This past weekend Mr Pepperworth and I got off work early and drove 2 hours to see Riders in the Sky with my Ma and Pa. After years of hearing me and Sissy singing things like, “I wanna drink my java from an old tin can…” “Mom, where are you? I’m over here, behind the big rock…” and “Oh, I am Queen Elizabeth…”, it was time to introduce Mr Pepperworth to the sweet group that is RIS.
Now, my family has listened to RIS since I was about 8 years old. RIS has over 8 albums out but we had one album back in the day. Well, one tape. One tape that they don’t even produce anymore. It is a good one! So needless to say, the group has been around awhile. 34 years to be exact. And, honestly, they look kinda like they have been around that long. (I realized that Mr Pepperworth and I only go to concerts/events where we are the youngest people there but that is another story.)
Anywho, RIS is a cowboy group that sings old country western songs but also has some funny songs to go with them. There used to be three of them, now there are four. They added an accordion. He’s pretty good.
There is this one song on the tape we had called, The Queen Elizabeth Trio. It is really the Happy Wanderer but the guys sing it like they are old British women. Since it was a trio, and we tend to like things that are Monty Pythonish, my Pa, Sissy, and I sang the song. We sang it hiking, we sang it as a phone message, we sang it for shits and giggle. Good family times. So…because I thought it was funny, I emailed RIS’s manager. It went something exactly like this:
I am not quite sure if this will find the right person, or if this is even possible, but my name is Emily and I will be attending the Friday 10/14 show in Covington, WA with my husband and parents.
I am super excited to see the group as I grew up listening to Riders in the Sky on family vacations. My sister, dad, and I would sing at the top of our lungs to Saturday Morning with Riders.
Anyway, long story short (that includes many singalongs), I would like to make a song request for Friday night. I am sure this doesn't usually happen but my request would be "Queen Elizabeth Trio", although I know there are 4 guys in the group now. I know it isn't really a hit song or even very sophisticated, but it would make my dad so surprised and happy if the guys would sing it seeing as my sister, dad, and I sang it constantly growing up. I am assuming it isn't already on the play list. :)
Hah, thanks for reading this odd request. Again, I have no clue if a)this is possible or b) this will reach anyone but hell, it was worth a shot for my Pa.
The response was something exactly like this:
Great letter! I've passed on your request. No telling what those cowboy characters will do.
You'd be surprised how many letters I get asking where to find those old shows. CBS put them in the archives and we have never been able to release them on dvd. So sad - they where really wonderful and the guests, Rikki Lake, Florence Henderson, Julia Sweenie...people would love it.
Thanks for writing,
Riders In The Sky
And, guess what....they played it. And, they introduced it by asking if I was in the audience. And, then they said they hadn't sang it in 20 years. And, then, they bombed the song. Oh well, it was still funny in my opinion and then they referred to me later in the show and other people after the show asked me if I was Emily and my dad was Pa (because obviously that is what they referred to him as). I got a kick out of it anyway and I think Pa did too. Another great Riders in the Sky moment to add to the family fun list.
I gotta say though, Too Slim, definitely the funniest Rider.
I think Mr Pepperworth is a fan now too.