January 11

Behind “I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by Patsy Montana

Behind “I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by Patsy Montana 1

About Patsy…

Patsy Montana ((1908 – 1996) was American Country music singer-songwriter and the “Queen of Yodeling”. Montana learned to yodel at a very young age including how to play the organ, guitar, and violin. She joined and won a talent competition in 1930 that opened a career in a local radio station in California. She then known as the “Yodeling Cowgirl” from San Antone.

Montana’s real name is Ruby Blevins. She took her stage name from Montie Montana, the film star, stuntman and rodeo trick rider, with whom she had an opportunity to work early in her career.

How it all began…

“I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” was the first country song by a female artist to sell more than two million copies worldwide. It was written in 1934. A year later (1935), the song was recorded when producer Art Satherly (Often called Uncle Art Satherley labelled as “one of the most important pioneers in the field of country music production”), of ARC Records (American Record Corporation), needed another song at a Prairie Ramblers (“hot string band and “a hot fiddler band”) recording session. The track was a huge hit that unbolted Patsy to prominence. It was her hallmark as a country singer.

Originally, the title was “Texas Plains” but Montana modified the lyrics to “I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart”. This is due to the influence of dynamism of country music and various Hollywood cowboy imageries. Another fascinating fact was that she wrote the song because “she’s feeling lonely and missing her lover”.

The lyrics say it all…

“I wanna be a cowboy’s sweetheart… I wanna learn to rope and ride…

I wanna be a cowboy’s sweetheart… That’s the life I love the best…”

In addition, the song was used as the end credits of John Sayles’s 1996 movie “Lone Star”. The movie was released weeks after Montana’s death.

Cover Renditions

The song I want to be a cowboy’s Sweetheart has been recorded by various artists such as Rosalie Allen, in a 1940s yodeling version, Patti Page, Suzy Bogguss (1989 album Somewhere Between), the Dixie Chicks (1990 debut album Thank Heavens for Dale Evans), Lynn Anderson (1992 album Cowboy’s Sweetheart), LeAnn Rimes (1994 album All That), Nickel Creek (2003 album Little Cowpoke), Phish (performed in 1996 and released in 2007 on Vegas 96), and Cyndi Lauper featuring yodeling from Jewel (2016 album “Detour”). In addition, Rock-pop Mexican duo Ha-Ash made a Spanish yodeling version of the song called “Vaquera” (Cowgirl) included in their 2005 album Mundos Opuestos.


Tags

cowboy sweetheart, patsy montana


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