One of the first wave of female country stars, Rosalie Allen recorded several hits during the late '40s as a singing cowgirl and yodeler in the Patsy Montana tradition. Born Julie Marlene Bedra on June 27, 1924, she grew up in a large, poor Pennsylvania family. Inspired by the singing cowboys of the '30s, she taught herself to sing and play guitar, and began working on the radio in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She moved to New York in the early '40s, and sang with the Swing Billies and also with Zeke Manners, where she met her future duet partner, Elton Britt. Allen's first hit came in 1946 with RCA Victor; the update of Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" hit number five and was later trumped on the country charts by its B-side, "Guitar Polka (Old Monterey)," which reached number three.
During the late '40s, Allen became quite famous in New York as a major promoter of country music. She hosted a TV show in New York as well as the WOV radio program Prairie Stars, and her writing appeared in columns for National Jamboree and Country Sound Roundup. Her Rosalie Allen Hillbilly Music Center in New York was the first specifically country record store in the nation.
Allen's final two chart hits paired her with Elton Britt, the yodeler famous in the mid-'40s for "There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere." Their first single, "Beyond the Sunset," hit number seven in 1950; it was followed closely by the number three "Quicksilver." The duo also recorded an album for Waldorf Records in the mid-'50s -- now released as Starring Elton Britt and Rosalie Allen on the Grand Award label. Also, two albums of Allen's solo recordings are available as German imports. . Later in life, Allen retired to Alabama and eventually settled in California. In 1999 her work in radio was recognized and she was inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame. After a brief battle with congestive heart failure, Allen passed away on September 24, 2003. ~ John Bush