Autry's Big Break:
A Singing Cowboy is Born:
Hero for Troubled Times:
The Post-War Period:
World War II delivered America from the Depression, but Gene Autry remained one of Hollywood's most popular stars. His musical career remained stronger still, thanks to a series of popular Christmas recordings: "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "Frosty the Snowman." These successes helped the country singer sell over a million records in the post-war decades.
In 1950, Gene Autry made the move to television with The Gene Autry Show, which ran until 1956.
Gene Autry Trivia Facts:
- In 1937, movie theater owners voted Autry as the top box-office draw for Westerns.
- Champion was the name of Autry's favorite movie horse.
- In 1960, Autry became a baseball team owner when he purchased the Los Angeles Angels.
- Autry was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969.
Key Gene Autry Songs:
- "Back in the Saddle Again"
- "(I've Got Spurs That) Jingle, Jangle, Jingle"
- "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds"
- "You are My Sunshine"
- Essential Gene Autry, 1933-1946 (1992, Columbia Records): This greatest hits collection focuses on Autry during his cowboy country heyday. Also included in 18-track set is the unreleased song "Ole Faithful."
The Gene Autry Cowboy Code:
For his CBS radio program Gene Autry's Melody Ranch (1940-1956), Autry created a cowboy code to guide his young listeners in their day-to-day lives. It was later published in several magazines, including Life. The cowboy's 10 commandments are as follows:
1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. He must always tell the truth.
4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. He must help people in distress.
7. He must be a good worker.
8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
10. The Cowboy is a patriot.