T Bone Burnett Will Write Music for Broadway-Bound Roy Rogers Musical, HAPPY TRAILS; Menken & Slater Depart Creative Team
Producer Larry G. Spangler and The Spangler Group announced today that T Bone Burnett has joined the creative team of Happy Trails, the new Broadway-bound musical based on the life and career of American icons Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans. The music world legend will be writing the score (music and lyrics) for the musical, which will feature a book by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Jersey Boys, The Addams Family) and direction by two-time Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Big River, Tommy). Due to a scheduling conflict, the previously announced songwriting team of Alan Menken (music) and Glenn Slater (lyrics) has departed the production.
Roy Rogers was one of the most visible stars of his era, making a significant impact across all media: film, radio, TV, and recordings - even selling over 150 million comic books to multiple generations of avid fans. Between 1945 and 1975, he starred in 88 films, seen by an estimated 80 million people a year. His British fan club boasted over 90,000 members. The top rated "Roy Rogers TV Show" aired 100 episodes and his image was featured on over 2.5 billion boxes of Post Cereal.
His journey - from an impoverished childhood in Ohio to an unlikely reign as one of Hollywood's most popular stars; the poignant and inspiring story of the family he and Dale raised, their endurance, faith and humor in the face of almost impossible obstacles - and how Trigger got to be the only horse in Hollywood ever to be billed above the title - would be a highly improbable tale if it weren't all true.
Additional creative team members, production details, and casting for all roles including Trigger, Smartest Horse in the Movies and Bullet The Wonder Dog, will be announced in the coming months.
"Not only is T Bone a brilliant musical jack-of-all-trades," said producer Larry Spangler, "but he's also - like Dale Evans was - a Texan through-and-through. He totally embodies that indefinable spirit of the American West with which Roy and Dale were synonymous."
With 50 years' experience in music and entertainment, T Bone Burnett has earned an unparalleled reputation as a first-rate innovative artist, composer, performer, film, record, and concert producer, record company owner and artists' advocate. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Burnett grew up in Fort Worth, Texas where he first began writing songs and making records. Burnett was traveling the country as a free lance record producer when he was asked by Bob Dylan to play guitar in his band on the now-legendary Rolling Thunder Revue tour leading Burnett to form the Alpha Band with David Mansfield and Steven Soles. Burnett made three acclaimed albums with the group before making a string of solo records in the 1980's at the end of which, he began to work in film, beginning with Roy Orbison's, A Black and White Night.
Burnett is an Academy Award winner, a Golden Globe winner and 13-time Grammy® Award winner. He's worked and collaborated with musicians across many genres including Elton John, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, B.B. King, Tony Bennett, k.d. lang, Elvis Costello, The Civil Wars, Taylor Swift, Ryan Bingham, Steve Earle and Leon Russell. Burnett's first major foray into film was his collaboration with the Coen Brothers on The Big Lebowski, and has since held multiple titles for numerous films including The Hunger Games, Cold Mountain,The Hunger Games, and produced the songs for and scored Walk The Line, The Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Crazy Heart, which he also produced. He also has multiple credits in television including as the Executive Music Producer and Composer for the HBO series True Detective, and he was Executive Music Producer and Composer for the first season of the ABC television series, Nashville.
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