Back in 2013, Riders in the Sky joined forces with Wilford Brimley, a celebrity who definitely looked the part of a regional cowboy star. This superstar team-up brought us the album Home on the Range (Riders Radio Records) plus promotional opportunities that included appearances on Larry's Country Diner and the Grand Ole Opry.
The in-studio partnership brought us the album's signature tune, "My Little Red Wagon," plus renditions of "Danny Boy," "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine," "Roly Poly," "Fraulein" and other country music (and Western music) staples.
Upon learning about Brimley's Aug. 1, 2020 passing, Riders in the Sky paid tribute on social media to their celebrity collaborator.
Hearts are heavy on Harmony Ranch this morning, as we woke to hear the news that Wilford Brimley died last...
"Wilford was a true friend, a collaborator, a curmudgeon of the highest order, and one of the all time great characters," remembered Too Slim. "We spent three days in the studio with Wilford and made a pretty darn good album, but the stories and jokes between takes are what I remember most. He could spin a ten minute joke to where you couldn't breathe from laughing so hard, and then sing 'Danny Boy' and break your heart. He always nailed it when the red light came on.
"I talked to Wilford about a month into the pandemic," Too Slim continued. "He always brought up the night he guested with us on the Opry. 'Walking out on that stage...it was...I don't know...almost a sacred place to me. That was a highlight of my life.' Every show we did with Wilford, whether at his yearly benefit in Greybull, Wyoming, or on Larry's Country Diner, or some PAC somewhere, he always killed it. It was a master class in timing and communicating with an audience. Thanks Wilford, for your artistry, your spirit and mostly for your friendship. Our deepest sympathy and love to Beverly and your family."
Home on the Range Track Listing (via Amazon Music)
Home on The Range
Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon
I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine
Put Me In Your Pocket
Across The Alley From The Alamo
Keeper Of My Heart
I'd Like To Be In Texas, For The Roundup In The Spring