The curious part of these screen appearances is that Pat's roles alternated from unbilled extra as a member of the Sons of the Pioneers singing group, to second sidekick, to #1 sidekick, but not in ascending order. One would expect him to move up to the #1 job and keep it, but he had a bigger role in Red River Valley with lines and musical numbers than as a border patrolman in Pals of the Golden West, where Pinky Lee filled the comic relief. Pat does ride to the rescue with the "Roy Rogers Riders" while Roy and Pinky hold off the bad guys.
Born in 1914, Pat Brady first set foot on-stage at the age of four, in a road-show production of Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. From that moment he was hooked on showbiz for life. While appearing as a bass guitarist in California in 1935, Pat struck up a friendship with a young country western singer named Leonard Slye, a member of the popular The Sons of the Pioneers. When Len Slye was elevated to screen stardom as Roy Rogers, he recommended Brady as his replacement in "The Sons." However, since Bob Nolan, an original member of The Sons, was referred to as "Bob," the group thought one "Bob" was enough, so "Bob Brady" became "Pat Brady" from then on.
As a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, Pat appeared in 27 Charles Starrett westerns from 1937 to 1941. I have seen none of these even though I taped many Starretts off the western channel about ten years ago. Then the Sons moved up to Republic to rejoin Roy, who had been an original member. Pat stayed on when Foy Willing and his Riders of the Purple Sage replaced the Sons. Pat's character was sometimes called Sparrow Biffle and other times he was not even billed in the credits!
In King of the Cowboys (1943) Pat sings a comic song with The Sons, just before Roy rides off on an undercover job with sidekick Smiley Burnett! That's it for Pat until he rides as an extra in the finale.
In 1951's South of Caliente Pat has little screen time opposite burlesque comic Pinky Lee (who went on to a career as TV kid show host in the 1950s). It is fortunate for Pat's dignity that he was not asked to dress up like a gypsy or take pratfalls like Pinky was made to do. The fact seems to be that Pat was by then part of Roy's stock company and performed whatever the script asked of him, sometimes a lot but other times little.
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