Montana, Patsy (1909–1996)

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Montana, Patsy (1909–1996)

First successful woman in country-and-western music. Born Rubye Blevins outside Jesseville, Arkansas, in 1909; died of heart failure on May 3, 1996, in San Jacinto, California.

Known for her yodeling songs, Patsy Montana was the first female country singer to dress in full cowgirl regalia—boots, hat, and fringe. She was also the first to become a million-seller. In 1936, Montana sold over a million copies of her own composition, "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart"; through the years, the song was rerecorded by different artists on major labels, with Suzy Bogguss having the most popular cover on Capitol Records.

Born Rubye Blevins outside of Jesseville, Arkansas, in 1909, Montana was the only girl in a family of ten boys—a rough-and-tumble environment that probably served her well when she set out to become an entertainer in a male-dominated industry. Her popularity began with radio when she joined the WLS "National Barn Dance" in Chicago; she and the Prairie Ramblers became a program mainstay for the next 15 years.

Montana had a great influence on the style of many women singers who followed, including that of Patsy Cline , writes Cline's biographer,

Margaret Jones : "As a cowgirl, [Montana] presented an alternative to the long-suffering wife, dutiful daughter and rube comedienne, the stock female characters of country. She was sassy and independent, on an equal footing with the cowboy." Montana retired briefly in the 1950s only to return to performing throughout the 1960s. She died of heart failure on May 3, 1996, in San Jacinto, California, at age 81.


Jones, Margaret. Patsy: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline. NY: HarperCollins, 1994.

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Montana, Patsy (1909–1996)

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    Montana, Patsy (1909–1996)