Top 100 Western Songs of All Time (Part I)
"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" was written in 1948 by American songwriter, film and television actor Stan Jones. Numerous cover versions were being released ever since. Johnny Cash made a recording of the song in 1979. The Doors' "Riders on the Storm" was inspired by this song too.
"Streets of Laredo" also known as the "Cowboy's Lament", is a famous American cowboy ballad in which a dying cowboy tells his story to another cowboy. Derived from the traditional folk song "The Unfortunate Rake", the song has become a folk music standard, and as such has been performed, recorded and adapted numerous times, with many variations. The title refers to the city of Laredo, Texas.
Although one of the most famous songs associated with the Sons of the Pioneers, the song was composed by Nolan in the 1930s. Originally titled "Tumbling Leaves", the song was reworked into the title "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and into fame with the 1935 Gene Autry film of the same name.
A classic western folk song sometimes called the "unofficial anthem" of the American West. The lyrics were originally written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley of Smith County, Kansas, in a poem entitled "My Western Home" in 1872. In 1947, it became the state song of the U.S. state of Kansas.
"Desperado" is a song by the American rock band Eagles. It was written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley and appeared on the 1973 album Desperado as well as numerous compilation albums. Although the song was never released as a single, it is one of the group's best known songs and ranked No. 494 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time"
This song appears on Murphey's 1975 album Blue Sky – Night Thunder. Released in February 1975, as the album's lead single, Wildfire became Murphey's highest-charting Pop hit in the United States. The somber story song hit #2 in Cash Box and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1975.
"Pancho and Lefty" is a song written by country music artist Townes Van Zandt. Often considered his "most enduring and well-known song," Van Zandt first recorded it for his 1972 album The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. In 1983, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson adopted it as the title track of their duet album Pancho & Lefty, and was a number one country hit.
Little Joe the Wrangler is a classic American cowboy song, written by N. Howard "Jack" Thorp. It appeared in Thorp's 1908 Songs of the Cowboys, which was the first published collection of cowboy songs. Also performed by western greats Don Edwards and Marty Robbins.
An American popular song with lyrics written by Alan J. Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe for their 1951 Broadway musical, Paint Your Wagon, which is set in the California Gold Rush. It quickly became a runaway hit, and during the Korean War, the song was among the popular music listened to by the troops.
Written by Dick Charles (pseudonym for Richard Charles Krieg), Larry Markes, and Eddie DeLange in 1945. It was the title song of the 1945 Roy Rogers film of the same name. It was also used in the 1945 film Don't Fence Me In when it was sung by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.
"The Wayward Wind" is a country song written by Stanley Lebowsky (music) and Herb Newman (lyrics). In 1956, versions were recorded by Gogi Grant, Tex Ritter, and Jimmy Young, of which Grant's was the biggest seller in the United States and Ritter's in the United Kingdom. Patsy Cline recorded her version on the album Patsy Cline Showcase, in 1961.
When the Work's All Done this Fall is a classic American cowboy song, written as a poem by D. J. O'Malley (1867-1943). The work was first published in the Miles City Stock-Growers Journal in 1893, titled After the Roundup, over the pen name D.J. White.
"Empty Saddles (in the Old Corral)" is a classic American cowboy song written by Billy Hill. Hill based the song on a poem by J. Keirn Brennan grieving for lost companions.The song became widely known to the public in July 1936, when Bing Crosby sang it with deep emotion in the Paramount musical "Rhythm on the Range".
Was recorded by Waylon Jennings on the 1976 album "Wanted! The Outlaws", and further popularized in 1980 by Willie Nelson as a single on the soundtrack to "The Electric Horseman".
An American western folk ballad in trochaic meter usually credited to Percy Montrose (1884), although it is sometimes credited to Barker Bradford. The song is believed to have been based on another song called "Down by the River Liv'd a Maiden" by H. S. Thompson (1863).
A traditional cowboy ballad, also performed under the title "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo." It is believed to be a variation of a traditional Irish ballad about an old man rocking a cradle. The cowboy adaptation is first mentioned in the 1893 journal of Owen Wister.
The "dogies" referred to in the song are runty or orphaned calves.
A traditional American song, written and published as "Lubly Fan" in 1844. The song was widely popular throughout the United States, where minstrels often altered the lyrics to suit local audiences. The best-known version is named after Buffalo, New York.
A comic song written by Johnny Mercer for the film "Rhythm on the Range" and sung by its star, Bing Crosby.
Also known as a "New San Antonio Rose". It was the signature song of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. "San Antonio Rose" was an instrumental song written by Bob Wills, who first recorded it with the Playboys on November 28, 1938. Band members added lyrics and it was retitled "New San Antonio Rose".