b. Foy Willingham, 14 May 1915, Bosque County, Texas, USA, d. 24 July 1978. After first singing on local radio while still at school, he moved to New York where he appeared on radio for Crazy Water Crystals in 1933. He returned to radio work in Texas in 1935 but two years later, he moved to California, where he formed the Riders Of The Purple Sage. Initially, it comprised himself, Jimmy Dean and Al Sloey, but over the years there were many others, including Scotty Herrell, Billy Leibert, Paul Sellers and Johnny Paul. Using an instrumental line-up that included accordion, fiddle and guitar and closely resembling the Sons Of The Pioneers, they became very popular on several radio shows including the Hollywood Barn Dance. They also appeared in numerous Republic pictures with either Roy Rogers or Monte Hale. Their popularity saw them record for several labels and they are best remembered for their recordings of ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’ (Capitol) and ‘No One To Cry To’ (Majestic). They formally disbanded in 1952 but later made nostalgic appearances at festivals, some further recordings and in 1959, they toured with Gene Autry. Willing continued to appear at Western events until his death in 1978. (NB. This group should not be confused with the 70s country rock band, New Riders Of The Purple Sage).