Your Music, My Music, Our Music: Cincinnati Women Musicians at King Records and Today

Ann Jones and her Western Sweethearts

Ann Jones was born in Kansas around 1920, and recorded extensively for King Records throughout the 50’s and into the 60’s. She started out her music career singing in a duo with her sister, retiring briefly when she married in 1937. Interestingly, she was the star of an all-girls softball team during the Second World War, after which time she returned to the music business. She achieved quite a lot as a woman in country music— she composed much of her own music, and became the leader of an all-woman country group, the American Sweethearts/the Western Sweethearts, with whom she played for two decades. Beyond mere musicianship, Ann became an important personality in Country music, hosting the TV show Ranch Roundup on KTTV in Hollywood and disk jockeying for multiple radio stations across the country.

Check out “God Gave Me You” and “Blue Jean Baby,” both released by King in 1951 and 1961, respectively. Listen to how in both tunes, the various instruments of the band weave in and out, showcasing each soloist’s unique contributions to their collective product. Notice, for example, the steel guitar performed by Blanche Emerson, a long-time collaborator of Ann’s, who kept her band active for more than 20 years.

Works Cited:
Kingsbury, Paul. "Ann Jones." The Encyclopedia of Country Music

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