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GUEST,TJ in San Diego Lyr Req: Way Out There (Bob Nolan) (12) RE: Lyr Req: Way Out There (Bob Nolan) 19 Mar 10


Clarence Robert Nobles, who changed his name to Bob Nolan, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1908. In 1933, he, Tim Spencer and Leonard Slye (who was to become Roy Rogers) formed the group that became known as the "Sons of the Pioneers." As a young boy in the 1940's and '50's, I heard their songs on the radio quite often. Nolan also did some acting in western films of the era. His "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and "Cool Water" are the best known of his songs, but "Way Out There" is another great example of his evocative use of lyrics.

An ironic twist is that a Canadian-born songwriter created an image that became symbolic of the great unsettled American western landscape, and based it on an imported weed - the "tumbleweed" is actually the Russian Thistle.

By the way, the group "Riders in the Sky" still does a lot of Sons of the Pioneers music in their style.


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