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Queen of the West: The Life and Times of Dale Evans

Queen of the West: The Life and Times of Dale Evans

by Theresa Kaminski
Queen of the West: The Life and Times of Dale Evans

Queen of the West: The Life and Times of Dale Evans

by Theresa Kaminski


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This is the first full-length biography of this mid-twentieth century multi-faceted star, one that also charts the broad sweep of changes in women’s lives during the twentieth century, and to have popular music, movies, and television shows as its backdrops. The glitter of country music, the glamour of Hollywood, and the grit of the early television industry are all covered. It is the first book to draw from never-before-seen sources (especially business records and fan mail) at the newly-opened Roy Rogers-Dale Evans collections at the Autry Museum of the American West. One of the central tensions of Dale’s life revolved around chasing the elusive work/family balance, making her story instantly relateable to women today. In addition to fame, Dale longed for a happy, stable, family life. Her roles as wife and mother became the foundation for her public persona: the smart, smiling, cheerful cowgirl. Unusual for its time were Dale Evans’s attempts to control the trajectory of her career at a time when men dominated decision-making in the entertainment fields.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493045228
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/15/2022
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 394,633
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Theresa Kaminski is professor of history at University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point and has published four books on women in the Philippines in World War II. She also reviews non-fiction for Publisher’s Weekly and The Wall Street Journal. A fan of The Roy Rogers Show since childhood, Kaminski claims that Dale Evans drew out her inner cowgirl at a young age, and later developed a fondness for country music and cowboys boots.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Chapter 1 "My Heart Is Down Texas Way": Young Frances 1

Chapter 2 The Sweetheart of Song: Becoming Dale Evans 15

Chapter 3 "I Can't Get Started": Struggling for Singing Stardom 36

Chapter 4 "I'm in Love with a Guy Who Flies in the Sky": The Path to Hollywood Stardom 53

Chapter 5 The Cowboy and the Senorita: Rising Star at Republic Pictures 74

Chapter 6 The Big Show-Off. Hollywood Glamour Girl or Cowgirl? 89

Chapter 7 "It's Not the First Love": Romance with Roy Rogers 110

Chapter 8 "Queen of the Westerns": Holding on to Movie Stardom 128

Chapter 9 "Happy Trails": Becoming a Television Star 152

Chapter 10 Angel Unaware: Faith and Celebrity 179

Chapter 11 "The Bible Tells Me So": Creating Christian Celebrity 201

Chapter 12 "I'd Rather Have Jesus": Professional and Personal Struggles During the 1960s 227

Chapter 13 A Date with Dale: Maintaining a Television Career 259

Chapter 14 "Thank Heavens for Dale Evans": Becoming the Legendary Cowgirl 285

A Note on Research and Sources 294

Notes 297

Index 351

About the Author 363

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