Bob Nolan

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Bob Nolan
Bob-Nolan-1944.jpg
Bob Nolan in Lights of Old Santa Fe (1944)
Background information
Birth nameRobert Clarence Nobles
Born(1908-04-13)April 13, 1908
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
DiedJune 16, 1980(1980-06-16) (aged 72)
Newport Beach, California, USA
GenresWestern music
Country music
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
Actor
Years active1933–1949
Associated actsSons of the Pioneers
 
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Bob Nolan
Bob-Nolan-1944.jpg
Bob Nolan in Lights of Old Santa Fe (1944)
Background information
Birth nameRobert Clarence Nobles
Born(1908-04-13)April 13, 1908
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
DiedJune 16, 1980(1980-06-16) (aged 72)
Newport Beach, California, USA
GenresWestern music
Country music
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
Actor
Years active1933–1949
Associated actsSons of the Pioneers

Bob Nolan (April 13, 1908 – June 16, 1980) was a Canadian-born American singer, songwriter, and actor. He was a founding member of the Sons of the Pioneers, and composer of numerous Country music and Western music songs, including the standards "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." He is generally regarded as one of the finest Western songwriters of all time.[1] As an actor and singer he appeared in scores of Western films.

Early years[edit]

Robert Clarence Nobles was born April 13, 1908 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada[2] to Harry Nobles and Flora Elizabeth Hussey Nobles. The couple separated in 1915, and Flora raised her two little boys in Winnipeg.[3]

In the summer of 1916, Flora temporarily moved her children to her husband's parents' home in Hatfield Point, New Brunswick. But, due to the machinations of his father, Bob never saw his mother again.[3]

In the summer of 1919, Bob went to live with his aunt in Boston, Massachusetts.[4] There he attended The Belmont School until 1921, when, at the age of thirteen, he moved to Arizona to live with his father, Harry, who had become a United States Army officer.[4] He attended Safford Junior High School until 1922, when he transferred to Roskruge Junior High. In high school, he was an average student, was a member of the Arion Club choral group, and excelled in athletics. He graduated from Tucson High School in May 1928.[3]

On July 7, 1928, less than two months after he graduated high school, Bob Nolan married his high school sweetheart, sixteen year old Tennie Pearl Fields. Thirteen months later, a daughter, Roberta Irene, was born to them, but the marriage foundered almost from the beginning.[3]

After he left school, Bob Nolan drifted around the country, finding work where he could and always writing songs. He took a lifeguard job in Los Angeles in 1929. His father had changed his name to Nolan and it was as Bob Nolan that he began a career as a singer on the Chautauqua tent-show circuit and as a lifeguard in Santa Monica.[3]

Sons of the Pioneers[edit]

In September 1931, Bob Nolan answered a classified ad in The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner that read, "Yodeler for old-time act, to travel. Tenor preferred." The band was The Rocky Mountaineers, led by a young singer named Leonard Slye—who would later change his name to Roy Rogers. After listening to the tall, slender, tanned Nolan sing and yodel, Slye hired Nolan on the spot. Although he stayed with the group only a short time, he stayed in touch with Slye.

In 1934, Bob Nolan co-founded the Sons of the Pioneers with Roy Rogers and Tim Spencer. The singing group became very popular and produced numerous recordings for Columbia, Decca, and RCA Victor.

The Sons of the Pioneers began performing Nolan's original songs on a nationally syndicated radio show. "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" became their signature tune and a Western standard, and was one of the first songs the group recorded when it signed with Decca in 1934. In the coming years, The Sons of the Pioneers recorded many other Nolan songs, including "Way Out There", "There's a Roundup in the Sky", "One More Ride", and "Cool Water", which became one of the group's most famous recordings.[1]

In 1935, the Sons of the Pioneers appeared in their first full-length Western movie, The Old Homestead. In 1938, Leonard Slye starred in his own film, took the name Roy Rogers, and left the group to focus on his own career. Bob Nolan became the leader of the Sons of the Pioneers.[1][5]

Film career[edit]

In 1934, Bob Nolan began his career in film as the singing voice for Ken Maynard in the 1934 film, In Old Santa Fe. In 1935, the Sons of the Pioneers appeared in their first full-length Western movie, The Old Homestead. They went on to sign an exclusive contract to appear in Charles Starrett's Western films in late 1937, an arrangement that lasted until 1941.[1][5]

In his career in film, Nolan appeared in at least 88 Western films, first for Columbia Pictures and later with cowboy stars Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. With the Sons of the Pioneers, he made guest appearances in high-budget films like Hollywood Canteen and Rhythm on the Range with Bing Crosby. He also appeared in the Walt Disney short, Melody Time.[5][6]

In 1941, when their arrangement with Starrett and Columbia Pictures came to an end, the Sons of the Pioneers joined up with Roy Rogers at Republic, appearing as his musical sidekicks in numerous films through 1948. Their last film together was Night Time in Nevada. In many of these films, Nolan was featured in prominent supporting roles with significant dialogue.[1][6] Republic once offered Nolan his own cowboy film series, which he declined.

On June 11, 1942, Bob Nolan married Clara Brown, whose slight stature led to her being nicknamed P-Nuts. They met at the Columbia Drugstore on Sunset and Gower near the Columbia Studio lot. P-Nuts had come to Hollywood in search of stardom, but found work instead at the drugstore, where Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers frequently had lunch and where Nolan would work on his song lyrics.[7]

Later years[edit]

In 1949, Bob Nolan retired from show business and began a semi-secluded life as a songwriter. In 1971, Nolan was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1980, at the age of 72, Nolan recorded his last LP album, Bob Nolan: The Sound of a Pioneer.[1][8]

Bob Nolan died on June 16, 1980 in Newport Beach, California of a heart attack. At his request, his ashes were scattered in Red Rock Canyon in the Nevada desert. Nolan was survived by a grandchild, Calin Coburn, and three great-grandchildren, Cayleen, Miles, and Connor Coburn.[8]

On July 27, 1980, many of his friends and former colleagues gathered at Rex Allen's Diamond X ranch in Calabasas, California to honor him musically. Among those who attended the memorial were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, the current Sons of the Pioneers, and the Reinsmen.[8]

Honours and awards[edit]

Songs[edit]

  • "All the Way"
  • "Always Rollin' Home"
  • "Annie, Dear, I'm Called Away"
  • "April"
  • "At the Rainbow's End"
  • "Autumn Reverie"
  • "Barnyard Jubilee"
  • "The Beauty of Your Smile"
  • "Biscuit Blues"
  • "Blue Prairie"
  • "The Boss is Hangin' Out a Rainbow"
  • "Bound for the Rio Grande"
  • "The Broken Heart Waltz"
  • "Bronco Pal"
  • "Campfires of Heaven"
  • "Chant of the Plains"
  • "Chant of the Wanderer"
  • "Chico Rotico"
  • "Close to Heaven"
  • "Cody of the Pony Express"
  • "Cool Water"
  • "Cottage in the Clouds"
  • "Covered Wagon"
  • "A Cowboy Has to Sing"
  • "Coyote's Serenade"
  • "Crossroads"
  • "Daddy's on the Rainbow"
  • "Desolation"
  • "The Devil's Great Grandson"
  • "Donde esta el mio?"
  • "Don't Expect Me Home in the Morning"
  • "Echoes from the Hills"
  • "Empty Arms"
  • "A Faded Flower Lei"
  • "Far Enchanted Isle"
  • "Five Little Miles
  • "The Flower I Blessed for You"
  • "Following the Sun All Day"
  • "For the Love of You"
  • "Frontiers"
  • "Glory of the Lamb"
  • "Goofus Stomp"
  • "Grab Your Saddle Horn and Blow"
  • "The Grey Time"
  • "Half Way 'Round the World"
  • "Hangin' Blues"
  • "Happy Cowboy"
  • "Hasta la vista"
  • "Have You?"
  • "He Walks with the Wild and the Lonely"
  • "Heaven is My Island"
  • "Heavenly Aeroplane"
  • "Hello 'Way Up There"
  • "Here is My Helping Hand"
  • "Hi Diddle Diddle He Played the Fiddle"
  • "High Sierras"
  • "Hold that Critter Down"
  • "The Home Corral"
  • "I'm Constantly Dreaming of You"
  • "I Follow the Stream"
  • "I Still Do"
  • "I Wonder if She Waits for Me Tonight"
  • "If You are Willing"
  • "In the Wind of Time"
  • "In This Room"
  • "It's a Lie!"
  • "King's Highway"
  • "Lazy"
  • "Let Me Share Your Name"
  • "Let's Pretend"
  • "Letter Marked 'Unclaimed'"
  • "The Lighthouse of the Lord"
  • "Little Spaceman"
  • "Lone Buckaroo"
  • "Lonely Little Room"
  • "Lord, You Made the Cowboy Happy"
  • "Love Ever Green"
  • "Love Song of the Waterfall"
  • "Montana"
  • "Moonlight on the Prairie"
  • "Move On, You Lazy Cattle"
  • "My Boy"
  • "My Daddy"
  • "My Heart in Deep Despair"
  • "My Love's a Voice in the Green Willow Tree"
  • "My Mistress the Desert"
  • "My Old Pal, Pal of Mine"
  • "The Mystery of His Way"
  • "Ne Ha Neé"
  • "Night Falls on the Prairie"
  • "A No-Good Son-of-a-Gun"
  • "Oh I Miss You So, My Darling"
  • "Old Forgotten Trails"
  • "Old Home Town"
  • "On the Rhythm Range"
  • "One More Ride"
  • "Open Range Ahead"
  • "The Other Side of Somewhere"
  • "Outlaws"
  • "Pali Wind"
  • "Parting"
  • "A Prayer for Christmas Time"
  • "The Ranch Next Door"
  • "Redwood Trees"
  • "Relative Man"
  • "Remember Me"
  • "Ridin' Home"
  • "Rise and Shine"
  • "River Robin"
  • "Rocky Road in the Rockies"
  • "Rocky Roads"
  • "Round-Up in the Sky"
  • "Round-Up Time is Over"
  • "Saddle the Sun"
  • "Saddle Your Worries to the Wind"
  • "Sage Brush Sea A Sailor Dreams"
  • "Sandman Lullaby"
  • "Send Him Home to Me"
  • "Shadow on the Wall"
  • "Shadows of the Wildwood"
  • "She ain't What She Used to Be"
  • "Shootin' My Way Through Town"
  • "Sing as You Work"
  • "Sir Tumbleweed"
  • "Sky Ball Paint"
  • "Slumber Time on the Range"
  • "Someone I Used to Know"
  • "Song of the Bandit"
  • "Song of the Prairie"
  • "Song of the Rover"
  • "Song of the Vaqueros"
  • "Starlightin' Time in Texas"
  • "Still Water Pool"
  • "Stop!"
  • "Stray Wind"
  • "A Summer Night's Rain"
  • "Sweet Laredo Lou"
  • "That Cloud"
  • "They're Gone"
  • "Things are Never What They Seem"
  • "This Ain't the Same Old Range"
  • "This Old White Mule of Mine"
  • "Three Friends Have I"
  • "Three Guesses"
  • "Till You Return"
  • "To Will Rogers"
  • "The Touch of God's Hand"
  • "Trail Dreamin'"
  • "Trail Herdin' Cowboy"
  • "Trav'lin' with the Sun"
  • "Tree"
  • "Tumbleweed Trail"
  • "Tumbling Leaves"
  • "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"
  • "Vagabond Whirlwinds"
  • "Volvere a pasar por aqui"
  • "Wandering"
  • "Watching the Moon Roll By"
  • "Way Out There"
  • "Welcome to the Spring"
  • "Wendin' My Way to Wyoming"
  • "The West is in My Soul"
  • "What Can We Lose?"
  • "What You Gonna Say to Peter?"
  • "When He Walks By (How Will I know Him)"
  • "When I Leave This World Behind"
  • "When Payday Rolls Around"
  • "When the Golden Train Comes Down"
  • "(When the Prairie Sun Says) Good Mornin'"
  • "Who's Gonna Help Me Sing?"
  • "Why Don't It Rain?"
  • "Why, Tell Me Why?"
  • "Wild Pali Wind"
  • "Wind"
  • "The Wind is Warm Again"
  • "The Wonder of It All"
  • "You Ain't Heard Nothin' Till You Hear Him Roar!"
  • "You Are My Eyes"[9]

Filmography[edit]

  • Slightly Static (1935, short)
  • The Old Homestead (1935)
  • Way Up Thar (1935, short)
  • Gallant Defender (1935)
  • The Mysterious Avenger (1936)
  • Song of the Saddle (1936)
  • Rhythm on the Range (1936)
  • California Mail (1936)
  • The Big Show (1936)
  • The Old Corral (1936)
  • The Old Wyoming Trail (1937)
  • Outlaws of the Prairie (1937)
  • The Old Barn Dance (1938)
  • Cattle Raiders (1938)
  • Call of the Rockies (1938)
  • Law of the Plains (1938)
  • West of Cheyenne (1938)
  • South of Arizona (1938)
  • The Colorado Trail (1938)
  • A Feud There Was (1938, short)
  • West of the Santa Fe (1938)
  • Rio Grande (1938)
  • The Thundering West (1939)
  • Texas Stampede (1939)
  • North of the Yukon (1939)
  • Spoilers of the Range (1939)
  • Western Caravans (1939)
  • The Man from Sundown (1939)
  • Riders of Black River (1939)
  • Outpost of the Mounties (1939)
  • The Stranger from Texas (1939)
  • Two-Fisted Rangers (1939)
  • Bullets for Rustlers (194)
  • Blazing Six Shooters (1940)
  • Texas Stagecoach (1940)
  • The Durango Kid (1940)
  • West of Abilene (1940)
  • Thundering Frontier (1940)
  • The Pinto Kid (1941)
  • Outlaws of the Panhandle (1941)
  • Red River Valley (1941)
  • Man from Cheyenne (1942)
  • South of Santa Fe (1942)
  • Sunset on the Desert (1942)
  • Romance on the Range (1942)
  • Sons of the Pioneers (1942)
  • Call of the Canyon (1942)
  • Sunset Serenade (1942)
  • Heart of the Golden West (1942)
  • Ridin' Down the Canyon (1942)
  • Idaho (1943)
  • King of the Cowboys (1943)
  • Song of Texas (1943)
  • Silver Spurs (1943)
  • The Man from Music Mountain (1943)
  • Hands Across the Border (1944)
  • Cowboy and the Senorita (1944)
  • The Yellow Rose of Texas (1944)
  • Song of Nevada (1944)
  • San Fernando Valley (1944)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Huey, Steve. "Bob Nolan Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Williams, Rob. "Guess Who duo in hall of fame". Canoe. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bob Nolan: Early Life and Career (1908-1931)". Bob Nolan Web Site. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b King, Betty Nygaard. "Robert Nolan". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Bob Nolan: Early Life and Career (1935-1940)". Bob Nolan Web Site. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Bob Nolan: Early Life and Career (1940-1941)". Bob Nolan Web Site. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Bob Nolan: Early Life and Career (1942-1943)". Bob Nolan Web Site. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "Bob Nolan: The Final Years (1950-1980)". Bob Nolan Web Site. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Lyrics & Poems". Bob Nolan Web Site. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Bob Nolan". International Movie Database. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 

External links[edit]