Entertainment

Frankie Laine's TV Theme 'Rawhide' Captured the Sound and Feel of a Cattle Drive

Songster Frankie Lane, left, tells actors Paul Brinegar and Clint Eastwood, right, that he wants to go straight in a scene from “incident on the road to yesterday” in the rawhide television series being produced in Hollywood, Los Angeles on August 9, 1961. In his first straight dramatic role, Frankie plays the part of a man who wants to atone for his past misdeeds. (AP Photo)

Few TV series theme songs from any decade hold up quite as well as the cowboy tune that opens episodes of Rawhide. The western series ran from 1959 to 1966 on CBS. It starred Eric Fleming and introduced us to one of the all-time great small- and big-screen western stars, Clint Eastwood.

The song was written in 1958 by lyricist Ned Washington and composer Dimitri Tiomkin and first recorded by pop crooner Frankie Laine. The theme from Rawhide wasn't the first cowboy song recorded by Laine. His 1949 recording of the often-covered "Mule Train" topped the pop charts, and he'd go on to sing the film themes of everything from Gunfight at the OK Corral to Blazing Saddles.

Read More: Cowboy Songs: The 12 of the Wild West's Greatest Hits

A song that captures the sound and feel of a cattle drive got covered often over the years by everyone from Grand Ole Opry regulars Riders in the Sky to Rawhide star and country singer Sheb Wooley and punk rockers The Dead Kennedys.

It's also synonymous with The Blues Brothers because stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi performed it during the film at a country bar.

"Rawhide" Lyrics

Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rawhide

Keep rollin', rollin', rollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rollin', rawhide
Through rain and wind and weather
Hell bent for leather
Wishin' my gal was by my side
All the things I'm missin'
Good vittles, love and kissin'
Are waiting at the end of my ride

Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up, rawhide
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in, rawhide

Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though they're disapprovin'
Keep them doggies movin', rawhide
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope 'em, throw, and brand 'em
Soon we'll be livin' high and wide
My heart's calculatin'
My true love will be waitin'
Be waitin' at the end of my ride

Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up, rawhide
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in, rawhide

Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rawhide
Rawhide

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Frankie Laine's TV Theme 'Rawhide' Captured the Sound and Feel of a Cattle Drive