b. Eva Alaine Overstake, 16 July 1918, Decatur, Illinois, USA, d. November 1951. She learned to play guitar as a child and first sang at Salvation Army gatherings with her elder sisters, Evelyn (b. 20 December 1914, Decatur, Illinois, USA) and Lucille (b. Virginia Lucille Overstake, 13 January 1915, Decatur, Illinois, USA, d. 16 December 1978, Torrance, California, USA). In 1931, singing as the Three Little Maids, they became regulars on WLS Chicago, where they worked with Red Foley and their unit the Mountain Rangers. In 1933, after she married Foley, the act broke up (Evelyn and Lucille went on to work as solo acts, with Lucille later achieving lasting country music fame as singer-songwriter Jenny Lou Carson). Eva became a regular on the WLS National Barn Dance programme until 1947. During this time, she and Foley raised three children; the elder, Shirley Lee, later married singer Pat Boone and is the mother of pop singer Debbie Boone. Eva also brought up Betty Foley, whose mother, Foley’s first wife Axie Pauline (Cox), had died in childbirth. In the late 40s, Eva followed a solo career, performing as Judy Martin, but in November 1951, she ended her life with an overdose of sleeping tablets. Her reasons were unclear but reports indicated that it was mainly because of Foley’s friendship with Sally Sweet, who later became his third wife. She made some recordings with Foley and may be heard onRed Foley on Vocalion Records, 1966.
Share this page