This was originally the title song of a 1924 musical, which took place in the Canadian Rockies and told the story of Rose-Marie La Flemme, a French-Canadian girl who loved miner Jim Kenyon. The operetta-style musical had music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart, and book and lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II. The work premiered on Broadway on September 2, 1924, and run for 557 performances. It was the longest-running Broadway musical of the 1920s until it was surpassed by The Student Prince.
This song was originally recorded in 1925 by Jesse Crawford. Another well-known version was by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald in the 1936 film adaption of the musical.
Slim Whitman was one of the first country artists to tour Great Britain and his version of the song spent 11 consecutive weeks at #1 in the UK in 1955, a record until 1991 when Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," spent 16 weeks at the top.
This was the second song from the Rose Marie musical that Whitman turned into a million seller. In 1951 he hit the American Top 10 with "Indian Love Call."