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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 5 June 1914Douglas, Arizona, USA
Date of Death 13 December 1963Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameStanley Davis Jones

Mini Bio (1)

Composer, songwriter and actor Stan Jones was born in Douglas, Arizona, on June 5, 1914. He learned to ride horses as a child, a skill that came in handy later in his life (as did his talent for singing and playing the guitar). After his father died his mother moved the family to Los Angeles. He attended UC Berkeley for a time, and began riding the rodeo circuit in his spare time to make money. He dropped out of college in 1934, however, to join the navy, and after his discharge held a variety of jobs all over the country, including copper miner, logger and snowplow driver. He was hired as a firefighter by the US Forest Service, and later became a Forest Ranger, being assigned to various national parks in the western US.

While stationed at Death Valley, California, in 1948, he was assigned to be technical advisor for a western being shot there, The Walking Hills (1949). In between filming, he would sit around with the cast and crew and play various songs he had written. They encouraged him to try to get the songs published, and he eventually sent his compositions to several music publishers. One of his songs was picked up and recorded by folksinger Burl Ives for Columbia Records, "Riders in the Sky". It was then recorded by Bing Crosby and, under the title "Ghost Riders in the Sky", by Vaughn Monroe, whose version became a major hit, so much so that cowboy actor Gene Autry filmed a movie using the title (Riders in the Sky (1949)), in addition to recording the song itself, and Stan's career was off and running. His songs were used in two westerns by acclaimed director John Ford -- Wagon Master (1950) and Rio Grande (1950), in which Stan also played a cavalry sergeant -- and Autry again made a movie based on another of Stan's songs, Whirlwind (1951), in which Stan also had a small part. His songs were used in a half-dozen more films over the next few years.

In 1955 actor Harry Carey Jr. was hired by Walt Disney for a TV series called The Adventures of Spin and Marty (1955). Carey had worked with Stan on both "Wagon Master" and "Rio Grande" and suggested to Disney that Stan be hired to write songs for the show, a suggestion Disney followed. Stan wrote all the songs for the first two seasons of the show (he also made an occasional appearance before the cameras), but for the third season many of the songs were written by others, although some of Stan's were used.

He later worked on the soundtracks for several Disney films, and was the co-writer for the theme song for the western series Cheyenne (1955). In 1956 he was hired to play Deputy Olson on the modern-day western series The Sheriff of Cochise (1956) (later renamed "U.S. Marshal") and in addition wrote the theme song and even some episodes of the show. In 1959 he worked for director John Ford again, writing the songs for his western The Horse Soldiers (1959) and even playing, uncredited, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Then it was back to television work for Disney. His last film as an actor was in Ten Who Dared (1960).

Stan Jones died in Los Angeles, California, in 1963.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Olive (? - ?)

Trivia (2)

Jones was a park ranger at the US National Park in Death Valley, CA. He got into the movie business when he was assigned as liaison to director John Ford while Ford was shooting 3 Godfathers (1948) in Death Valley. He also a songwriter, having penned the classic western song "Ghost Riders in the Sky", made famous by Vaughn Monroe in 1949.
Father of Davis Jones.

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