“I always tell everybody it’s 3,975 miles on horseback, and I’ve got the calluses still to prove it!”
So kidded Ken Carson in his twilight years. The Ranch Boys rode from California to New York City on horseback in 1938 as a publicity stunt and to prove that they weren’t just ‘drugstore cowboys’ who knew nothing about the rugged life. They slept under the stars for almost four months, cooked their food over an open fire, and watered their horses in brooks and streams.
Jack Ross, Curley Bradley, and Hubert “Shorty” Carson had formed a Western singing trio four years earlier, in 1934. Soon after they moved to Chicago and signed a contract with NBC. They made personal appearances, but they mainly worked on radio. They co-starred with Wade Lane in a show called Pinto Pete and his Ranch Boys (also with Shug Fisher). Find many of the songs from that radio show here.