Image of Gene Autry

Gene Autry

​Born in Tioga, Texas on September 29, 1907, Gene Autry was raised in Texas and Oklahoma. Discovered by humorist Will Rogers, in 1929 Autry was billed as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy" at KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He gained a popular following, a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1929, and soon after, performed on the "National Barn Dance" for radio station WLS in Chicago. Autry first appeared on screen in 1934 and up to 1953 popularized the musical Western and starred in 93 feature films. In 1940 theater exhibitors of America voted Autry the fourth biggest box office attraction, behind Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy. Autry made 640 recordings, including more than 300 songs written or co-written by him. His records sold more than 100 million copies and he has more than a dozen gold and platinum records, including the first record ever certified gold. His Christmas and children's records Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) and Peter Cottontail are among his platinum recordings. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the second all-time best selling Christmas single, boasts in excess of 30 million in sales. From 1940 to 1956 the public listened to him on Gene Autry's Melody Ranch radio show that was heard weekly over the CBS Radio Network, featuring Autry's trademark theme song Back In The Saddle Again. In addition, Autry's popularity was apparent during his personal appearance tours. The first performer to sell out Madison Square Garden, his concert and rodeo appearances throughout the United States and Europe are legendary and served as a model for other performers. Autry did two shows a day, seven days a week, for 65 to 85 days at a stretch. Entertainer Gene Autry joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and became Sgt. Gene Autry. During the war, he ferried fuel, ammunition, and arms in the China-India-Burma theater of war and flew over the Himalayas, the hazardous air route known as "The Hump." When the war ended Autry was reassigned to Special Services, where he toured with a USO troupe in the South Pacific before resuming his movie career in 1946. In 1950, Autry became the first major movie star to use the television medium. Always a man of vision, Autry excelled and for the next five years through his Flying A Pictures he produced and starred in 91 half-hour episodes of The Gene Autry Show for CBS Television. This success lead him to produce such popular TV series as Annie Oakley, The Range Rider, Buffalo Bill Jr., The Adventures Of Champion as well as the first 39 episodes of Death Valley Days. He carried his love for entertaining and sharp business sense into broadcasting, where, under the Golden West Broadcasters banner, he owned such award-winning stations as KMPC radio and KTLA Television in Los Angeles as well as other stations across the country. Autry's great love for baseball prompted him to acquire the American League California Angels in 1961. Active in Major League Baseball, Autry held the title of Vice President of the American League until his death. Autry's long-cherished dream came true with the opening in November 1988 of the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, since acclaimed as one of the finest museums on the West. Autry intended to give something back to the community that had been so good to him. In January 2004 the museum merged with the Southwest Museum. As part of this affiliation, an umbrella company was created. The new AUTRY NATIONAL CENTER consists of three entities: the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of the American West, and the Institute for the Study of the American West. Today thousands of visitors, children and adults alike, learn the fascinating history of America's West through world-class collections of art and artifacts. Autry is the only entertainer to have all five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for Radio, Recording, Motion Pictures, Television, and Live Theatre/performance. He was a 33rd Degree Mason and Honorary Inspector General and was given the prestigious award of the Grand Cross of the Court of Honor. Among the many hundreds of honors and awards Autry has received were induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame; the American Academy of Achievement Award, the Los Angeles Area Governor's Emmy from The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; and the Board of Directors Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Achievement in Arts Foundation. Gene Autry was also inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, The National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and he received The Songwriters Guild Life Achievement Award. He was also honored by his songwriting peers with a lifetime achievement award from ASCAP. Gene Autry died at his home in Studio City, California on October 2, 1998. He was 91 years old.

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Sep 29, 1907 In Tioga, Texas
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie In Old Santa Fe 1934-11-15
Latest Project:
Movie Christmas from Hollywood 2003-11-13
Known For
Poster of Barbed Wire
Poster of The Last Round-up
Poster of Man from Music Mountain
Poster of Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm
Movie Christmas from Hollywood 2003-11-13
Movie It's Showtime 1976-03-31
Movie Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (archive footage) 1976-05-01
Series The Merv Griffin Show Unknown 1962-10-01
Movie Goldtown Ghost Riders Gene Autry 1953-05-20
Movie Winning of the West Gene Autry 1953-01-01
Movie Pack Train Gene Autry 1953-07-04
Movie On Top of Old Smoky Gene Autry 1953-03-25
Movie Saginaw Trail Gene Autry 1953-09-20
Series Person to Person Unknown 1953-10-02
Movie Last of the Pony Riders Gene Autry 1953-11-03
Movie Apache Country Gene Autry 1952-05-30
Movie Night Stage to Galveston Gene Autry 1952-03-18
Movie Barbed Wire Gene Autry 1952-07-25
Movie The Old West Gene Autry 1952-09-29
Movie Wagon Team Gene Autry 1952-09-29
Movie Blue Canadian Rockies Gene Autry 1952-11-30
Movie Texans Never Cry Gene Autry 1951-03-15
Movie Whirlwind Gene Autry aka The Whirlwind 1951-04-16
Movie Gene Autry and the Mounties Gene Autry 1951-01-30
Movie Silver Canyon Gene Autry 1951-06-19
Movie Valley of Fire Gene Autry 1951-11-20
Movie Hills of Utah Dr. Gene Autry 1951-09-30
Movie Cow Town Gene Autry 1950-05-19
Movie Mule Train U.S. Marshal Gene Autry 1950-02-22
Series The Gene Autry Show 1950-07-23
Movie Beyond the Purple Hills Gene Autry 1950-07-25
Movie Indian Territory Gene Autry 1950-09-29
Movie The Blazing Sun Gene Autry 1950-11-20
Movie The Big Sombrero Gene Autry 1949-04-19
Movie Riders of the Whistling Pines Gene Autry 1949-03-16
Movie Rim of the Canyon Gene Autry / Marshal Steve Autry 1949-07-01
Movie The Cowboy and the Indians Gene Autry 1949-09-15
Movie Sons of New Mexico Gene Autry 1949-12-20
Movie Riders in the Sky Gene Autry 1949-11-29
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie Loaded Pistols Gene Autry 1948-12-15
Movie The Strawberry Roan Gene Autry 1948-08-01
Movie Trail to San Antone Gene Autry 1947-01-25
Movie Twilight on the Rio Grande Gene Autry 1947-03-31
Movie The Last Round-up Gene Autry 1947-11-05
Movie Robin Hood Of Texas Gene Autry 1947-07-15
Movie Saddle Pals Gene Autry 1947-06-05
Movie Sioux City Sue Gene Autry 1946-11-21
Movie Heart of the Rio Grande Gene Autry 1942-03-11
Movie Home in Wyomin' Gene Autry 1942-04-29
Movie Cowboy Serenade Gene Autry 1942-01-30
Movie Stardust on the Sage Gene Autry 1942-05-25
Movie Bells of Capistrano Gene Autry 1942-09-15
Movie Call of the Canyon Gene Autry 1942-08-17
Movie Back in the Saddle Gene Autry 1941-03-14
Movie Ridin' on a Rainbow Gene Autry 1941-01-24
Movie The Singing Hill Gene Autry 1941-04-25
Movie Sunset in Wyoming Gene Autry 1941-07-15
Movie Sierra Sue Gene Autry 1941-11-12
Movie Down Mexico Way Gene Autry 1941-10-15
Movie Under Fiesta Stars Gene Autry 1941-08-25
Movie Shooting High Will Carson 1940-04-25
Movie Rancho Grande Gene Autry 1940-03-22
Movie Men with Steel Faces Gene Autry 1940-05-02
Movie Gaucho Serenade Gene Autry 1940-05-09
Movie Rodeo Dough Gene Autry 1940-11-09
Movie Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride Gene Autry 1940-09-05
Movie Melody Ranch Cornelius J. Courtney 1940-09-15
Movie Carolina Moon Gene Autry 1940-07-14
Movie Blue Montana Skies Gene Autry 1939-05-03
Movie Mexicali Rose Gene Autry 1939-03-26
Movie Home on the Prairie Gene Autry 1939-02-03
Movie Mountain Rhythm Gene Autry 1939-06-08
Movie Colorado Sunset 1939-07-30
Movie South of the Border Gene Autry 1939-12-15
Movie Rovin' Tumbleweeds Gene Autry 1939-11-16
Movie In Old Monterey Gene 1939-08-14
Movie Gold Mine in the Sky Gene Autry 1938-07-04
Movie The Old Barn Dance Gene Autry 1938-01-29
Movie Man from Music Mountain Gene Autry 1938-08-15
Movie Western Jamboree Gene Autry 1938-12-02
Movie Prairie Moon Gene Autry 1938-10-07
Movie Rhythm of the Saddle Gene Autry 1938-11-06
Movie Git Along Little Dogies Gene Autry 1937-03-27
Movie Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm Gene Autry 1937-05-12
Movie Public Cowboy No. 1 Helen Morgan 1937-06-11
Movie Manhattan Merry-Go-Round Gene Autry 1937-11-26
Movie Boots and Saddles Gene Autry 1937-10-04
Movie Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge Gene Autry 1937-06-14
Movie The Singing Cowboy Gene Autry 1936-05-11
Movie Red River Valley Gene Autry 1936-03-02
Movie Guns and Guitars Gene Autry 1936-06-22
Movie Comin' 'Round the Mountain Gene Autry 1936-04-13
Movie Oh, Susanna Gene Autry aka Tex Smith 1936-08-19
Movie The Big Show Gene Autry/Tom Ford 1936-11-16
Movie The Old Corral Sheriff Gene Autry 1936-12-21
Movie Ride, Ranger, Ride Texas Ranger Gene Autry 1936-11-30
Movie The Phantom Empire Gene Autry 1935-02-22
Movie Tumbling Tumbleweeds Gene Autry 1935-09-05
Movie The Sagebrush Troubadour Gene Autry 1935-12-02
Movie Melody Trail Gene Autry 1935-10-21
Movie The Singing Vagabond Captain Tex Autry 1935-12-16
Movie In Old Santa Fe Gene Autry 1934-11-15
Movie Mystery Mountain Teamster Thomas (ch's 6-8) (uncredited) 1934-12-02
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