Ms. Wells was known as "The Yodeling Sweetheart". She became nationally
known when her recording of "Selling Chances" on the North Star label
hit the charts. She had quite a background in entertainment that led
her to the music business.
She was born into a family of show people and follwed the circuses and
carnivals for many years. Then, she became the "The Yodeling Sweetheart"
as part of a western band. The Cowboy Songs (Dec. 1957) article quotes
Ardis as saying she had to do quite a bit in her career. She said she had to swim, wrestle,
dance, ride a horse, design clothes, ride elephants and even do trapeze tricks.
Later, she would write music, play the ukelele, bass fiddle, accordion, electric
guitar to go along with her singing and yodeling talents. It was also reported
she could do a bit of wrestling. She reportedly wrestled profesional for over
two years and actually won 21 straight matches in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Around March of 1956, she formed her own all-girl western band, known as the
"Rhythm Ranch Gals". (The group members are listed below.) The got themselves
a bit of a name as one of the better western bands in the country at the time.
They appeared nightly in the cocktail lounge of the Flame Supper Club in Minneapolis. On top
of that, they also appeared on KEVE each Saturday and made a variety of personal
appearances in the Twin Cities area.
She was married to a country singer, Jimmy Wells who worked with 'his Dakota
At one time she was recording for the North Star record label, and had some
success with "Selling Chances On My Heart" b/w "What Makes The World Go Around".
Timeline and Trivia Notes
Group Members included:
- Ardis Wells, electric rhythm guitar, vocals
- Jan North, accordion
- Fern Dale, banjo
- Patti Williams, bass and guitar