I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart

Album: Lone Star (1935)

Songfacts®:

  • Ruby Blevins (1908 – 1996) was an American Country music singer-songwriter who recorded under the name of Patsy Montana. The 11th child and first daughter of an Arkanas farmer, Blevins learned at an early age to yodel and play organ, guitar, and violin. She won a talent contest in California in 1930 and began appearing on a local radio station as "Rubye Blevins, the Yodeling Cowgirl from San Antone."

    By 1934 her repertoire included "Montana Plains," a reworking of a song originally called "Texas Plains." Blevins further altered the composition, marrying the dance energy of Country music to various Hollywood cowboy images and re-titling it "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart." Released in 1935, the cut was the first million-seller by a woman in Country music.
  • Blevins took her stage name from the silent film star, stuntman and rodeo trick rider, Montie Montana, with whom she had an opportunity to work early in her career.
  • Though this is remembered as Blevins' signature song, she recorded a number of other hits, including "Rodeo Sweetheart," "Montana Plains," and "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Dream."
  • This was one of 25 songs and other sounds chosen to be added to the US National Recording Registry in May 2012, bringing the Registry's total number to 350. Recordings are selected for inclusion on the basis of being "historically, culturally or aesthetically significant."
  • The song appears over the end credits of John Sayles's 1996 movie Lone Star, which was released just weeks after Montana's death.
  • Other artists that have recorded the song include the Dixie Chicks, Suzy Bogguss, Lynn Anderson, and LeAnn Rimes.
  • Cyndi Lauper covered this in 2016 for her first country album, Detour. Her version is a duet with a yodeling Jewel. "I remembered that Jewel said she could yodel. So I texted Jewel, and I said, 'Hi. Is this Jewel? This is Cyndi Lauper. Big fan. If this isn't Jewel, well, then just chalk it up as another crazy text,'" Lauper recalled. "She texted back and said, 'Yes, this is Jewel.' I said, 'Do you still yodel?' and she said, 'Well, yes, and that's an unusual question, but okay.'"

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