Girls of the Golden West Regret Texas in Their Mountain Songs
The story of the Girls of the Golden West is one of determination and centered purpose. They wanted to be singers, they wanted to sing over the air and they have succeeded.
Their real names are Dottie and Millie Good. They come from Texas and at heart they are real Texans. Their mother plays the guitar, their father sings and all eight children are musical.
When they were youngsters, they were ushered into the front room after supper and had singing bees all their own. Their oldest sister played the piano, both their father and mother played and they all sang. They had contests to see who could sing the loudest and best, whistling contests and so on and hilarious in their idea of make-believe, they always pretended they were on the stage. They “played like” they were bowing to vast audiences and they acknowledged the applause as graciously as if they were.
While Dollie, the youngest, was still in school she decided that she wanted to play and sing more than anything else. Her mother told her that she would either have to stop school or stop spending so much time in learning to play a guitar. So Dollie, intent on her purpose, stopped school.
She wanted to play a guitar because her mother played one but she wasn’t quite sure just how to go about it. She played a ukulele ever since she was a child.and so she tuned the guitar in just the same way and managed to get music of a sort out of it. Then she started harmonizing with her own music and playing while Millie sang.
When they had learned about two songs together they decided to attempt a radio tryout. They went down to WIL and had an audition on one of the two songs that they knew and they were so well received that they were given a job immediately. They were scared to death for their repertoire was limited and so they started learning some popular songs. The program director there told them to play and sing more “hill billy” songs and they were so new in the game that they didn’t even know what he meant!
After about six weeks, they decided to devote more of their time to learning to sing and concentrated on that. They came down to try out on “Hank” Richards’ County Fair last summer and have been at KMOX since then with the exception of three months they spent at the KER outlet in Milford, Kansas.
Besides being talented, (they both play banjos and violin) they are pretty and friendly and happy in the work that they are doing. Millie has dark brown hair and laughing brown eyes and Dollie is taller, quite slender with broad shoulders and has light brown hair and a smile that would win anyone.
Their childhood ambition of being on stage is gratified in the personal appearances that they make throughout the surrounding cities. They are a part of Wyoming Jack’s rodeo unit that is booked out for personal appearances and they are featured as the only two girls singing yodeling Western songs on the air. Millie harmonizes yodeling which is a unique feat.
When they sing “I Want to Go Back to Texas,” they really mean it for, as they explain with a dreamy look in their eyes, they really love Texas and the West. They can visualize the mountains when they sing about them, they can picture the camp fires and are really inspired when they are singing about that country. It takes real feeling to be able to sing about that territory, they explain, and they have it.
They appear on the Early Morning Farm Folks Hour, the KMOX County Fair as well as on special programs when Wyoming Jack is the announcer of his own Western Rodeo.
They have talent and ambition and a native interest in things, they are determined to succeed further in radio work and in talking to them and realizing what pretty, clever girls they were, I decided that they started out to win, and at the moment that is…success.
(Originally published in Radio and Entertainment 4/22/1933).