The Grand Ole Opry has welcomed everyone from Patsy Cline to Carrie Underwood on to its iconic stage. Responsible for launching countless country music careers, and inducting members who have proved their talent and success in the industry, The Opry is a special place. The Riders In The Sky have been Opry Members since 1982, and hold an important key to the history of the great musical institution.
The group got their first start in 1977, in a surprise gig at a Nashville nightclub, and the rest is history. Doug "Ranger Doug" Green, Fred "Too Slim" Labour, and Paul "Woody Paul" Chrisman created the Riders In The Sky. Three on the Trail was the title of their debut album, and showed a range of instrumental talent, along with quick-witted humor poking fun at aspects of the cowboy image - which would eventually lead to their addition in live shows at the Opry. They provided a bit of comic relief between performances, and their style helped put the "Western" in "Country & Western".
The trio became a quartet when they brought on longtime accordionist, Joey “The Cowpolka King” Miskulin to full membership. They kept the cowboy style alive with the recording of two soundtrack companion CDs: Woody’s Roundup featuring Riders In The Sky, for Toy Story 2, and Monsters Inc.: Scream Factory Favorites, which earned the group Grammy awards in 2001 and 2003
The Riders have won countless awards over the years, and still amaze audiences at the Opry and elsewhere. If you ever get a chance to see them perform live, don't miss it!
They are considered to be one of “the most historically significant acts in the history of American music.” - Billboard journalis Jim Bessman
Watch this fun and unique performance of the Riders In The Sky at the Opry singing some of the best Toy Story 2 tracks. Enjoy!
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