Bonanza was the quintessential Western television series. It told the story of a family led by ranch owner Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), who had sired three sons: introspective, intellectual Adam (Pernell Roberts), hulking, good-natured "Hoss" (Dan Blocker), and volatile, handsome Little Joe (Michael Landon). When Bonanza first went on the air, it was common practice to get the stars of hit series to expand into other areas, especially recording. Disc One opens with Ponderosa Party Time, the first Bonanza album, which is contrived and sometimes silly but always lively. It features country and folk songs with Greene, Landon, Roberts, and Blocker all singing in character. The material here isn't far removed from the sort of records that Gene Autry used to make for his movies, except that none of these guys is as good a singer as Autry. Lorne Greene's American West, which makes up the first part of Disc Two, is a pretty good record; Welcome to the Ponderosa fills out the rest of the disc. Disc Three is made up of Greene's Portrait of the West and Lorne Greene: The Man albums. These are more western songs, traditional pieces interspersed among modern songs, but both are more elaborately produced than the two previous records. Not all of it works, but it is fun, and livelier than Welcome to the Ponderosa. Pernell Roberts' Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies opens Disc Four; it's a pleasant folk album, using mostly traditional or traditional-type material. He sings in a pleasant, rich baritone that makes this the strongest of the eight albums included here. Dan Blocker's 1963 album Our Heritage, recorded with singer/actor John Mitchum, fills out Disc Four. This was a story-and-song celebration of American history, with the folksy, pleasing Blocker telling the stories and Mitchum singing.