(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend Vaughn Monroe (1949)
(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend has had numerous titles over the years, sometimes as Riders in the Sky, Ghost Riders, Ghost Riders in the Sky or A Cowboy Legend. The song was written in 1948 by American songwriter Stan Jones. Riders in the Sky is a country/western song that tells the folk tale of a cowboy who has a vision of red-eyes, steel-hooved cattle thundering across the sky, chased by the damned spirits of cowboys. Its most successful outing was in 1949 by Vaughn Monroe and The Moon Men. Monroe’s version hit #1 and spent 22 weeks on Billboard’s chart. It was also the top song of 1949. Riders in the Sky has been covered by Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Scatman Crothers, Spike Jones, Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and even appeared on Sesame Street — in an altered version.