DFW Music News

Out of the KBOX and Into the Past: Was This the Very First Dallas Cowboys Theme Song?

The great George Gimarc has been extremely generous with his estimable collection of goodies -- so much so he's agreed to partner with Unfair Park on a North Texas Food Bank fund-raiser a la Danny Hurley's Mods vs Rockers book we auctioned off at Christmas. More details to come next week. Till then, we offer up an audio treasure (after the jump), which George picked up at an estate sale held in the estate of one Texas Earnest Schramm Jr. First, George's explanation:

This little platter came from the personal collection of Tex Schramm, and it seems to be from the dawn of the Dallas Cowboys when he was casting about for a song to associate with the team. Eventually, the song "Cowboy Stampede March" would become THE song associated with the team thru their broadcasts in the '60s thru the '80s.

So here's the question: Since this little record pre-dates the Tom Merriman song that many of us remember, was this song "Ride Dallas Cowboys" used in those first games before the TM tune? That's something I can't answer since I've never seen/heard a single game in my 90+ years on this planet. But some sharpie might recognize it! A dimly remembered treasure from the dusty vaults of yours truly. If it's flat, black & circular, I'm on it.
I sent the audio file and George's query to Joe Nick Patoski, who, as I noted a few weeks ago, is writing what he calls "a cultural history of the Dallas Cowboys focusing on 1960 to 1979." This is what the former Texas Monthly writer had to add:

That first bit is foreign to me, as is Johnny Boudreau. That trombone lick is something though.

"The Cowboys Stampede," which comes on about 33 seconds into the mp3, was introduced in 1961 and was the song I always heard from the git-go in their commercials and promos for broadcast games. Oddly, KBOX initially carried the Cowboys the first year. Then KLIF took over in '61; '63 was when Jay Randolph became the first familiar radio Voice of the Cowboys.

So I'm guessing this Johnny Boudreau tune was the song used the first year at games and for KBOX promos at least.

Regarding the Boudreau song, there's not much I could find -- this and only this, which suggests that famed film composer Lennie Niehaus had a hand in the arrangement. So, with that, huddle up.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky