As one of the most popular singing cowboys, he became a famous actor on Paramount's series of musical westerns. His musical talents ranged from Country to Jazz and Pop.
Gaining an interest in jazz at college, he teamed up with several of his fellow students to form a popular band that featured him on the banjo.
He was born in Palestine, Texas, the youngest of five children born to Mr. and Mrs. W.Y. Ballew.
Gene Autry, his contemporary, was also a singing cowboy, perhaps the most popular one in Hollywood.