Roy Rogers Relied On His Faith At The End Of His Life According To His Son

Jan 14, 2022 by apost team

Roy Rogers was an American actor, singer and TV host. His early work was done under his given name, Leonard Franklin Slye. Rogers had a successful film career and even had his own television program called “The Roy Rogers Show.” He starred in many films with his third wife, fellow star Dale Evans. The couple was initially married in 1947 and were together until Roger’s death in 1998.

Rogers was born on November 5, 1911, in Cincinnati Ohio. In 1919, his family bought a farm in Lucasville, Ohio. They built a large house, but Rogers’s father realized he would need to get a factory job to fully support the family. Living on the farm with no radio meant Rogers and his family made their own entertainment. The star sang at square dances and even learned to yodel during this time in his life. 

The singer went to high school in McDermott, Ohio for two years before his family moved back to Cincinnati so his father could find another factory job. Realizing that his family needed his help financially, Rogers quit school and worked in a factory alongside his father. His older sister Mary then got married and moved to California and soon the whole family followed. 

In 1931, Rogers auditioned for a radio show in Inglewood, California. This is where his professional singing career began and soon he joined the group the Rocky Mountaineers. After a few years, Rogers founded the group Sons of the Pioneers. 

The group was signed to a record label named Decca and made their first commercial recording in 1934. Read on to learn more about his career, religion and what he said at the end of his life.

Roy Rogers (Bettmann/contributor/Getty images)

Roy Rogers was known as the "King of the Cowboys." He appeared in over 100 films, several TV shows and sang classic songs like “Don't Fence Me In.” Rogers was a huge figure in the world of country and western culture. During his career, Rogers teamed up with a number of fellow country stars, including working on the song “Hold On Partner” with Clint Black.

Rogers's glory years were in the 1940s and 1950s. He was one of the most popular stars in the country-western genre, along with other figures like Gene Autry and his wife and frequent co-star, Dale Evans. Roy Rogers's version of “Hold On Partner,” recorded with Clint Black, is a treat. They sound great singing together. This is the only single that Roy Rogers ever released a music video for.

It's surprising to see how much he and Black look alike. In the video, they play with the old tropes from Rogers' classic cowboy movies. Rogers wears a white hat as the hero always does. Black wears a black one, like a cowboy movie baddie would have worn. Their performance, on horseback, is intercut with scenes from some of Rogers' classic films.

This song and video are both a great tribute to the mid-century era when cowboy movies were at their peak in popular culture. The Rogers and Black version of “Hold On Partner” still holds up, even after almost 30 years. They made a very sweet update to a likable, upbeat song that's ultimately filled with good advice.

Roy Rogers,Roy Jr. (1959), (Bettmann/contributor/Getty images)

Rogers shared that he was not a religious person until he got married to Evans. In an interview from 1953, he said, “We hadn’t been married but a few days when she started one morning with ‘It’s a beautiful day to go to church!’ Now I wasn’t a stranger to churches. I just hadn’t time to get acquainted with very many because of other things I preferred doing.”

Rogers felt that Christianity improved both his life and that of his family. “I didn’t know what she meant at first. To some people, religion may come in one big emotional experience. I moved to it a step at a time: regular attendance at church, reading a few passages from the Bible, saying Grace. A warm quality grew into our family life. It was a spiritual kind of love that makes you want to do something for others,” he explained

In 1998, Rogers passed away from congestive heart failure at the age of 86. His son Dusty recalled the last thing his father said before he died. Dusty shared, “He stood up in bed and said: ‘Well, Lord, it’s been a long, hard ride.’”

The loss was devastating for all of Rogers’s fans, family and most of all his beloved wife, Evans. She said at the time of his passing: "What a blessing to have shared my life together with him for almost 51 years. To say I will miss him is a gross understatement. He was truly the king of the cowboys in my life."

Evans passed away from congestive heart failure as well in 2001 at the age of 88.

Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Linda Rogers, Dusty Rogers (1992), (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

What do you think of Roy Rogers' faith? Tell us your thoughts, and be sure to pass this on to your friends if you learned something new. 

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