Boots Faye was born Grace Eloise Tartsch in Springfield, Missouri,
the youngest of three girls. She grew up
in a musical environment - her dad was a played several
musical instruments including the guitar and fiddle. Her sisters
however were not musically inclined.
An early 1950s article tells us that though she was the youngest in the family
of singers, she was the first to make it a profession. Life found
them in Springfield, Missouri when she decided to form a duet team
with a friend (Mary Genevie Brayfield "Bobby Faye") and called themselves the Faye Sisters and earned
a spot on the staff of KWTO in Springfield. While at KWTO, Boots was
also a part of a female group that KWTO billed as the Hillbilly Belles.
Bobby Faye and Boots Faye, as the Faye Sisters on KWTO, would
often get together to sing and play their guitars for
pastime. At that time there was a weekly talent
program called the Alfenbrau Hour in Springfield. One
day they decided to audition for the show even though
neither had performed outside their respective homes.
They were accepted and sang one song. When they were
through singing, they were told they had a phone call
and it was Ralph Foster of KWTO who offered them a job
as entertainers on the station."
"They worked at KWTO for two years. They toured with
the Weaver Brothers and Elviry Show through several
states. They returned to KWTO in 1940, where they
stayed until 1943 except for a brief stint on KMA in
While at KWTO they also did personal appearances with
other entertainers from KWTO. During this time they
appeared on as many as five shows daily on KWTO and
often as early as 5 a.m.
While on personal appearances they began singing as a
trio with another KWTO entertainer, Jim West. The
trio became a popular act with the audiences and
KWTO gave the trio a programming slot of their own.
When Boots' partner, Bobbie, got married, the act split up.
From KWTO, Boots took her musical career to the legendary radio
station in Shenandoah, Iowa, KMA, run by Earl May. She was there for
nearly a year before she moved to San Bernardino, California with
When she got California, she had an audition with Foreman Phillips,
who hired her as his new female vocalist. At the same time, a fellow
in the band by the name of Roscoe Krawl, who's stage name was Idaho Call
took a liking to her and eventually they were married.
During that time, Boots recorded on a private label, "Callfaye",
which was probably named for the two of them and located in San Bernardino, too.
They also had a publishing company called Krawl Publishing. She later
recorded the same tunes for the RCA Victor label and also went on
to record on Capitol records also.
Along the way, the hooked up with Ted Daffan's Texans. Idaho Call
(or sometimes spelled Idaho Kawle) can be heard as vocalist on
some of those singles by Ted's group such as "Shadown On My Heart"
and the 1945 hit, "Headin' Down the Wrong Highway".
While Idaho Call and Boots Faye never performed on the famed WSM Grand Ole Opry,
their children did treat the two of them during a trip to Nashville in 1987
where they were able to see the Grand Ole Opry in person.
Boots and Idaho were also doing some songwriting. The 1950s
article mentions that Boots had written such tunes as
"Cry, Cry, Cry" and "Leave It To Jesus." Later on, she and Idaho
co-wrote such tunes as "Baby Sitter Blues" and "Crying My Heart
With the Blues."
On the personal side, Boots was married to Idaho in 1945. He passed away
in 1993. They were the parents of four children.
Credits & Sources
- KWTO - KGBX; The People You Hear and Some You Do Not; 1940;
National Radio Personalities, Inc.; Peoria, IL
- KMA Guide; May 1946; Shenandoah, Iowa
- Country Song Roundup No. 5; April 1950;
Charlton Publishing Co. Inc.; Debry, CT
- Country Song Roundup No. 18; June 1952;
Charlton Publishing Co. Inc.; Derby, CT
- Cowboy Songs No. 23; November 1952;
American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
- Country Song Roundup No. 24; June 1953;
Charlton Publishing Co. Inc.; Derby, CT
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its
appreciation to two daughters of Boots Faye, Kim Kane and Karen Kenyon for contacting us
and helping us to update and amend our writeup.