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BEAUTIFUL BIOGRAPHY RECALLS SINGING `KING OF THE COWBOYS’

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Anyone who doesn't like Roy Rogers is tired of living and should just lie down and die and not bother to go out and buy "Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys."

This book is "by" Georgia Morris and Mark Pollard, but Roy Rogers did all the work. Those are his own words narrating it and, typical of an old-time cowboy, they aren't very fancy and they aren't very many.And those are his photos gracing it - his and, of course, those of his wife, Dale Evans, Queen of the West, and of all their Western pals through decades of making movies. Beautiful photos, too, crisp black-and-whites, mostly, that make you wish Roy and Dale would sing "Happy Trails" to you one more time.

Roy says he was "just an old country boy from Duck Run, Ohio, who happened to get a job in the entertainment world." But he was smart enough to work hard for the fans he knew were the most important part of the business and shy enough to dread the Hollywood parties that Republic Pictures insisted he go to.

He loves his wife, he loved his horse, Trigger, and he loved his sidekick Gabby Hayes, with whom he made about 40 films. He's so nice he even likes the press, except for one guy who said the "only reason Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were adopting children was for publicity! I could pinch his head off, I'm telling you!"

That's about as tough as he talks in here, though anyone even halfway as decent as Roy would say he's entitled to a cuss word or two: He and Dale had nine children altogether - birth, adopted and foster - and saw three of them die.

It's a beautiful book. The only discouraging word in it is the information that he made his last picture in 1975.