Patsy Montana Biography

Ruby Rose Blevins, 30 October 1908, Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA, d. 3 May 1996, San Jacinto, California, USA. Montana was the eleventh child and first daughter of a farmer, and in her childhood she learned organ, guitar, violin and yodelling. In 1928 she worked on radio in California as Rubye Blevins, the Yodelling Cowgirl from San Antone. In 1931 she joined Stuart Hamblen’s show, appearing on radio and at rodeos as part of the Montana Cowgirls. Hamblen renamed her Patsy as it was ‘a good Irish name’. In 1933 she joined the Kentucky Ramblers, who, because of their western image, became the Prairie Ramblers. In 1935 Montana recorded her self-penned ‘I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart’, the first million-seller by a female country singer. She recorded many other western songs including ‘Old Nevada Moon’ and ‘Back On The Montana Plains’ (several of her songs had Montana in the title).

Montana appeared in several movies including 1939’s Colorado Sunset with Gene Autry. During the war, she recorded with the Sons Of The Pioneers and the Light Crust Doughboys; her ‘Goodnight Soldier’ was very popular. She continued with her cowgirl image after the war but retired in 1952 and moved to California. She returned to touring in the 60s, often with her daughter Judy Rose, and recorded for Starday with Waylon Jennings on lead guitar. She won popularity outside the USA, particularly in the UK, with her appearances in country clubs. Montana, who presented a picture of independence through her cowgirl image, has inspired many yodelling singers including Rosalie Allen, Texas Ruby and Bonnie Lou. In 1993 Montana received the Living Legends Of Western Music Award. She died in May 1996, and was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame the same year.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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