by Michael K. Ward (Paper)
Scene: Death Valley National Monument in 1947. A handsome young park ranger named Stan Jones idly plucks his guitar, writes a cowboy song . . . and strikes gold. Next stop: Hollywood where Stan finds himself working with the likes of John Wayne, John Ford, Gene Autry, and Walt Disney. The song becomes a timeless hit and is recorded by hundreds of artists, including Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Judy Collins, and the Blues Brothers. Sounds like a movie? It's the true story of Stan Jones, now told in full for the first time. His great song, "Ghost Riders in the Sky," continues to have a life of its own, performed all around the world in ever-changing musical modes, still casting an eerie spell over listeners today.
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