Patsy Montana

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Patsy Montana (born October 30, 1908 as Ruby Rebecca Blevins in Hot Springs , Arkansas , † May 3, 1996 in San Jacinto , California ) was an American country singer and one of the early female stars of country music . The "Singing Cowgirl" was the first country singer who could sell more than a million records of one song (I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart) .



Patsy grew up as the only girl in a family with eleven children. She was enthusiastic about Jimmie Rodgers at an early age and learned to yodel and play the guitar. She later fell in love with the singing cowboys of Hollywood westerns, who became popular while studying music in California in the early 1930s. There she also won a talent competition and then made her first appearances on local radio stations.

She founded the trio "Montana Cowgirls", which accompanied the western actor Stuart Hamblen on his radio appearances. It was Hamblen who named her "Patsy Montana".


She gained her first studio experience on November 4, 1930, when she recorded the songs When the Flowers of Montana Were Blooming / I Love My Daddy Too (Victor # 23760) as a soloist, which, however, remained without any response. In 1931 she won a talent competition and was allowed to sing live on the radio station KTMR (Los Angeles). Together with Lorraine McIntire and Ruthy De-Mondrum she appeared as the “Montana Cowgirls” on the radio station KMIC (Inglewood / California). Apart from a few radio recordings for KWKH in Shreveport as a violinist for Jimmie Davis in 1932, the breakthrough was initially denied. In 1933 she joined the "Kentucky Ramblers" (Chick Hurt, Tex Atchison , Jack Taylor and "Salty" Holmes) who had just changed their style from country to western swing and their previous names ( Prairie Ramblers ). She performed with them weekly on the National Barn Dance show on the WLS (Chicago) station and remained connected to this show for several decades. In 1934 she was on tour with the band when she came up with the title I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart at the hotel . It was built into the touring program and also broadcast on the weekly National Barn Dance radio show. It was not until the beginning of 1935 that a music publisher was found to help secure the copyrights (specifically US copyright ).

The higher profile of the western swing troupe caught the attention of the American Record Corporation (ARC). This decided in August 1935 to record Patsy Montana & The Prairie Ramblers in New York. First Nobody's Darling But Mine was recorded on August 15, 1935 , then on August 16, 1935 I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart / Ridin 'Old Paint (Vocalion # 3010), the million seller enriched with longer yodel passages , was created. You Look Pretty in an Evening Gown was recorded in August 1935 . Patsy Montana had become country music's first female star overnight.

She also stayed true to her cowgirl image with her next releases: Rodeo Sweetheart, I Wanna Be a Western Cowgirl or I Want to Be a Cowboy's Dream . In the meantime, she found the opportunity to appear in films. The highlight was the Western Colorado Sunset in 1939 , where she performed side by side with Gene Autry , her idol from earlier days. Between 1946 and 1947, she hosted the ABC radio show Wake Up and Smile, which was introduced with thundering horse hoof noises. From 1948 she appeared in the Louisiana Hayride on.

The cowboy music era came to an end in the 1940s. The new styles were honky tonk and later rockabilly . Patsy Montana wasn't ready to give up her beloved cowgirl role. Their record sales dropped, even changing labels several times could not stop the downward trend. But she was still a sought-after radio star with a loyal fan base. Occasionally she performed with her daughter Judy Rose.

Patsy Montana died on May 3, 1996 in San Jacinto, California . That same year she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame .

Discography (selection)

Date of recording and label in brackets

  • When the Flowers of Montana Were Blooming / I Love My Daddy Too (November 4, 1930, Victor # 23760)
  • Nobody's Darling But Mine (August 15, 1935, Vocalion # 3085)
  • I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart / Ridin 'Old Paint (August 16, 1935, Vocalion # 3010)
  • You Look Pretty in an Evening Gown (August 17, 1935, Vocalion # 3085)
  • I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart # 2 / Cowboy's Honeymoon (January 26, 1937, Vocalion # 3268)
  • Pride of the Prairie (January 26, 1937, Vocalion # 3292)
  • I Only Want a Buddy Not a Sweetheart (May 24, 1937, Vocalion # 3292)
  • Maple on the Hill # 4 / Will I Ride the Range in Heaven? (March 1937, Vocalion # 3332)
  • There's a Ranch in the Sky / Ridin 'the Sunset Trail (October 1, 1937, Vocalion # 3377)
  • Out on the Lone Prairie / Cactus Blossoms (January 28, 1937, Vocalion # 3422)
  • I Hope You Have Been True / By the Grave of Nobody's Darling (February 21, 1938, Vocalion # 3469)
  • When I Get to Where I'm Going (1946, Vogue)
  • He Taught Me How to Yodel (1955)
  • Cowboy's Sweetheart (November 1959, Surf )
  • The New Sound of Patsy Montana at the Matador Room (1964)
  • Sweetheart (1965)
  • I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart (1978)


  • Patsy Montana, Jane Frost: Patsy Montana. The Cowboy's Sweetheart. McFarland, Jefferson NC 2002, ISBN 0-7864-1080-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Patsy Montana at Find a Grave (English)