Whew! I'm exhausted after the last two posts. How about something a little lighter?
The above is the original title of the song we now know as “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”
As my father’s taste didn’t run much this side of the “Sons of the Pioneers,” (stay tuned for my Y post) this was one of the few songs we would play together. I never played The Band Song with him (see G – Guitar).
While I would be playing Dylan and the Beatles, he would be playing Jimmie Rogers “Waiting For a Train” (Recorded October 22, 1928) or “Shortnin’ Bread.”
I loved "Ghost Riders..." then, and we actually played it well. I’d play chords, and Daddy would pick it.
Without question it’s my favorite Western song.
It has an ethereal eeriness that captures me, regardless of who sings it. A ghostly quality, if you will. And of all the versions I’ve heard from Burl Ives and Bing Crosby, to the Outlaws and the Australian alternative rock group Spiderbait, I’ve never heard a bad one.
Maybe that’s my own bias, though.
The following is a live version by Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra, who had the first hit, in 1949, with … Ghost Riders in the Sky.
This version is from a live concert in 1965
Here’s that completely different version by Spiderbait.
And here’s an instrumental version in a jam session with the 78 year-old Roy Clark and the 73 year-old Buck Trent … unrehearsed.
Compare, and try several more versions!