger, songwriter and conductor.

He received three Oscars for his work on Hollywood musicals:

THE KING AND I
(1956), PORGY AND BESS (1959), and CAMELOT (1967).

To read about Ken Darby's work with a famous young singer in
LOVE ME TENDER, click here

Most of the early singers for Hopalong Cassidy westerns like TRAIL DUST (1936) and HILLS OF OLD WYOMING (1937) were not identified on the film credits so are not known today.

 

1940s

There were less songs in later Hoppy movies, most of them in the early 1940s.

One of the movies featured The King's Men in STAGECOACH WAR (1940)

Brad King (real name: Jack Watt) appeared in 5 Hopalong Cassidy movies in 1941, including two with The Jimmy Wakely Trio: STICK TO YOUR GUNS and TWILIGHT ON THE TRAIL

The Guardsmen: RIDERS OF THE TIMBERLINE (1941) - "The Fightin' Forty"

The Sportsmen Quartette with Thurl Ravenscroft: LOST CANYON (1943) - "Jingle, Jangle, Jingle"

 



Alan Livingston
and
The Capitol Record Readers

By Roger Hall

 

 

Beginning in 1946, there was a series of children's records produced under the Bozo the Clown logo.

They were released by Capitol Records and were the idea of this creative record producer...

Alan W. Livingston (1917-2009)

The first record produced by Livingston in the series was Bozo at the Circus and it became a million seller.

He produced several sets known as "Record-Readers," which included an illustrated picture book.

These record sets became popular with kids everywhere, especially the ones for Hopalong Cassidy, who was at his peak in 1950.


This was the first children's record set to make it
to the Top Ten on the pop charts...

HOPALONG CASSIDY AND THE SINGING BANDIT
was available with two 78 rpm or 45 rpm records.

The cast of characters for this record set:

Bill Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy
Andy Clyde as California
Rand Brooks as Lucky
and Topper as "Himself"


There was also an 18 page illustrated story booklet which accompanied the records. This set includes a simple song about Hopalong Cassidy with lyrics by Alan Livingston and music by Billy May, an accomplished arranger and conductor who worked with many great singers, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Peggy Lee. The singer of the Hopalong Cassidy song is not identified on the record.

Listen to this complete story and song for
HOPALONG CASSIDY AND THE SINGING BANDIT
by clicking here
.

There was another Record-Reader released by Capitol Records in 1950,
HOPALONG CASSIDY AND THE SQUARE DANCE HOL
DUP

It featured the same cast of characters and was again written and produced by Alan Livingston, with music provided by Billy May.

Listen to this complete story and song for HOPALONG CASSIDY AND THE SSQUARE DANCE HOLDUP by clicking here

Later on, Alan Livingston became the President of Capitol Records where he signed up Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and The Beatles among others.

Other Hopalong Cassidy stories by different writers were also released on Capitol records, such as these titles:

"Hoppy's Good Luck Coin" by Hamilton Richards
"The Legend of Phantom Scout Pass" by Steve Graham


"Hopalong Cassidy and The Two-Legged Wolf" by Charles Shows

 

 

 

Hoppy on multi-media CD-ROM

Did you know there were over 40 songs featured in Hopalong Cassidy
westerns during the 1930s and 1940s?

Read about them and other fascinating facts and listen to songs in this collection by songwriter Roger Hall, who met Hopalong Cassidy in New York City as a youngster in 1950. He has also appeared as a guest at several Hopalong Cassidy Festivals in Cambridge, Ohio.

The first edition (2005) and second edition (2009) are now SOLD OUT.

The new 3rd edition is now available!

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first Hopalong Cassidy movie in 1935, a new revised 3rd edition is available with the illustrated book and many pictures, including from the Hopalong Cassidy Festival in Cambridge, Ohio, plus music and stories on a CD-ROM disc playable on any computer with Microsoft Word and mp3 audio program. It is titled after the first song in the first Hopalong Cassidy movie...

 

"Following the Stars"
Music & Memories of HopalongCassidy
(PineTree Productions, 2015)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Do you remember those entertaining days when you enjoyed listening
to radio programs? Between 1949 and 1952, William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy appeared with his friend, Bing Crosby on his radio show, as well as the George Burns & Grace Allen Show and the Dean Martin& Jerry Lewis radio program.

 

Hopalong Cassidy, Peggy Lee and Bing Crosby

Now you listen to several of these fun and festive programs
with some wonderful songs included
on a special non-commercial CD titled:

Bing and Hoppy On Radio

December 7, 1949 (guests: Hopalong Cassidy and Peggy Lee)
December 13, 1950 (guests: Hopalong Cassidy and Peggy Lee)
April 4, 1951 (guests: Hopalong Cassidy and Dinah Shore)

 

Click on this button to

 

 

 

After you have placed your order
by credit card payable to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal,
please mention this CD and
send your mailing address to:


Bing and Hoppy on Radio

 

On the radio program Bing and Hoppy mention making a movie together at
Paramount Pictures but unfortunately it was never made
with the two of them.
Read all about it in Roger Hall's article
in HOPPY TALK (Vol. 18, No. 4, Fall 2011).

 

 

 

Bravo, Bing!
A Tribute to Bing Crosby

 

 

Hopalong Cassidy Radio and Television Programs

 

The Hopalong Cassidy radio series ran from 1950 to 1952 for 104 episodes on the Mutual and CBS Radio Networks. The programs were recorded between 1948 and 1950 and featured primarily Andy Clyde as California and later Joe DuVal also as California. The theme music for the series was composed by Albert Glasser who composed over 150 scores in his career.
Here is wrote this about the Hopalong Cassidy radio theme:

Walter White,  who had been in charge of Radio Free Europe broadcasts for which I had written some stuff, asked me if I would like to write the music for a new radio show he was producing with William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy. Well, of course, I jumped at the opportunity. This was around December of 1948, and James Petrillo, head of the musicians union, had called a strike for January 1st, 1949. So, everybody was scrambling to get their music recorded before the deadline, and I had to look all over town to find a studio that was not already booked. I finally found a place on Highland Avenue - upstairs, but we had to be out of there by midnight to beat the strike deadline. So, I wrote the cues, had them copied, and called the seven (7) men for the orchestra - all top men. We got there at 10:00, and everything went well. I wrote a real slow, walking horse theme for when the announcer says, "It's Hopalong Cassidy time..." We left the studio at midnight New Year's eve, and, it was snowing outside! Snowing in Los Angeles!! That was for the sample show. Once the show was sold, and they needed more music, with the strike on, everybody was going out of the country to record - England, Germany, France, Mexico. My buddy Elias Breeskin was in Mexico, and he told me that he could set me up there at Cherabusco Studios, so I went to Mexico. He took care of everything - all I had to bring was the music, my baton and the money! So, the show was a hit, and after the strike, I continued to hire the same seven musicians who had recorded the sample show with me for all the other Hoppalong Cassidy music sessions.
 

-- this quote courtesy of David L. Fuller

 

 

Hopalong Cassidy Radio Program

 

Book review of this recommended book at this link:

Jingle of the Silver Spurs:
The Hopalong Cassidy Radio Program, 1950-1952

 

 

 

Music for the Television Series

 

Here he comes,
Here he comes,
There's the trumpets,
There's the drums,
Here he comes,
Hopalong Cassidy,
Here he comes!

These lyrics are from the television theme song,
with lyrics
by L. Wolfe Gilbert (1886-1970)
and music by Nacio Herb Brown (1896-1964)

Though some of the Hopalong Cassidy movies were shown earlier in Los Angeles and New York, the first NBC TV network showing was on June 24, 1949. Entertainment writer, Susan Sackett wrote that William Boyd was -

"a gambling man, he hocked everything to purchase the TV rights to the films and his character...he sold the first package of Hopalong Cassidy television episodes - edited down versions of his films - to New York's local station WNBT. They were an overnight success, and by 1950 his show ranked in the top 10...children worshipped Hoppy, and the character became the first merchandising phenomenon."

-- quoted in
"Following the Stars" - Music and Memories of Hopalong Cassidy.

All of his TV shows, including 10 full length feature films, are now available on this DVD collection:

Hopalong Cassidy: Complete Collection

Hopalong Cassidy: The Complete Television Collection

The Hopalong Cassidy opening and closing
TV theme is included on this wonderful nostalgic CD collection:

Television's Greatest Hits, Volume 4:
65 TV themes from the '50s and '60s

The complete TV theme, titled "Hopalong Cassidy March,"
as recorded by Frank DeVol in 1952 on this excellent 2 CD set with many popular themes and songs, including
"Hoppy, Gene And Me" sung by Roy Rogers:

 

Treasury of the West, Volume 2

Books and Magazine Aricles
about Hopalong Cassidy

 

Former President Bill Clinton has written
the Preface to this lavishly illustrated book
by Grace Bradley Boyd and Michael Cochran titled,


Hopalong Cassidy: An American Legend

To read the book review

click here

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To read the book review

click here

 

 

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NEW - Revised edition!

"Following the Stars"
Music and Memories of Hopalong Cassidy
by Roger Hall

 

 

 

 

 

Hopalong Cassidy in Magazines

 

Get your copy of Roger Hall's fascinating article
on the first movie, HOP-A-LONG CASSIDY (1935)
in Films of the Golden Age (No. 42) from Fall, 2005.
Order your copy at:

Films of the Golden Age

 

 

The Summer 2013 issue (No. 73) of Films of the Golden Age
has a wonderful long article on William Boyd,
about his pre-Hopalong Cassidy film roles
in silent films and early talkies.
The article is "William Boyd: Before the Legend" by Diane Jarrett.

 

 

"Every kid needs a hero.
Hopalong Cassidy takes the place of
Buffalo Bill, Babe Ruth, Lindy, and all the rest.
He's everything that young America admires and wants."

(December 1950)

There were many articles written about Hopalong Cassidy, especially in 1950 in Time, Life and Look magazines, when he was at the peak of his popularity.

One of the most interesting was a Christmas issue of Coronet magazine (December 1950) with an article titled, "The Inside Story of Hopalong Cassidy" by Dwight Whitney.

 

This is an excerpt:

His [Hopalong Cassidy's] Saturday radio program, sponsored by General Foods, is heard on 151 CBS stations from coast to coast. His movies, the cause for all the furor, are televised from 60 stations. Last summer his second record album, Hopalong Cassidy and the Singing Bandit, sold 200,000 before issuance. During his personal appearance tour with the Cole Bros. Circus, the crowds broke all attendance records. From these various sources, Boyd stands to make well over $1,000,000 this year.

 

 

Also included in this 1950 Coronet magazine is the ...

 

 

Mrs. Hopalong Cassidy

A Tribute to Grace Bradley Boyd (1913-2010)

 

 

Hopalong Cassidy
Festivals and Reunions

2010

©

Songwriter Roger Hall was one of the speakers
at the Hopalong Cassidy Bar 20 Reunion
in 2010 in Cambridge, Ohio. It was the 50th anniversary of
him meeting Hoplaong Cassidy in 1950.


Roger introduced
his new song, "The Angels Handed Me A Rose" with lyrics by Susie Coffman

Read more at

Hoppy Songs



 

 

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2009

 

 

 

To read about the 2009 Hopalong Cassidy Festival

click here

 

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2006

 

 

Read all about the 16th Annual Hopalong Cassidy Festival

click here

 

[In memory of the Dale Berry and Dick Jones]

See the photo gallery from
the 2006 Hopalong Cassidy Festival
with these two actors

click here

 

 

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Hopalong Cassidy Fan Club

 

Sign up to the Hopalong Cassidy Fan Club International
and
receive the wonderful HOPPY TALK newsletter,
Laura Bates, editor/publisher
and Fred Romary, associate editor.

To join the Hopalong Cassidy Fan Club and receive the
newsletter with lots of interesting news, write to:

Friends of Hopalong Cassidy
6310 Friendship Drive
New Concord, Ohio 43762-9708

 

 

 

 

 

Hopalong Cassidy Song Series

This series was written by songwriter, Roger Hall,
and featured in each issue of HOPPY TALK,
the official publication of Friends of Hopalong Cassidy,
Canbridge, Ohio, boyhood home of William Lawrence Boyd,
Laura Bates, Editor; Fred Romary, Associate Editor.

No. 1: "HILLS OF OLD WYOMING" (1937)
HOPPY TALK, Vol. 19, No. 3 (2012)

 

No. 2: "TWILIGHT ON THE TRAIL" (1941)
HOPPY TALK, Vol. 19, No. 4 (2012-2013)

 

 

No. 3: "THE FUNNY OLD HILLS"
from TWILIGHT ON THE TRAIL (1941)
HOPPY TALK, Vol. 20, No. 1 (2013)

 

No. 4: "TAKE ME BACK TO THOSE WIDE OPEN SPACES"
from TRAIL DUST (1936)
HOPPY TALK, Vol. 20, No. 2 (2013)

 

No. 5: "LAZY ROLLS THE RIO GRANDE"
from THE RENEGADE TRAIL (1939)
HOPPY TALK, Vol. 20, No. 3 (2014)

 

No. 6: "JINGLE, JANGLE, JINGLE"
from LOST CANYON (1943)
HOPPY TALK, Vol. 20, No. 4 (2014)

 

 

Jimmy Wakely, Grace Bradley Boyd, William Boyd

 

In celebration of the Jimmy Wakley Centennial

Jimmy Wakely (1914-1982)

No. 7: "MY KIND OF COUNTRY"
(words by Frank Loesser/ music by Jimmy McHugh)
sung by The Jimmy Wakely Trio
in STICK TO YOUR GUNS (1941)
HOPPY TALK, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2014)

 

In memory of Dick Jones (1927-2014)

No. 8: "HOME ON THE RANGE"
(words by Dr. Brewster Higley/music by Daniel E. Kelley)
sung by St. Brendan's Boy Choir
in THE FRONTIERSMEN (1938)
in HOPPY TALK (Vol. 21, No. 2, Winter 2015)

 

 


You can get copies of this Hopalong Cassidy Song Series
by joining the Fan Club and you will receive HOPPY TALK
with lots of interesting news.



To join, write to:

Friends of Hopalong Cassidy
6310 Friendship Drive
New Concord, Ohio 43762-9708

 

 

 

 

See this YouTube channel for video clips on

Hopalong Cassidy

 

Recommended Links

 

 

Official Hopalong Cassidy Site -- Commercial site.

William Boyd -- Wikipedia article.

"Following the Stars" - Music & Memories of Hopalong Cassidy -- multi-media book with music, pictures and stories.

Hoppy Fans - The Official Hopalong Cassidy Fan Site -- Hoppy fans welcome to join!

Hopalong Cassidy Collectibles -- Joseph J. Caro's reference guide with over 1,200 color photos.

Hopalong Cassidy Festival - information about the annual gathering of Hoppy fans and celebrity guests in Cambridge, Ohio.

Hopalong Cassidy Museum - narrated by Laura Bates on YouTube

Hopalong Cassidy Songs - songs from the movies and about Hoplaong Cassidy sung by Roy Rogers ("Hoppy, Gene and Me"), Roger Miller ("Hoppy's Gone") and others.

The Old Corral -- Chuck Anderson's great website dedicated to B-western stars, including Hoppy.

The Silver Screen Cowboy Project -- new songs about past cowboy stars, including a new one about Hoppy.

Western Clippings -- latest cowboy news and info by author, Boyd Magers.

Dorothy Sebastian -- many wonderful photos of William Lawrence Boyd, his fourth wife Dorothy Sebastian, and his fifth wife Grace Bradley.+


+ For the record, William Boyd was married five times:

Laura Maynes in 1917

Ruth Yeager Miller in 1921

Elinor Virginia Crow in 1926

Dorothy Sebastian in 1930

Grace Bradley on June 5th, 1937 -- she married William Boyd on his 42nd birthday. They remained married until his death in 1972. Later, this beautiful lady became known and beloved as "Mrs. Hopalong Cassidy." She has written her memories about her life with her late husband in the handsome illustrated book titled, Hopalong Cassidy: An American Legend

 

Please remember to credit this page!



Much of the information on this page
was compiled by songwriter, Roger Hall,
who met Hopalong Cassidy at a photo shoot in 1950.

If you copy any text or pictures from this page
please give credit to

Hopalong Cassidy Music

 

 

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