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Texas Jean Valli
Born:  May 13, 1926
WHBI Newark, NJ
WOLF Syracuse, NY
WSYR Syracuse, NY

About The Artist

In Progress...
Original: December 18, 2006
Updated: December 18, 2023

Texas Jean Valli - Letterhead

She was born in 1926 and named Jean Vadala by her parents. She grew up in Carbondale, PA. She gained a reputation in the area's "barn dance circuit" as young singer "of the Western-style category." In the summer of 1952, she had completed an engagement in Chicago when a television headliner named Milton Berle recruited her for his show.

Nate Gross wrote a column about Jean in the summer of 1952 in his column that wrote of the happenings in the local Chicago night club scene. The Scrantonian wrote of her early career in a September 1952 article.

Promo Ad - Autumn Dance - Schmidt's Pinehurst Lodge - Greeley, PA - Texas Jean Valli - October 1942
Promo Ad - Casino Hall - Scranton, PA - Texas Jean - June 1945

Promo Ad - Smith's Pier - Brewerton, NY - Texas Jean and her Western Ramblers - July 1947
Promo Ad - Rider's Barn - Nedrow, NY - Texas Jean and her Western Ramblers - August 1947

Promo Ad - Bar-D Restaurant - Elbridge, NY - Texas Jean and her Western Ramblers - December 1947
Promo Ad - Melody Club - Willard Schilling - Texas Jean and Her Western Ramblers - April 9, 1948
Promo Ad - Melody Club - Al Anderson's Orchestra - Texas Jean and her Western Ramblers - April 16, 1948

Promo Ad - Western Jamboree - Texas Jean and her Western Ramblers - Syracuse, NY - December 1949
Promo Ad - Western Jamboree - Crane Armory - Carbondale, PA - Elton Britt - Texas Jean and her Western Ramblers - May 1950

Jean left Carbondale when she was about 17. Since that time, she had resided in Syracuse, NY and New Jersey, too. A former resident of Carbondale was in Chicago around the same time and tried to contact her. Unfortunately his timing was such that he had found she had left Chicago with her troupe after their engagement at the Chez Paree ended. He left his phone number at the club and to his surprise, she called him back and the chatted about their common interests back in Carbondale. He told the local Scranton newspaper he wanted the local folks to know that "one of our own" had reached a peak in the entertainment world."

"Berle found a spot for Jean in his show after seeing her act with a group known as the "Mountaineers." Jean specializes as a yodeler of Western ditties, letting off same with what the columnist called a "deadpan delivery which is a source of laughter to Chez Paree audiences which for the first time witnessed this type of country entertainment."

Nate Gross, the Chicago Herald-American reporter noted that Berle had signed Jean and the Mountaineers to "provide authentic background for his act in which he emerges as a "Cousin Elmer."

That 1952 article also indicates she had done two recordings and had written two tunes, "Million Tears" and "How Could I Live."

Texas Jean Valli - 1954 Jean Valli was a well-known hillbilly-singer in the 1950s. At one time she had her own band. She accampanied herself with a bass fiddle and guitar. She was known as a top Yodeler, singer, author and composer of western songs.

By 1952, she had appeared with such stars as Elton Britt, Hank Williams, Milton Berle, Smiley Burnett, Shorty Warren, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper and Kate Smith.

Other television appearances in the 1950s included the ABC network show, "Hormell Girl's Show" and "Uncle Tom George's NBC Country Talent Search."

She first got attention when she was 11 or 12 years old with her singing and musical talents. Her family decided to help her develop those talents a bit. She worked hard and was gaining recognition and praise that she decied to try working on the stage as a profession.

In 1964, Billy Wilson told readers of his column that Jean had returned from a tour of Labrador and was opening at the Coral Bar in Paterson, NJ. She was also said to have signed a contract for a recording session by Vito Mass Productions.

Jean also did a guest shot on the Pete Williams television show in Schenectady, NY.

Promo Ad - Post Liquors - Opening Soon - New Brunswick, NJ - Texas Jean Valli
Promo Ad - The Post Tavern - New Brunswick, NJ - Texas Jean Valli

Promo Ad - Genova's Chestnut Inn - Kansas City< MO - Jean Valli and her Country Cousins - August 1965
Promo Ad - Rac's Hut - Asbury Park, NY - Jean Valli - March 1956

Her parents had an initial misgiving about her choice at the time. But they relented and put a condition on her start that if she didn't do well and keep up a high standard, she would give it up. But, she did well in her debut and her parents were proud of her talents. After that, her parents were easily reconciled to their daughter's choice of a profession.

Promo Ad - Capitol Lounge - South River, NJ - Texas Jean Valli and her Texans - November 1953
Promo Ad - Kosakowski's - Jersey City, NJ - Davey Allen and his Drifters - Texas Jean Valli - August 1956

Promo Ad - Andy's - Penns Grove, NJ - Osborne Brothers and Red Allen - Jean Valli - Judy Lee - May 1958
Promo Ad - Coral Bar and Restaurant - Jersey City, NJ - Elton Britt - Texas Jean Valli and her Country Gentlemen - September 1962

Promo Ad - The Monterey Candlelight Room - Montreal, PQ Canada - The String Dusters - Yodeling Russ Parker - Texas Jean Valli - July 1964
Promo Ad - Doreny Park - Allentown, PA - Jean Valli - May 1963

A song folio from 1954 displays her songwriting talents which included:

  • The Pen That Pierced My Heart
  • It's Just A Lonely World
  • Just a Fool
  • He Was My Son
  • There's No More Love

Promo Ad - Garden Dinner Theatre - St. Louis, MO - Jean Valli - Gwen McEwen - The Baldknobbers - December 1972
Promo Ad - Langfeld's - South River, NJ - Jean Valli and her Hillbilly Pals - Bob Oyer - Irish Leigh - April 1954
Promo Ad - Municipal Auditorium - Sioux Falls, SD - Jim Ed Brown - Stonewall Jackson - Roy Drusky - Jean Valli - The Cates Sisters - July 1973

Promo Ad - Auditorium - Ottawa, ON - CFRA Old Time Show - Hank Snow - Mitchell Torok - Arlie Duff - Porter Wagoner - Red Garrett - Jean Valli - APril 1956
Promo Ad - Civic Center - Butte, MT - Hank Snow - Ferlin Husky - Cowboy Copas - Randy Hughes - Terry Preston - Simon Crum - Jimmie Rodges Snow - Jean Valli - February 1957

Promo Ad - Dorney Park - Allentown, PA - Jean Valli  June 1974
Promo Ad - Carlisle Senior High School Auditorium - Stonewall Jackson - Shorty Long - Miss Jean Valli - Joe and Rose Lee Maphis - May 1976

Promo Ad - Roanoke Civic Center - Roanoke, VA - Billy Thunderkloud and the Chieftones - Red Sovine - Jean Valli - Little El - Alex Hogan - August 1976
Promo Ad - Casper (WY) Fire Fighters Nashville Benefit Show - Casper College - Susan Ray - Buddy Allen - Jean Valli - Ray Kirkland 0 June 1977 1965

Promo Ad - Harrah's Reno - Ish Kabibble Band - Hank Penny - Sue Thompson - Johnny Ukulele - Sons of the Purplse Sage - Jean Valli - Linna Shane - Esther Williams - September 1959gust 1976
Promo Ad - Coral Bar and Restaurant - Paterson, NJ - Elton Britt - Texas Jean Valli - November 1962
Promo Ad - Wernersville, PA - Clyde Beavers - Jean Valli - Bob and Dean McNett - August 1971

Promo Ad - Rac's Hut - Asbury Park, NJ - Jean Valli - Mickey Starr - Eddie Connors - Jimmy Starr - February 1966
Promo Ad - Sioux City Municipal Auditorium - Sioux City, IA - Hank Thompson - Duke of Paducah - Justin Tubb - Jean Valli - Wade Jackson - Gary Van - July 1968
Promo Ad - L.B.J. - Syracuse, NY - Rocking Donovans - Ted Alexander and the Cordells - Jean Valli - July 1966

Promo Ad - Sutton Harvest Festival - Jean Valli - Duke of Paducah - Wade Jackson - Justin Tubb  Gary Van - July 1969

Promo Ad - Newmanstown Civic Association Carnival - Newmanstown, PA - Stonemans - Jean Valli - July 1970
Promo Ad - Coliseum - Orlando, FL - Eddy Arnold - Hank Garland - Roy Wiggins - Tennessee Plowboys - Duke of Paducah - The Gordonaires - Jean Valli - February 1956

Promo Ad - Old Switz City Gym - Switz City, IN - Tex Ritter - Margie Bowes - Stan Hitchcock - Jean Valli - Henry Ade - Tennessee Jim - November 1972
Promo Ad - Bennett County Fairgrounds - Martin, SD - George Morgan - Joe Maphis - Rose Lee Maphis - Jean Valli - Gary Van - August 1971

Texas Jean Valli Song Folio - 1954 - Milton Berle

Osborne Brothers - Red Allen - Judy Lee - Jean Valli - WHBI

Texas Jean Valli and her Country Boys - Fred Veitch - Stan Webster - Jean Valli

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to thank Bonnie Luciano, niece of Jean Valli for providing several photos and background information as well.
  • Fashions On Parade; July 1957; Rustic Rhythm; Vol 1, No.4; Rustic Rhythm, Inc.; New York, NY
  • Women In The News - Jean Valli; December 1952; Country Song Roundup No. 21; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Country Music Back East; Billy Wilson; Country Music Review; April 1964; Devvy Davenport, Editor; Orange, CA
  • Country Music Back East; Billy Wilson; Country Music Review; September - October 1964; Devvy Davenport, Editor; Orange, CA
  • Trail Talk; Smokey Warren; On The Trail; May-June 1958; Trail Publications, Inc.; New York, NY
  • Cross Country Jamboree; August 1956; Country and Western Jamboree; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Ex-Carbondale Girl Hits 'Big Time' as Entertainer; September 7, 1952; The Scrantonian; Scranton, PA

Printer Friendly Version

Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  11448 A Yodelin' Crazy
  11448 B Since You've Been Gone
Country Bell
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  71272 A Since You've Been Gone
  71272 B Yodelin' Crazy
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  ST-154 A The World's About To Lose (It's Biggest Fool)
  ST-154 B You'd Still Find A Way To Cheat On Me

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