Roy Rogers was a famous singer and cowboy actor – one of the most popular Western stars of his era.
Known as the “King of the Cowboys”, he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. In many of his films and television episodes, he appeared with his wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino Trigger, and his German Sheperd dog Bullet. His show ran on radio for nine years before moving to television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often Pat Brady, Andy Devine or Gabby Hayes.
In addition to being a star Roy Rogers was a savy businessman, in his later years, Rogers lent his name to the Roy Rogers Restaurants franchised chain.
So, it is no suprise to hear that prior to his death in 1998, Roy Rogers once told his son, Roy “Dusty” Rogers, Jr., that if the museum bearing his name and holding his memorabilia ever operated at a loss, that he should close it, and sell the contents. He complied.
The museum which was a popular tourist attraction along the old Route 66 and near the Rogers’ own home in Victorville, California for more than 35 years, starting in 1967, suddenly and abruptly was moved by the next generation in 2003 (Five years after Rogers’ death and two years after the passing of Evans) to Branson, Mo. But less than six years later Dusty closed the museum – A wise chronicler from The Rogers’ neck of the woods out west suggested that the museum, displaced, was also misplaced – getting lost in the shuffle in the midst of Bansons’ honky tonks and comedy clubs.