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1908 - 1996

Patsy Montana
I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart Renfro Valley That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine Sixteen Pounds Riding Down the Canyon He Taught Me How to Yodel 16 Pounds Wabash Cannonball Adobe Hacienda "Sound Files"
I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart - Real Audio file Biography One of the true pioneers of country music was Patsy Montana, the original yodeling cowgirl. She was the first woman in country music to have a million-selling single -- 1935's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" -- and was a mainstay on WLS Chicago's National Barn Dance for over 25 years. ... Full Biography from AMG.

Patsy Montana was born Ruby Rebecca Blevins, October 30, 1908 in Beaudry, Arkansas. She grew up in Hope, Arkansas with her family, as the only girl of eleven siblings. She often commented, "Ten brothers and every one of them had a sister except me." Her greatest professional accomplishment, being the first female country/western artist to sell one million records with her 1935, self-penned, "I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart", stands today as one of the most recorded songs in music history.

In 1929 Montana went to California to study violin at the University of the West, which later became UCLA. She won a local talent contest singing and yodeling Jimmie Rodger's songs and playing the guitar. This gave her a beginning on radio. First prize was a stint on the Hollywood Breakfast Club. It was while in California she took her famous professional name from the World Champion Roper, Monte Montana.

During the summer of 1933 Montana traveled to the Chicago World's Fair where she auditioned at WLS for a group called the Prairie Ramblers. Montana and the Ramblers became regulars on the famous WLS Chicago Barn Dance program and stayed with the Barn Dance, off and on until the 1950's. During her stay at the National Barn Dance, she worked with Gene Autry, Pat Buttram, Red Foley, Millie and Dolly Good (the Girls of the Golden West) Lulu Belle and Scotty, Hoosier Hot Shots and George Gobel. She made one full length feature film, Colorado Sunset, with Gene Autry and Pat Buttram.

She married Paul Rose, manager of duo Mac and Bob, July 4, 1934. Their two daughters, Beverly and Judy later joined their mother as the Patsy Montana Trio.

Montana found rock n' roll and folk music in the 1960's to be difficult foes. In the 1970's her career revived with college campus concerts and her popularity became even stronger with new nationwide interest in country and western music.

I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart was not an instant hit. "But it never died." Miss Montana stated. "This is the secret of the song's success." Patsy Montana was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

Patsy Montana's professional career spanned over seven decades performing from 1922 until late 1995. She passed away in May, 1996. Patsy Montana completed dictating her auto-biography prior to her death. 


She was every cowboy's sweetheart.

Patsy Montana, the original yodeling cowgirl and an inspiration to everyfemale country & western singer who followed her, died of heart failure May3 at the age of 87, at her home in San Jacinto, California. Her passing markedthe end of a remarkable six-decade career. Our heartfelt condolences go out toPatsy's family.

In 1935, backed by her group The Prairie Ramblers, Patsy recorded "IWant To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart," which became the first million-sellingrecord by a woman in the hillbilly/C&W field (it's also one of the trackson Rhino's acclaimed four-CD Songs Of The West box set). Patsylater earned fame as a star on KFWB/Los Angeles and Chicago's WLS NationalBarndance and performed regularly throughout the world well into her 80s.

We had the great pleasure of seeing and meeting Patsy at one of her last public appearances, last fall in L.A. at the Autry Western Heritage Museum, whenC&W star and major Montana fan Suzy Bogguss (who recorded a great version of "Cowboy's Sweetheart" in 1988 -- check it out!) A moving, living tribute to her. Even in frail health, Patsy was gracious and genuinely warm.

Though it could be argued it should have been done long ago, Patsy was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame October 2000 in Nashville.

Happy trails, Patsy, from all your saddlepals.