Saturday

OCTOBER 30TH


HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATSY MONTANA!



BIRTHDAYS


Patsy Montana
C&W vocals
b. Hope, AR, USA.
née: Ruby Rose Blevins
Patsy Montana 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 the National Barn Dance on Chicago radio station WLS for many years. She might also have been country music's first female session musician. In the '30s and '40s she was the sweetheart of many a movie cowpoke, appearing in numerous western films, and her success encouraged the traditionally male-oriented country music business to welcome and respect the scores of female performers that followed her.
Patsy Montana was born Ruby Blevins in Hot Springs, AR, the 11th child and first daughter of a farmer, and she attended schools in President Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope. She was influenced early on by the music of Jimmie Rodgers, and as a child she learned to yodel and play organ, guitar, and violin. Dropping out of the University of Western Louisiana, she moved to California around 1930 with her older brother and his wife. Montana won a talent contest there and began appearing on a local radio station as "Rubye Blevins, the Yodeling Cowgirl from San Antone" (she thought the added "e" brought sophistication to her image). Appearing on station KMIC with western-music star Stuart Hamblen, she joined with two other female singers to form a group called the Montana Cowgirls. The presence of champion yodeler Monty Montana on the show inspired her to take Montana as her own last name, and Hamblen suggested the first name of Patsy because one of the other singers in the group was named Ruthie -- the names Ruby and Ruthie sounded too similar on the radio.
In 1932 she returned to Arkansas for a visit and performed briefly on Shreveport, LA, radio station KWKH. Those performances caught the attention of Shreveport recording star, Jimmie Davis, who would go on to record "You Are My Sunshine" but at the time was in the midst of a series of often risqué blue-yodel recordings for the Victor label. Montana backed Davis on several recordings and then was given the chance to make a few of her own; her debut record, released in 1933, included "When the Flowers of Montana Are Blooming." In 1933, Montana headed for Chicago to see the Century of Progress World's Fair and to audition at WLS. She got acquainted with a string band called the Kentucky Ramblers and signed on as the group's vocalist as it changed its name to the Prairie Ramblers to fit the increasingly cowboy-oriented programming at WLS. Soon she was a regular on the National Barn Dance, the variety show that at the time was the Grand Ole Opry's biggest competitor and helped launch the careers of various western film stars.
Despite her experience with the raunchy Davis, Montana had to leave the room when the Prairie Ramblers recorded some off-color numbers of their own under the name the Sweet Violet Boys. But she was at the microphone in 1935 to record the peppy polka-rhythm "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," which married the new dance energy of country music to a perfect set of Hollywood cowboy (or cowgirl) images. Recorded in New York on the ARC label, it became her signature song, but it was not her only hit; others included "Rodeo Sweetheart," "Montana Plains," and "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Dream." 
In 1939, she made her full-length feature film debut with Gene Autry in Colorado Sunset. Montana moved to the Decca label in 1941, releasing a dozen singles during the war years. After a stint on the ABC radio network as leader of a program called Wake Up and Smile in 1946 and 1947, she returned to Arkansas to live on a farm with her husband, Paul Rose, and their two children, appearing on the radio daily in Hot Springs and many Saturdays on the Louisiana Hayride. 
Later she and her husband moved back to California. Over the years, Montana remained active in the music industry, appearing on many country music shows and continuing to record. In 1964, she cut a live album at the Matador Room in Safford, AZ; among her backing musicians was a young guitarist named Waylon Jennings. In the '80s and '90s, she recorded albums (several of them gospel) for a number of independent labels before her death on May 3, 1996.

~ Sandra Brennan and James Manheim

Traditional Country Hall of Fame / Patsy Montana



1912
Lee Gillette
producer/music publisher
b. Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Worked with Leadbelly. As a Capitol Records producer, it was Lee Gillette who teamed Jimmy Wakely (then called "the Bing Croshy of Country Music) up with Pop songstress Margaret Whiting (composer Richard Whiting's daughter) in what proved to be a very successful partnership.


1897
Augustin Lara, composer
b. Mexico City, Mexico
d. Nov. 6, 1970. (Heart Attack).
As a child, Lara studied the piano, but when at age 13, his father discovered him playing the piano in a Bordello, he was sent to a military school. By 1927, he was out of the school and playing piano around Mexico City. 1928 saw the first recording of one of his tunes, "Imposible", by Adelaido Castelleda's Orchestra. He excelled in a very large variety of song styles composing rancheras, boleros, tropical songs, even an occasional Tango and brought a cosmopolitan flair to Mexican film music with such songs as "Granada," "Solamente una Vez," "Maria Bonita," "Farolito," and "Palabras de Mujer."
Augustin Lara Discos Peerless ad
The 1930s were his most active years, touring South America, performing on Radio and contributing to the Mexican Film industry. During the 1950s and '60s, he toured Europe, after which his popularity wained somewhat. The many artists who have performed his works include Desi Arnaz, Celia Cruz, Lola Beltran, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Xavier Cugat. Famed singer Placido Domingo recorded a full album of Lara compositions, "Por Amor" during the centenary of Lara's birth.

1925
Attilio Joseph "Teo" Macero
composer/saxes
b. Glens Falls, NY, USA.
Teo Macero - Wikipedia



Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

1941.
Chu Berry, tenor sax
died in Conneaut, OH, USA.
Age: 33.
Worked with Count Basie, and others.



1962.
Billy Berg, club owener/producer
died in Hollywood, CA, USA.
Age: 52.
Owner: 'Billy Berg's' club in Los Angeles, CA. USA.


1972.
Alan Roth died.
Age 68.
Best recalled as the orchestra leader on the Milton Berle Show.


1976.
Rudy Powell, alto sax
died in New York, NY, USA.

Age: 69.


1986.
Lewis Allan, composer
died in Longmeadow, MA, USA.
Age: 83.
Perhaps best recalled for his song "Strange Fruit Growing On Southern Trees",-Billie Holiday's huge hit. Louis Armstrong's release of "Black and Blue," with lyrics written in 1929 by Andy Razaf, was the first Black protest song aimed at a largely White audience. White songwriters rarely ever touched on the subject of race prejudice. Famed songwriter Irving Berlin was one of the bravest writers. His "Supper Time" (a song Ethel Waters made famous), referred to a lynching. Still, before Meeropol and Holiday came along, no one had ever confronted the subject so directly. No one ever tampered with Meeropol's music and words (he wrote both for this song), but composer Arthur Herzog, who wrote another famous song (and another Billie Holiday hit) "God Bless the Child" - claimed that arranger Danny Mendelsohn was really responsible for the final sound.
     "One of the first numbers we put on was called: "Strange Fruit Grows on Southern Trees," the tragic story of lynching. Imagine putting that on in a night club!" 
--Barney Josephson, in 1942.
     "I wrote "Strange Fruit" because I hate lynching, and I hate injustice, and I hate the people who perpetuate it." 
-Abel Meeropol (a.k.a. Lewis Allan in 1971).
ADDENDA:
Abel Meeropol, is often recalled today for raising the two orphaned sons of the executed atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, For 27 years, he worked as an English teacher at New York's De Witt Clinton High School. However, Meeropol also led two other, parallel lives; one persona was as a political activist, and the other persona was as a poet and songwriter.
Politically, he and his wife were 'closet' Communists donating a percentage of their earnings to the Communist Party. (In later years, the F.B.I. maintained that he had "been identified by reliable informants" as a Party member until 1947, although the FBI followed him for 23 years after that). Using the nom de plume "Lewis Allan" (the names of his two biological children, neither of whom survived infancy), he incessantly composed poems, ballads, musicals, and plays. Apart from "Strange Fruit," he is also well known for writing the lyrics to "The House I Live In" (music by Earl Robinson). Frank Sinatra introduced that paean to tolerance in a 1945 Oscar-winning short subject.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


1923



Johnny Dunn and his Jazz Band - “I Promised Not To Holler, But Hey! Hey!”

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

1924



Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - “Copenhagen”

Fletcher Henderson Orchestra “Words”



1928



Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra - “I Can't Give You Anything But Love”
Eddie Condon and his Footwarmers - “I'm Sorry I Made You Cry”

The California Ramblers
  • “Cross Roads”
  • “Me And The Man In The Moon”

    1930



    The Harlem Footwarmers
    • “Mood Indigo (Dreamy Blues)”

    The Harlem Footwarmers - “Sweet Chariot”


    Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra - “New Moten Stomp”



    Waring's Pennsylvanians
    • “The Little White House (At The End Of Honeymoon Lane)”

    1939



    Eddie Duchin Orch.
    • "El Rancho Grande"


      LYRICS:

      I Can't Give You Anything But Love

      Gee but it's tough to be broke kid

      It's not a joke kid,

      It's a curse,

      My luck is changing it's gotten from simply roten
      To something worst
      Who knows someday i will win too
      I'll begin to reach my pride
      Now that i see what our end is
      All can spend is just my time

      I can't give you anything but love, baby.
      That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby.
      Dream a while. Scheme a while.
      We're sure to find,
      Happiness, and I guess
      all those things you've always pined for.

      Gee I'd like to see you looking swell,
      My little baby
      Diamond bracelets Woolworth's doesn't sell, baby.
      till that lucky day you know darn well, baby.
      I can't give you anything but love.


      TubaGirlFin
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      ~confetta
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