Cast & Crew
Ranchers in Cherokee City are furious when trucking company owner Ross Lambert, who holds a monopoly in the area, doubles his rate to transport their cattle to market. Cattlemen's association president James Barrabee, a wishy-washy man who cannot stand up to the ruthless Lambert, relies on his foreman, Roy Rogers, for a solution. Roy realizes that their cattle can be shipped on steamboats, and convinces Barrabee to contact Colonel Silas Popen, the eccentric Southern owner of a steamboat line. Lambert, determined to protect his monopoly, steals a telegram addressed to Roy advising him that Popen hates all things western. Without this information Roy and his singing friends, The Sons of the Pioneers, make a bad first impression, and Popen's opinion of them is worsened by the antics of Roy's pals, "Gabby" Whittaker and Frog. In town, Lambert arranges for a rough-and-tumble saloon brawl to terrify Popen, and it succeeds when the noise scares the horses of Popen's wagon into running wild. Roy saves Popen, his daughter Mary Lou and his black valet, Rango, but upon reaching Barrabee's ranch, the Southerner declares that he will have nothing to do with shipping cattle. Roy angrily tells Popen what he thinks of him and accuses Mary Lou of being a quitter. Deciding to prove Roy wrong, Mary Lou takes matters into her own hands and arranges for the ranchers to round up their cattle and bring them to Barrabee's ranch. Lambert overhears Mary Lou telling Roy the plan, and sends some of his men to set Popen's boat on fire. While all of the ranch hands are putting out the fire, Lambert's men, led by Cully Bronson, rustle the cattle. Popen, who has fallen down a well at the ranch, overhears Lambert and Bronson discussing their deeds. Once Popen is rescued and his missing false teeth recovered, he reveals that the gang have taken the cattle beneath a waterfall to a swamp on the other side. The ranchers rush over, and while they are rounding up the gang, Roy rescues Mary Lou, who has been kidnapped by Lambert and Bronson. Lambert is brought to justice, and Popen signs a contract with Barrabee to transport the ranchers' cattle.
The Hall Johnson Choir
Richard Van Enger
Smiley Burnette joined Roy Rogers (I) in this movie because the one actor he regularly "sidekicked" for, 'Autry, Gene' , had enlisted in the service.
Most of the songs were cut out of the print viewed. A June 4, 1942 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Mauri Grashin and Robert T. Shannon were signed to do a treatment for this film, but the extent of their contribution to the completed picture has not been determined. Although contemporary reviews refer to Smiley Burnette's character as "Smiley," in the film he is called "Frog." According to a New York Times article, studio executives ordered the rewriting of an arson scene, during which "Lambert's" men start a fire using a large quantity of gasoline, in order to avoid "reminding theatre patrons of [the] war-time privations" of gasoline rationing. Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Cactus Mack, Carl Mathews, Horace B. Carpenter, Frank McCarroll and Art Dillard.