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Author Topic: Gene Autry's 100th Birthday  (Read 1100 times)
Phantomstranger
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« on: September 29, 2007, 01:42:48 PM »

Sept 29th

1907 : Gene Autry born

Actor and singer Gene Autry is born in Tioga, Texas, to a horse trader who also worked as a Baptist minister.

During his boyhood, Gene's family moved from Texas to Oklahoma. In high school, Autry worked as a railway telegrapher at the local railroad depot, where he spent slow moments strumming his $8 guitar and singing. Passing through the depot one day, a stranger-who turned out to be Will Rogers-suggested that Autry try singing on the radio. Inspired, Autry traveled to New York City to look for a singing job but had no luck. Back home, he began working for a local radio station and found success as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy."

Eventually, Autry and railroad dispatcher Jim Long wrote several country songs, including the world's first gold record, "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine." Autry became a regular on Sears Roebuck's National Barn Dance, the forerunner of the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1934, producer Nat Levine was looking for an actor who could sing and ride a horse. Autry wasn't an actor but had already established a loyal radio audience, so Levine put him in numerous B-grade westerns. Playing the lead role in a long-running series of Saturday matinee films, Autry became America's favorite singing cowboy.

In 1940, his musical-variety radio show, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch, debuted; it ran until 1956. He became America's favorite television cowboy in 1950 when he debuted The Gene Autry Show, which ran through 1956. In each episode, he and his sidekick, Pat Buttram, rode from town to town, maintaining law and order.

From "Back in the Saddle Again" to yuletide mainstays like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman," Autry's music became part of American life. He was also an entrepreneur, owning hotels, gas stations, and the California Angels baseball team, among other ventures. He also owned a television production company and was proud of discovering "Annie Oakley" star Gail Davis, whom he featured in dozens of his movies and television program episodes. Her appearances spun off into her own series, which Autry's company produced. Autry was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969. He died in 1998.
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They'd never forget, the day the stranger rode into town.
KC
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2007, 02:39:15 PM »

Link, please, Phantomstranger? :)
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Canadian Lady
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 10:53:16 AM »

Thanks for that bit if info Phantom! Interesting  O0
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Every Day is a Good Day!! -CL
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