Though he remained always true to his Texas roots, Stuart Hamblen managed to
write versatile songs that became big hits across the country, pop and gospel
Born in east Texas, Hamblen graduated from college originally intending to
become a teacher. Inspired by the records of Jimmie Rodgers, he ultimately
chose music instead, making his first recordings for the Victor label in 1929.
Hamblen subsequently moved to Los Angeles, where he soon gained work singing on
radio and in local country bands. In time he became one of the most popular
cowboy singers on West Coast radio.
In 1934, he became the first country artist to record for Decca Records. For a
time, cowgirl singer Ruby Blevins worked with Hamblen, and it was he who gave
her not only her famous stage name (Patsy Montana) but also the tune for her
biggest hit "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" (1935), which was based on his
popular cowboy song "Texas Plains."
Hamblen had a durable career as a radio cowboy in Los Angeles, on records with
a number of labels (Decca, Columbia, RCA) and in Western movies, where he
frequently played bad guys — although, as a teetotaling Christian, he was
In the early 1950s, Hamblen achieved a new plateau of success with three big
songs. In 1950, inspired by a line from his wife, he wrote and recorded
"Remember Me (I'm the One Who Loves You)." It became a #2 country hit for him
as well as a country and pop hit for several other artists.
He followed it in 1951 with the gospel song "It Is No Secret (What God Can
Do)." It too became a huge country and pop hit, recorded by such varied artists
as Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson and Tammy Wynette. In 1954, after stumbling
upon the lifeless body of an elderly man at a remote mountain cabin, Hamblen
was moved to write "This Ole House." Despite its unusual origins, the song
proved hugely popular, becoming a #2 country hit for him and a #1 pop hit for
In 1952, Hamblen ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. presidency on the Prohibition
Party ticket. Afterwards, he continued to write, record and broadcast as a
Christian radio performer with his popular Cowboy Church of the Air
syndicated series. His songwriting royalties enabled him to purchase movie star
Errol Flynn's Hollywood mansion on Mulholland Drive.