The definitive "Ghost Riders in the Sky."

Using mostly Pepsi caps, I’m working on a cowboy mix for my sister. It absolutely wouldn’t be complete without Ghost Riders. Our mom used to sing it to us as a lullaby. (Yes, really. We begged for it every night at bedtime.)

But since we mostly knew it as the song our mom sang, I’m not sure which recorded version is the best one.

Despite loving Johnny Cash’s voice, I don’t like the cadences of his version. The VH1 Storytellers version with Cash & Willie Nelson sounds like it might be okay, but I’m not sold. I’ve listened to a few of the older recordings, and I just can’t decide which one’s best.

To you, which is the definitive “Ghost Riders”?

BTW, any one where they sing “Yippee-yi-yo, yippie-yi-ay,” is right out. Everyone knows it’s “Yippee-yi-ay, Yippe-yi-yo.”

My favorite versions are done by The Outlaws (Ghost Riders CD) and the Muppets. :smiley:

There is something about Muppet cows bouncing around Johnny Cash that cracks me up. It’s on one of the Muppet Show DVDs.

I’d recommend the Outlaws’ version.

I’m kind of partial to the Sons of the Pioneers, but then I always did like close harmony.

Well, when y’all get that figured out, someone explain to me why Gary Larson’s “Ghost Riders in the Kitchen” is so dang funny. It cracks me up every time I even think about it, but I have no idea why.

I can’t imagine anything more bone chillin’ than the “original” version by Vaugn Monroe. (I think it’s the original)

Johnny Cash’s version actually sends shivers up my spine, but I have a quaint affection for the more Broadway showish version by Vaughan Monroe that I heard as a little kid.

It’s the juxtaposition of “sky” and “kitchen.” One wode and infinite, the other…ah, heck. You get the idea. :smiley:

I’m partial to Peggy Lee’s version. But then, I’m partial to Peggy Lee.

Vaughn Monroe’s is the original, but I don’t like it as much because he says “yippie-ai-yo, yippie-ai-ay,” which is obviously wrong even if it would by definition be correct since that’s how it is in the original… The Outlaws’ is better.

Also, comedy Spike Jones option.

I get this image of Kermit the Frog rushing into the studio, arms flailing, shouting “Stop stop stop!!!” :smiley:

I’ve always been partial to the version by Riders in the Sky.

I’d say a toss up between The Ventures and Dick Dale.

It sure does put the fear of God in ya, doesn’t it?

The clip on iTunes says “Yippie-yi-ay, yippie-yi-yo.” Maybe it varies from one chorus to the next?

snort Heresy.

I think I’m going to hit B&N and use their listening stations to listen to the full songs, but I’m leading heavily toward Vaughn Monroe.

To clear up the “ay-oh”/“oh-ay” concerns, check the original (in Real Player format).

The chorus consistently sings “ay-oh”, and Vaugn does too when he joins them for the final time, but for some reason he sings “oh-oh” (!) in the second last verse.

… and why do I keep spelling his name “Vaugn”? Sheesh!

It’s "Vaughn"

Lorne Greene (Pa Cartwright) did a surprisingly not bad version.

In his book The Prehistory of The Far Side, Larson himself says he has no idea where this strip came from, other than the fact that it was inspired by the Ghost Riders song. (He says he should have followed it up with “Ghost Riders in the Living Room” the next day.)

I love Vaughn Monroe’s version, but I think The Son’s of the Pioneers predated him by their first version of it. I remember it because it was on an old 78 rpm my father had. Everytime the yipee-yi-yay started my father would say, “That Leonard Sly” can really sing can’t he?"

It was years later that I discovered that Leonard Sly became {b]Roy Rogers[/b[. He and Gene Autry both have (had) their own solo versions of the song.

I also like the Riders in the Sky version and the Ventures version but I would have to say the definitive version would be the Sons of the Pioneers.

Perhaps the most haunting version I ever heard was Rex Allen, but I would be willing to bet it is not available. I heard him do it years ago just walking up to a stage in a club in Phoenix when people noticed him in the audience and the host group asked him to come up. This was Rex Allen Sr. not Jr.

To me, pretty much every cowboy song by the Sons of the Pioneers is the definitive. So, um, that’s where my vote goes.