AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Smith Ballew

Smith Ballew
Smith Ballew on a 1931 sheet music cover.
Personal information
Birth nameSykes Ballew
BornJanuary 21, 1902
Palestine, Texas
DiedMay 02, 1984(age 82)
Longview, Texas
GenresPopular music, Jazz, Country music, Western movies
OccupationVocalist, musician, orchestra leader, film actor
Years active1930s - 50s

     Home | American actors | Smith Ballew

Smith Ballew (real name Sykes Ballew) (January 21, 1902 - May 2, 1984) was an American actor, sophisticated singer, orchestra leader, and finally, a Western singing star.

He was born in Palestine, Texas. He attended high school in Sherman and college at Austin College and the University of Texas. He began his singing career on the radio, and in the 1930s became one of the earliest of the singing cowboys on the movie screen. He did a series of musical Westerns for Paramount Pictures and one for 20th Century Fox, continuing in supporting roles until the 1950s.

Prior to his singing cowboy career, starting in the late 1920s, he became one of the most recognizable vocalists on hundreds of dance band and jazz records. During this time, Ballew along with Scrappy Lambert, Dick Robertson, and Chick Bullock were the most prolific studio vocalists. He organized his own short-lived band in 1931.

Between 1929 and 1935, he made scores of records were issued under his own name for OKeh, the dime store labels (Banner, Domino, Jewel, Regal, Perfect, Oriole as Buddy Blue & His Texans or Jack Blue's Texans), Columbia, and Crown. Few of these popular records gave any indication of his future Cowboy style.

He died at the age of 82 in Longview, Texas.

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260