About The Disc Jockey / Emcee
Rosalie Allen was one of eleven children, born in Old Forge, Pennsylvania. Her family was said to be poor. And from those humble beginnings, when she was just nine years old, she took her first job to help the family. A 1949 article recalls that her first job was all of $2.00 a week for a restaurant, washing dishes. But through those times, she had a strong love for music and learned many a song by radio or playing the records as well as learning the art of yodeling. Her brother Joe taught her to play the guitar.
It was noted that her mom didn't exactly approve of her career intentions, but music won out. In fact, another article in 1952 hints that her mom didn't women should have careers. Rosalie began to enter amateur contests and at one of those contests.
One of those contests occurred when she was 17 (about 1941 or so) when a cowboy singer by the name of Jack Karnes put on an amateur contest in Wikesbarre, Pennsylvania. When she made her appearance, she did one of her yodeling numbers that won the crowd over and the contest as well. That also got her a regular spot on Jack Karnes' radio show.
She learned to play the guitar and mandolin, then teamed up with Gary Montana to do radio and personal appearances.
Rosalie was affectionately known as the "Queen of the Hillbillies" as well as "Champion Girl Yodeler of America" and "Queen of the Yodelers". When she was on the Boston's WCOP Hayloft Jamboree, she was a recording artist on RCA Victor. Rosalie was a bit of a trail blazer - becoming the first female "hillbilly disc jockey" - working at WOV in New York. That job came about in July of 1944, and the show was known as "Prairie Stars".
Ozark Ed Burton wrote in his 1951 column in Country Song Roundup that Rosalie was the only country music disc jockey in New York City. She had a show from 9:00pm to 11:00pm Monday through Saturday. Her show over WOV included the songs of the day as well as the stars visiting in the area. Pee Wee King mentioned he appeared on his show in his "Corn Fab" column in 1952. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were another duo that were intereviewed by her. On occasion, she would also sing along to the accompaniment of her guitar.
Some sources indicate she left WOV in 1956. But in a Country & Western Jamboree magazine article in May 1955, it notes that Rosalie had left WOV after having been there for ten years. It notes that what she did along with other stars such as Elton Britt, Denver Darlin, Zeke Manners, Montana Slim, Shorty Warren and his Western Rangers were the pioneers that helped establish country music on the east coast in the New York area.
Rosalie was a regular columnist in Country Song Roundup, writing about the latest recordings of various hillbilly artists in the "Your Song Spinner" column in the early issues of the magazine in the late 1940s and early 1950s..
She was also a song writer - she co-wrote "I Think I'll Go Home and Cry" with Roy Acuff. She co-wrote "Tomorrow's Just Another Day To Cry" with Billy Hayes.
During her recording career, she teamed up with another yodeler of fame, Elton Britt along with the Skytoppers to record several tunes together.
Credits & Sources
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