Patsy Montana wasn’t the rodeo cowgirl kind, but she was a cowgirl. She sang songs for and about the cowgirl. Here is a short peek into the life of a singing cowgirl who was a yodeler, an actress, and songwriter.
Patsy’s real name was Ruby Rose Blevin. She was born October 30, 1908 in Beaudry, Arkansas. One source said she was born in Hope Springs, Arkansas.
She came by her performance name when she worked with Monte Montana, a silent film actor and champion cow roper.
Winning a Contest
In 1929 Patsy won a contest with her singing, playing guitar, and yodeling. She became part of a group called the Prairie Ramblers. They were featured regularly on WLS radio station’s National Barn Dance program.
Patsy was privileged to perform with other famous singers such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Patsy was an actress as well as singer too like Gene and Roy. She performed in one movie, Colorado Sunset in 1939. She acted with Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette. She played herself.
Patsy’s Theme Song
In 1935 Patsy’s song that would become her theme song was released; I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.
My mom and I sang this song when we were being silly. We’d sing and laugh. It’s one of my favorite memories of her. She wasn’t a cowgirl, but maybe she was at heart. She knew I loved the life style the cowgirl conjured up in my head. We’d sing that song and I dreamed of being a cowgirl and someday a cowboy’s sweetheart.
When my mom and I sang this little tune, I had no idea who wrote it or sang it. Now, thanks to the internet I looked up the song and read about Patsy Montana. She wrote around two-hundred songs and has recorded nine albums of her music. Her songs were about the cowgirl who was tough and rode the range and brought in the cattle. She sang about the cowgirl who worked on the ranch, fixed fence, and slept outside by the campfire.
Million Dollar Song
She learned to yodel at a young age and accompany herself on the guitar, violin, or the organ. Her singing brought her the recognition of being the first country woman singer to reach the million selling record in 1935 with her theme song, I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.
For her efforts and contribution to country music and the cowgirl, Pasty was added to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas in 1987 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996. She was awarded this recognition after her death on May 3, 1996.
Gene Autry Connection
Patsy met Paul E. Rose who was stage manager for Gene Autry. Patsy and Gene performed a lot around the same time. Paul, being the manager had to be where his boss, Gene was. Patsy and Paul were apparently the only singles in the group. An attraction started and soon the two were in love and married. They both kept working at their careers even when it sent them in different directions.
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