Before signing a film contract with Republic Pictures in 1943, Dale Evans enjoyed modest success as a singer, performing in nightclubs and on the radio. But when Republic cast her opposite singing cowboy Roy Rogers in The Cowboy and the Senorita (1944), her career was transformed. Teamed with Rogers in more than twenty-five films between 1944 and 1951, Evans became "Queen of the West" to Rogers’s "King of the Cowboys." When the couple married on New Year’s Eve in 1947, they became off-screen partners as well. Following the wedding, Republic announced that Dale Evans would no longer play Roy Rogers’s leading lady. But after fans protested, that plan was scrapped and Evans returned to the screen with her husband. She also co-starred with him when the Roy Rogers Show debuted on television in 1951, and composed the "Happy Trails" theme song with which the pair closed each episode.