Tombstone 1881: A Piece of The West


After years of songcrafting, including much careful study and historical research, Roger Rabalais’ project of a lifetime has come to fruition in the form of an extraordinary story told in song.

The fateful 1881 gunfight at the OK Corral, though it lasted a mere 30 seconds, has captured the imagination of a nation for more than 135 years. Experience the story now in an entirely new way, in what Roger Rabalais conceived originally as a “cowboy opera.”

It isn’t operatic in the classical sense, but the characters and the narrative unfold naturally in song. You won’t soon forget this experience!


Tombstone 1881: A Piece of The West — 22 Comments

  1. Roger – What an amazing CD!! I know you worked hard and enjoyed greatly
    It shows! I think this will be a huge success for you. Well deserved

    • Thanks, Susan. “Amazing” was the process, too, as was working with everyone at Ragtop & Kim Copeland Productions! Thanks for your kind words and support.

  2. Roger,

    This was the most unique and fun projects I have ever had the pleasure of working on!

    I know it will enlighten new listeners and entertain old ones for years to come. Your years in radio make the stories come to life. Your attention to detail and accuracy make the characters real and the songs fun.

    I hope you make many new friends on this journey and educate new generations as you keep the flame alive!

    Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

    Huge success.

    • Thank you, Kim. I was also fortunate to find you online and through “a friend of a friend” after which, upon our first meeting to discuss the project, I finally knew why (as well as for what & whom) I fatefully waited so long to tell my version of this story, which, to say the least, has turned out to be “quite a ride” – and then some, and one that I hope lasts as long as this story is told for years to come!

  3. Roger, I want to congratulate you for creating such a fascinating recording. I do a lot of road trips and this cd is far better than any audio book. You’ve weaved these stories together nicely. Your voice is also terrific for this project. I wish you much success.

  4. Roger,
    I’m so impressed by this opus of yours! The melodies are swirling around in my head, as is the story of this historic shootout. This deserves, and will get, many listens … I hope one, at least, can be live and in person!


    • Thanks Lisa! I appreciate your comments. Before recording these songs and story, I sang and told them at the usual “watering holes”, and some not so usual ones, including sleighrides, bonfires, rodeos, and a cattle drive in Carbondale my last year in Aspen. My Colorado venues outside Aspen/Snomass were in the Winter Park/Fraser area and up & down the Roaring Fork Valley. I’ve also been out and performed the story several times in Tombstone and would love to someday bring them back to Colorado again as well!

  5. Nicely conceived and executed project. Unique presentation in the genre of “concept” albums. The stories and songs tell the story effectively, and Roger does an excellent job singing and producing. I always knew that boy could sing!

  6. Roger, this is truly ingenious work!!! I’ve had the honor and privilege of playing some of this with you at the Daily Cup in South Charleston the last few years. It was good then, but to hear it in its entirety captivated me!! I was drawn into the historical account of October 26, 1881. I felt like I was there as my mind painted pictures of the characters and the surroundings of that era. Indeed, I would agree with this work being a “cowboy opera!” It tells an accurate account from start to finish of that fateful day in Tombstone. Roger, you REALLY have something to be proud of! An amazing work well planned throughout, and produced by Kim Copeland, whom I had the honor and privilege of meeting the day I was with you at Ragtop Studio, and did such a superb job that I know you’re happy with it! Fantastic work and job well done!!

  7. Congratulations, Roger! I have had the chance to sit down and listen to Tombstone 1881 several times. What a marvelous introduction to the setting and the characters of this huge piece of American lore. Great pictures painted in song and story. “Please Wyatt” is my favorite; it’s an incredibly moving song. I will never think of the OK Corral in the same way again. Wish I could write stuff like this! Once again, great job my friend, and you should be proud.

  8. Roger, I’m telling every one I know that may be interested in your musical/voiced story of these times about your new CD… You did good ol’ friend.

  9. Roger — I am stunned by how good this, but I shouldn’t be. It reflects your soul, your sensibilities, and your talent. Kudos on a superlative project and piece of art that brings to life a part of the old West. I look forward to hearing more of your work, whether in a new ‘opry’ or a collection of your songs. Regards, Bob

  10. Thanks Vic, Mike & Skip, my friends in Aspen, Hattiesburg & Portland! As a “progress report,” in Tombstone this past weekend, I fortunately met Mr. William “Bill” Hunley, owner of the historic “Bird Cage” variously in the 1880′s aka the Bird Cage Saloon, Theatre and Opera House, now a museum and Tombstone’s exclusive outlet for “Tombstone Arizona 1881,” the CD.

    Thanks Bill, Paula, Janie & the entire “Bird Cage Flock” which (according to legend and The History Channel) includes at least 26 resident souls who “met their maker” in the building reputedly among America’s “most haunted!” … But I digress. Thanks to all for your support and kind compliments in recognition of my long awaited and, I hope also in itself, “historic” piece!

  11. Roger- congratulations! What a joy to hear and see this project you have been dedicated to for so many years finally come to fruition. I remember working on some of these pieces with you decades ago in Snowmass- I may still have some of the cassettes. I admire your tenacity, and hope this project is as well-received by the OK Corral-loving public as it is by your friends. Talk to you soon!

  12. Roger, as I told you last week, I think it is a great production, with a lot of Waylon Jennings influence in it! You did an excellent job and are to be commended for it! Keep up the good work and keep those Bulldogs proud! Have a great weekend!

  13. Hey Roger. I just got my copies. Congratulations on finally putting this work in the form it’s always deserved. Well done!

    Sorry I missed yo’ call AGAIN!

    Nice website Bro!!…more later


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