Texas Rose Bascom
Texas Rose Flynt Bascom was a famous rodeo celebrity and cowgirl who was also a Hollywood actress. She also performed on stage and in theater. She was inducted into the Mississippi Rodeo Hall of Fame in April 2017. She was also inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and the Utah Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Bascom was born on January 25, 1922, near Mount Olive in Covington County, Mississippi. She is of Cherokee-Choctaw Indian heritage and has English, Scottish, Irish, and German ancestry. Some of her ancestors were of the Lee family of Virginia, including General Robert E. Lee.
While living with her parents in Columbia, Mississippi, she met and married Weldon Bascom. He and his older brother, Earl Bascom, were working on the nearby Hickman Ranch. She learned fancy trick roping from Earl and trick riding from world champion Ted Elder and his wife, Pearl. She began performing in 1937 at the Columbia Rodeo. She became so skilled, she was soon touring the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as the “World’s Greatest Female Trick Roper.” She could twirl a rope in each hand, slip off her boot and pick up a third rope with her toes and twirl it as well. She could also twirl a rope in each hand and a third clenched in her teeth. She was the only woman in the world who could perform these feats. For 13 years, she was a popular performer at rodeos across the United States and Canada and performed for several years as the entertainment headliner with the Wild Bill Elliott Rodeo Company.
In 1939, she moved with her husband to Wyoming where he worked in a coal mine. They then moved to Southern California where they both became Hollywood actors. She performed trick roping on a weekly live television show. During World War II, Texas Rose and Weldon moved to Utah and lived in Myton and Vernal where he worked in the coal mines. After the war, they moved back to Hollywood just as the Golden Age of the Hollywood Cowboy had begun. She was signed to a contract and “Texas” was added to her name. Her first Hollywood movie was the 1946 musical The Time, the Place and the Girl, which was later nominated for an Academy Award. Smoky River Serenade was her second Hollywood movie, a western filmed in 1947 in Santa Clarita, California. She had a starring role in The Lawless Rider, which also featured Earl Bascom as one of the cowboy actors who was a member of the outlaw gang. Her husband, Weldon, appeared in the movie as Sheriff Brown and was behind the scenes as one of the associate producers.
Outside of film, Texas Rose performed her fancy rope act representing the City of Las Vegas as a Las Vegas Cowgirl riding a float in the Rose Parade. She also performed several times to large audiences at the Hollywood Bowl. She toured with the western singing couple Dale Evans and Roy Rogers performing for the USO at every veteran’s hospital and every military base. She also performed at every children’s hospital in the United States. She also toured with Bob Hope and Johnny Grant throughout Europe and Asia as one of their stage performers. The list of celebrities she performed with throughout her career is long.
After she retired from show business, she and Weldon moved to Southern Utah and lived in Bloomington, Enoch, Parowan, and St. George. They were the parents of four daughters and one son. She taught her oldest daughter to trick rope and they often performed together.
In April 2017, Rose was honored posthumously in Columbia, Mississippi when she was inducted into the Mississippi Rodeo Hall of Fame. "Rose Bascom was a world-class rodeo star and entertainer with a career spanning five decades, unequaled in [Mississippi] history.' Bascom was the first female inductee.
Bascom passed away on September 23, 1993. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Texas Rose Bascom mentioned in The First Generation of Country Music Stars: Biographies of 50 Artists Born Before 1940