Gene Autry

Gene Autry
Autry in the 1940s
Orvon Grover Autry

(1907-09-29)September 29, 1907
DiedOctober 2, 1998(1998-10-02) (aged 91)
Burial placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California
Other names
  • The Singing Cowboy
  • Gene Michaels
  • Actor
  • musician
  • singer
  • composer
  • rodeo performer
  • baseball owner
Years active1925–1964
  • Ina Mae Spivey
    (m. 1932; died 1980)
  • (m. 1981)
RelativesRandy Quaid (first cousin twice removed)
Dennis Quaid (first cousin twice removed)[1]
Musical career
  • Guitar
  • vocals

Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry[2] (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998),[3] nicknamed the Singing Cowboy, was an American actor, musician, singer, composer, rodeo performer, and baseball team owner, who largely gained fame by singing in a crooning style on radio, in films, and on television for more than three decades, beginning in the early 1930s. During that time, he personified the straight-shooting hero — honest, brave, and true.[4]

Autry was the owner of a television station and several radio stations in Southern California. From 1961 to 1997, he was the founding owner of the California Angels[Note 1] franchise of Major League Baseball (MLB).

From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 motion pictures. Between 1950 and 1956, he hosted The Gene Autry Show television series. In many of them, he appeared with his Morgan named Champion.

Autry was also one of the most important pioneering figures in the history of country music, considered the second major influential artist of the genre's development after Jimmie Rodgers.[4] His films were the first media vehicle to carry Western music to a nationwide audience.[4]

In addition to his signature song "Back in the Saddle Again", as well as his recording hit "At Mail Call Today", Autry is still remembered for his association with Christmas music, having debuted the seasonal standards "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Frosty the Snowman", and "Here Comes Santa Claus".

Autry is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is the only person to be awarded stars in all five categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for film, television, music, radio, and live performance.[5]

The town of Gene Autry, Oklahoma was named in his honor, as was the Gene Autry precinct in Mesa, Arizona.[6]

  1. ^ George-Warren 2007, p. 304.
  2. ^ George-Warren 2007, p. 13
  3. ^ "'Singing Cowboy' Gene Autry dead at 91". CNN. October 2, 1998. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Cusic 2010, p. 1
  5. ^ "About Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
  6. ^ Scriba, Jay (October 15, 1970). "From Sleepy Eye to Chicken Bristle, USA". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2015.[permanent dead link]

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