Monte Hale was the last great singing cowboy to inspire and charm Western movie audiences during Hollywood’s classic era. The handsome actor, singer and songwriter literally and figuratively rode tall in the saddle (he’s 6’5″ and 100% white hat!) in the Republic B-Westerns of yesteryear. His screen characters were noble men – those who would consistently stick up for the underdog; his films demonstrated that crime doesn’t pay, with the heroic Hale tracking, capturing and bringing to justice the two-legged varmints that terrorized the land. And while the humble Monte Hale tends to play himself down, his host of adoring fans will continue to regard him as an A-1 performer and cowboy whose films make for delightful and Memorable entertainment.
SINGIN’ AND SHOOTIN’
The singing cowboy was a nearly indispensable centerpiece of old-time B-Westerns. And Republic Studios was the leader, offering the best of the silver screen cowboy heroes and singers, such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, and , last but not least, Monte Hale. By the time Monte Hale had made his first appearance in a Republic production, The Golden Era of the B-Western was almost over, and the sun was setting on the classic genre.
Hale was born on June 8, 1919, in Ada, Oklahoma. By the age of 16, he was the proud owner of a Gibson L-10 concert guitar. A few years later, he found himself playing vaudeville during WWII. While playing Galveston, two planeloads of stars from Hollywood flew into Texas. The mission: to sell war bonds. As it happened, the promoter, Philip Isley (and father of actress Jennifer Jones) happened to be staying at the same hotel where Hale was booked. Isley had heard that Hale could play guitar and as a result invited the musician to accompany Lee “Lasses” White on tour for the next three weeks! In addition, Hale, along with Johnny Mack Brown, Gale Storm, and Chill Wills, visited army and navy hospitals throughout the country to raise funds for the war effort. “We sold over 60 million dollars worth of war bonds,” says Monte proudly. After the tour, and audition was arranged at Republic Studios for Hale, by Isley.
Upon his arrival at Republic, Hale’s nervousness led him to walk away from the studio the first time……………………………………………..