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Stan Jones
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    (June 5, 1914-December 13, 1963)
    Born in Douglas, Arizona
    Death Valley forest ranger
    Wrote over 100 recorded songs
    Best-known for writing 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' (1948)
    Composed songs for 'The Searchers,' 'Rio Grande,' 'The Steel Trap,' 'The Adventures of Spin and Marty,' and 'Cheyenne'
    Also wrote songs 'Ride Away (Searchers Theme),' 'Song of the Trail,' 'Saddle Up,' 'Lilies Grow High,' and 'Cheyenne'
    Acted in 'The Horse Soldiers,' 'Ten Who Dared,' 'Sheriff of Cochise,' and 'The Great Locomotive Chase'
    He surrendered parental rights to the child he had with his first wife.
    Few can name a second song of his after 'Ghost Riders in the Sky.'
    The only recording of him actually performing 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' exists in very shoddy quality.
    The song made the rounds with Burl Ives who liked it enough to record it. When finished, someone wired the recording to Vaughn Monroe, who then rushed to cut the record himself and release it before Ives' own version came out.
    During an appearance on a Sons of the Pioneers broadcast, he was asked to name his favorite cover version of 'Riders.' He very unshakably responded that it was 'the Pioneers' version (suck up!)
    He claimed to have based the premise for 'Riders' off of a story a cowhand told him when he was twelve.
    The man allegedly pointed to lightning in the sky and said that looking closely he could see the Devil's herd. He said that if Jones wasn't careful, he would join them in chasing steers for all eternity (Stan jumped off his horse and ran home terrified).
    He competed in rodeos to earn money for college.
    He held jobs as a as a miner, logger, snowplow man, and firefighter after his discharge from the Navy.
    He became friends with John Ford while acting as a Death Valley technical advisor during the filming of 'The Walking Hills.'
    Gene Autry based two movies off of his songs - 'Riders in the Sky' and 'Whirwind' (both of which Jones had bit parts in).
    He was good friends with Eden Ahbez and even offered to split his $100,000 royalty check with the writer for helping him get the 'Riders' song to Burle Ives (Ahbez politely declined, saying he was fine living on $3 a week).
    In the latter half of the 1950s, he teamed with The Walt Disney Company to pen music for many of their assorted projects, including 'Spin and Marty' (in which he occasionally appeared) and 'Wonderful World of Color.'
    'Riders in the Sky' has been called the #1 Western song of all time, and has been recorded by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, and Elvis Presley.
    He was posthumously inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame (1997).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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