Western Song: Ridin’ Down the Canyon
America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy Gene Autry and American country singer/songwriter/actor Smiley Burnett wrote and first performed the hit song “Ridin’ Down the Canyon” in 1935. They first released it on their 1935 single Ridin’ Down the Canyon and 1936 single I’m Looking For the Bully of the Town with the title “Ridin’ Down the Canyon (when the desert sun goes down).” Gene Autry also performed this song in his first starring role in the movie Tumbling Tumbleweeds in 1935. Moreover, it became the title song of the 1942 American film entitled Ridin’ Down the Canyon, sung by its lead character Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.
Several notable versions of the songs appeared after its initial release. For example, the Sons of the Pioneers released the song on their 1960 album entitled Cool Water. On the other hand, Riders in the Sky released their version on their 1996 album Public Cowboy #1 – The Music of Gene Autry.
Several covers/versions of the song have been recorded by artists such as:
- Jimmie Revard and His Oklahoma Playboys
- Bing Crosby
- Rice Brothers’ Gang
- Andy Parker and The Plainsmen
- Eddie Dean feat. The Frontiersmen
- Sons of the Pioneers
- Willie Nelson and Leon Russell
- Red Steagall
- Rex Allen & His Arizona Wranglers
- Wylie & The Wild West
- Riders in the Sky
- Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
- Don Edwards
- Ian Tyson
- Trails & Rails
- Jen Mize – Mark Sholtez
Listen (Sons of the Pioneers Version)
Ridin’ Down the Canyon Lyrics
When evenin' chores are over in our ranch house on the plains 'N all I've got to do is lay around I saddle up my pony and go ridin' down the trail 'N watch the evenin' sun go down Ridin' down the canyon to watch the sun go down A picture that no artist e'er could paint White faced cattle lowin' on the mountainside I hear a coyote whinin' for its mate Cactus plants are bloomin' sagebrush everywhere Granite spires standing all around I tell you folks it's heaven to be ridin' down the trail When the desert sun goes down [Violin and Guitar] Cactus plants are bloomin' sagebrush everywhere Granite spires are standing all around I tell you folks it's heaven to be ridin' down the trail When the desert sun goes down.