(June 5, 1914 – December 13, 1963) was an American
songwriter and actor, primarily writing
He is best remembered for writing the legendary "Ghost
Riders in the Sky",
which has been called the #1 Western song ever written.
In his free time he wrote
songs on his four string Martin tenor guitar tuned DGBE, and
eventually more than 100 were recorded. His most famous, "(Ghost)
Riders in the Sky", was
written in 1948 when he worked for the
National Park Service
Death Valley, California.
Assigned as technical advisor to the filming of Three
Godfathers, he became friends with director
who opened his way into Hollywood.
Jones wrote almost entirely
Western music. He composed songs for several
by Ford and others producers, including
He also played small parts in several westerns.
Jones began writing for
He was co-writer of the theme song for the television series
and in 1956 was hired to play Deputy Harry Olson in the
Sheriff of Cochise
(1956–1958), which starred
as law enforcement officer Frank Morgan. After its first
season, Sheriff of Cochise was renamed by
Desi Arnaz, Sr.,
as U.S. Marshal. Jones wrote again for John Ford's
Civil War film
The Horse Soldiers,
in which he made an uncredited appearance as
Ulysses S. Grant.
The following year, he returned to working for Disney
One major role
for him was in playing the part of Wilson Brown, a Union
soldier and locomotive engineer who was a member of the
Andrews Raid depicted in Disney's film
The Great Locomotive Chase.
In his final film,
Ten Who Dared,
Jones appeared as Seneca Howland, a member of John Wesley
Powell's 1869 expedition. He also is credited for song
writing for this film.
Three of his songs, "(Ghost)
Riders in the Sky", the theme from "The Searchers", and
"Cowpoke" were chosen by members of the
Western Writers of America
as being among the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
Michael K. Ward's book,
Stan Jones "The Singing Ranger" Ghost
Riders in the Sky, (order
here) is highly recommended if you want to read an amazing
story about how a four string tenor guitar player, in the
middle of nowhere, gets discovered and encouraged by
Randolph Scott, goes to Hollywood, meets Eden Ahbez (author
or "Nature Boy") and hands him an acetate that Eden gives to
Burl Ives, and the rest of the story, as they say, becomes
It is with great pride and honor that the
Tenor Guitar Hall of Fame Advisory Board, under the auspices
of the Tenor Guitar Foundation, will induct STAN
JONES "THE SINGING RANGER" into the Tenor Guitar Hall of
Fame on May 28, 2015.
Listen to Lowell "Banana"
Ghost Riders in the Sky
on his five string tenor guitar.
Listen to Stan Jones original
Ghost Riders in te Sky.
Listen to Burl Ives recording
Ghost Riders in the Sky.
Listen to Vaughn Monroe
Ghost Riders in the Sky.