O J Sikes
I only had a passing interest in Western music
before I heard the songs of Bob Nolan. He often wrote for three part harmony,
sung in a way that was different from the pattern traditionally followed by
trios. Born in the South, I grew up listening to duets, trios and quartets
singing religious music, country music and popular music, but the way Bob Nolan
and the Sons of the Pioneers developed their harmony gave them a different
“sound” from all the rest.
As a boy in the 1940s & 50s, I had Western records in my small collection, but
they featured soloists. They were good records---most were to become “classics,”
but I didn’t get “hooked” on Western music until I heard the Sons of the
Pioneers sing their theme song, Bob Nolan’s “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” in person, in
1960. The imagery in those lyrics, that beautiful melody and the Pioneers’
incomparable Western harmony, made me a fan for life, on the spot.
Many years later, I chose “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” as the theme for my internet
radio show. I never tire of it, and neither do my listeners. In fact, I often
get requests to play it all the way through. Of course, I love, and play, many
more Nolan classics, but “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” sung in Western harmony, is the
one that started it all for me.
The old Boston Pete
Western Music Time Archive - Track Lists
OJ Sikes is a founding member of the
Western Music Association and a respected music historian. He has a column in
"The Western Way" with his music reviews and he has reviewed several of the
Sons of the
on the Bob Nolan site.
OJ Sikes has joined
www.earsradio.com with the Western Music
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