Two big influences in the career of Bonnie Lou were a Swiss grandmother
and a guitar from a pawn shop. Early on, she was taking violin lessons
paid for by her mother and stayed with it for about fiver years. When she was
11 though, she decided she wanted to take up the guitar. Her mother then went
and got her one for a few bucks at a local pawn shop.
She started singing and yodeling over radio station WJBC in Bloomington, Illinois
where she stayed until she graduated from high school. From there, she moved
on to KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri, appearing with the Rhythm Rangers and on
such shows as the KMBC Brush Creek Follies. She stayed with that group for about
two years, which included working on a network show called "Safebrush Follies".
Around 1945 or so, WLW's talent scout, Bill McCluskey was looking for a female
who could sing and yodel. When he heard Bonnie Lou, he hired her. By May 1945,
she had moved to WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio and was starring on the WLW Midwestern
That same year, she also married her husband, Glen Ewins, who had just returned
from a four year stint in the military service. By 1953, they had a little girl
named Connie Jo that was born on September 18 (we're assuming it was 1953).
Bonnie Lou stayed with WLW for about a year and a half. Her husband then got a
position with a bank in Bloomington, Illinois and so, Bonnie Lou moved back
to the town where her career started and WJBC.
Achieved some fame on the WLW Midwestern Hayride. Was known as an
accomplished Swiss yodeler as well as singing ballad type songs.
She also achieved some success in the early rockabilly or pop music, too.
Credits & Sources
- Cowboy Songs No.28; September 1953, American Folk Publications, Inc.;