Morgan pays off Randy and Barry with a promissory note to be collected at the Blake ranch. They arrive to find Mrs. Blake sick and without any money, her back taxes due, her ranch hands departed, and her son in need of an operation. With Randy attracted to Janet and Barry hoping to help Danny, the two decide to stay. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Smith Ballew certainly had the right credentials to be a singing cowboy, having been born in Texas. But he got his first break singing with the Leo Reisman Orchestra. For those of you who saw the Eddy Duchin Story, Leo Reisman was the society orchestra that also gave Eddy Duchin his start and featured him as well as Ballew.
But Hollywood grabbed him when the singing cowboy vogue started and he was cast as the tall gallant hero. It helped that he looked a lot like Randolph Scott in my humble opinion.
In Roll Along, Cowboy he and sidekick Stanley Fields have to collect a debt from a widow rancher with her two children owed to their boss in order for their salaries to be paid. Of course arriving at the ranch they get all involved in the problems the widow has. One of those other entanglements is daughter Cecelia Parker who Ballew takes a fancy to.
Ballew had a light tenor voice and in the 57 minutes of the film must have sang about 10 songs including standards like Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddles and The Old Chisholm Trail plus a whole lot of forgettable cowboy ditties. Even westerns from Roy Rogers and Gene Autry didn't have as many numbers. Even a whole lot of musicals from the thirties didn't have as many.
Stanley Fields does all right as the roughhewn sidekick, but he's best known for urban roles like gang leader Sam Vettori in Little Caesar. Looks a bit lost at home on the range.
But for those who miss the singing cowboy, here's a chance to catch one whose name ain't Autry or Rogers.
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