Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Roseea Arbana Brogdon, 15 August 1925, Boaz AL; d 15 April 1998) Country singer. She began with her family band, the Maddox Brothers and Rose, with Cal on guitar and harmonica, Fred on bass, Henry on mandolin and Don providing comedy, established a reputation on West Coast for traditional emotional style with sparingly 'western' costumes: 'the most colourful hillbilly band in the land'. They gained a resident spot on Louisiana Hayride, later appearances on Grand Ole Opry; they recorded for King, Columbia, Capitol, and disbanded. Rose went solo on Capitol, had two hits in the Billboard country chart '59-64 including 'Sing A Little Song Of Heartache' (no. 3 '62); also duets with Buck Owens (two double-sided hits: 'Mental Cruelty'/'Loose Talk', 'We're The Talk Of The Town'/'Sweethearts In Heaven'). Albums on Capitol included Bluegrass with Bill Monroe, Don Reno and Red Smiley among the sidemen.
She was semi-retired; then made a comeback in California/Nevada clubs, also the flourishing folk festival circuit; she recorded for UNI but became seriously ill. The Vern Williams band, with whom she'd performed in many shows, played a series of benefits to help with the bills. They appeared with her at San Francisco's Regional Folk Festival '82 and at her son's funeral; they also made a gospel album together, A Beautiful Bouquet on Arhoolie, which label also released airchecks (On The Air: The 1940s on CD '97 had the Maddox Brothers And Rose in their prime). Other albums included The Maddox Brothers And Rose (1952-8) on Columbia Historic Edition; Rose's solos Queen Of The West on Varrick and Reckless Love and Bold Adventure on John Fahey's Takoma label; This Is Rose Maddox '82, A Beautiful Bouquet '83, $35 And A Dream '95 on Arhoolie; The One Rose: The Capitol Years '93, a four-CD compilation on Bear Family. She deserved to be better known outside country music, but finally achieved some recognition as the national treasure she was.