Vignettes weaving together the stories of six individuals in the old West at the end of the Civil War. Following the tales of a sharp-shooting songster, a wannabe bank robber, two weary traveling performers, a lone gold prospector, a woman traveling the West to an uncertain future, and a motley crew of strangers undertaking a carriage ride.
While the audience watches a black and white horse opera, a narrator's voice wonders what such a movie would be like today. Rex O'Herlehan, The Singing Cowboy, finds himself in color and enters a cliche ridden town, in which the evil cattle baron (Andy Griffith) and the new Italian cowboys (who always wear raincoats no matter how hot it gets) join forces to get him and the sheep ranchers to leave.
To bring water to their valley, ranchers have raised money to build a dam. When that money is stolen, Allison suggests the ranchers sell their stock to a friend of his thereby getting the money needed to complete the dam. Roy has a clue that Allison was involved in the robbery and is out to get control of the valley. So Roy and the boys try to delay the sale of the stock while they look for proof against Allison.
After Pat Garrett kills Billy the Kid, Billy's look-alike Roy Rogers arrives and is mistaken for him. Although a murderer, Billy was on the side of the homesteaders against the large ranchers. As Billy's death is unknown, Roy gets Garrett to let him pose as Billy to continue the fight, but without the killing.
Roy returns home to fine a range feud between the cattlemen and the sheepmen. When his friend is killed he finds the rifle had a defective pin. He learns the rifle belongs to a ranch hand named Barker and that a third party has caused the feud. When he captures outlaws trying to blow up a dam, he claims Barker was the killer. But Barker has switched rifles and the outlaws now accuse Roy and Roy finds himself in trouble.
A singing cowboy (George Houston) and his sidekick (Al St. John) rescue miners from a bad deal.
A singing frontier judge (Gene Autry) dismisses a case of double jeopardy.
Having trouble with outlaws, Marshal Graham sends for his friends the Range Busters. Newspaper editor Ross, dissatisfied with Graham, forms a vigilante committee and puts Jim Dawson in charge not knowing he is the leader of the outlaw gang. Dawson then has his men frame Crash and Dusty for robbery and murder and then has them set out to lynch the two.