Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
When Michael M. Murphey recorded his "Cowboy Songs" album, he gained a couple
of fans named Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. We were on a California tour and had a
"fill-in" show booked at a nightclub in Victorville, CA, which was Roy and Dale's
hometown. The club was just a couple of blocks from their museum, but for religious
reasons, they had not set foot in a bar in over thirty years. For Michael Martin Murphey
though, they decided to break the rules and come to the show.
The club was smoky and loud, and just before the show I was standing outside the back
door, waiting until the last minute to step onstage. The parking lot was gravel, with cinder
blocks, bricks, and beer bottles strewn around.
Although I had heard that Roy and Dale might show up, I'd forgotten about it and was
surprised to look up and see a familiar old cowboy step around the back corner of the
building with his elderly cowgirl clutching his arm. Two American icons, now quite feeble
and stepping carefully through the scattered debris. And just as they rounded the corner
and before they had noticed me, I heard Roy say to Dale, "Now, watch yer step, Mom.
If you break a leg, I'll have to shoot ya."