A musical blast from the Western past

I recently came across a clip of Burl Ives performing the first known recording of the Western classic ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky‘.  It’s from 1949.

I also like the 1960’s instrumental version of the song by The Ramrods, which features the first time I’ve every heard cow-mooing used as a (sort of) musical instrument!

I grew up with the songs of Burl Ives.  Despite living in South Africa, my parents knew and loved his music and had several of his LP’s.  I particularly enjoyed his work in the movie ‘The Big Country‘ alongside Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston, for which he won both a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award as best supporting actor.  His music still moves me.  There are few, if any, modern country or Western singers who can rival him.  If you’re not familiar with his music, you’ll find a selection on YouTube.



  1. I like Marty Robbins version of Ghost Riders by far the best, even though he never officially released it. Big Iron, Hanging Tree, Ballad of the Alamo, The Master's Call, and El Paso are pretty good, too.

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