Riders in the Sky to perform Thursday

Published 11:26 pm Friday, October 4, 2013

Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, the words mean a lot.

So, when Ranger Doug says that the Riders in the Sky’s performance at the Claudia Crosby Theater on Thursday night will be a crowd pleaser, he speaks the truth.

Ranger Doug Green, lead singer for Riders in the Sky, said the Riders have a dual mission.

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“We want to make Western music, not just nostalgic, but relevant in today’s world,” he said. “Riders in the Sky combine music with comedy. Between the songs, we do skits and funny stuff.”

Nashville based Riders in the Sky performs authentic renditions of old classic cowboy and Western songs, as well as original works along with comedic skits and songs.

Gene Autry’s “Back in the Saddle” and Roy Rogers’ “Happy Trails” are standards for the singing cowboys and bring back memories for those who remember when cowboys were king.

Green said Riders in the Sky reintroduces American music to its audiences – Western, folk, bluegrass, Dixieland and a variety of ethnic styles.

“It’s the music that’s so familiar to people all across the country,” he said. “And, we’ve been in every state once and most more than once singing Western music and being “spontaneously silly.”

The group of “cowboys” has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, won two Grammy Awards and has written and performed music for major motion pictures, including “Woody’s Roundup” from “Toy Story 2.”

“We even sang the credits in ‘Woody’s Roundup,’” Green said. “We also are on the Yella Wood commercials that spoof the 1930s era Western singing cowboy serials. Everybody knows about Yella wood and that’s us doing the singing.”

Riders in the Sky will be in concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University. General admission tickets are $20 and $5 for students. Tickets will be available at the door.