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On this historic day, September 29, 1907, cowboy crooner and Hollywood icon Gene Autry was born in Texas.


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Gene Autry, the cowboy crooner and Hollywood hitmaker who helped popularize country-western music and became one of the most famous performers in American history, was born in Tioga, Texas on this historic day, the September 29, 1907.

“Gene Autry’s status as the premier box office attraction of Hollywood westerns has captured the attention of a vast audience who would otherwise be unfamiliar with country music,” writes the Country Music Hall of Fame, which has inducted Autry in 1969.

“Furthermore, his success as a singing cowboy launched an entire film genre and paved the way for successful rivals such as Roy Rogers and Tex Ritter.”

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His career spanned 70 years, including appearances in 93 movies and 91 television productions, according to GeneAutry.com.

“He rose to fame on radio, records, film, television, and live touring, including rodeo,” the site says.

Gene Autry (1907-1998), American singer and actor, became known as “The Singing Cowboy” on radio, film and television.
(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Many of Autry’s hits chronicled the idealized life of a singing cowboy, including “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” and “Back in the Saddle Again”.

He also sang American standards such as “You Are My Sunshine” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas”.

Gene Autry is the only artist with five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His voice is still heard by tens of millions of Americans every holiday season, thanks to his string of Christmas hits, including perhaps the signature version of “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

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Autry largely ceased performing in the 1950s – but his music and image enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s.

“Back in the Saddle Again” was featured on the soundtrack to Tom Hanks’ 1993 hit film “Sleepless in Seattle.”

That same year, Autry was celebrated in the song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” by country star Toby Keith.

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout, left, celebrates with Shohei Ohtani after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Saturday June 11, 2022 in Anaheim, In California.  The Angels franchise was founded by Gene Autry in 1961.

Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, left, celebrates with Shohei Ohtani after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Saturday June 11, 2022 in Anaheim, In California. The Angels franchise was founded by Gene Autry in 1961.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

“Stealing young girls’ hearts/Just like Gene and Roy/Singing those campfire songs,” Keith crooned.

Autry became a media and sports mogul.

Among other notable ventures, he founded the Los Angeles Angels Major League Baseball franchise in 1961. It was the first MLB team to hail from California.

“While Autry wasn’t a cowboy either, he was at least a true westerner who had lived on a ranch,” History.com says.

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“After a chance encounter with cowboy comedian Will Rogers, who encouraged his dream of singing professionally, Autry made his first recording in 1929 and for several years performed as ‘Oklahoma’s Yodeling Cowboy’ in a Tulsa radio show.”

Country and Western singer Gene Autry (1907-1998), wearing a cowboy hat and plaid shirt, poses with two horses, circa 1955. Autry achieved fame as a "The singing cowboy" on radio, film and television.

Country and Western singer Gene Autry (1907-1998), wearing a cowboy hat and plaid shirt, poses with two horses, circa 1955. Autry rose to fame as ‘The Singing Cowboy’ on radio, film and television.
(Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

He then became a star of Chicago’s National Barn Dance, the radio show that inspired the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, before signing a recording contract.

“Autry’s enduring fame, however, came from his career as the film industry’s favorite singing cowboy,” reports History.com.

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“His first film, ‘In Old Santa Fe’, was eventually followed by nearly 100 other films that made him one of America’s most popular stars and greatly expanded the audience for country-western music. worldwide.”

Autry’s career spanned 70 years, including appearances in 93 films and 91 television shows.

Autry died just three days after his 91st birthday on October 2, 1998, at his Southern California home after battling lymphoma.

“Mr. Autry was the only artist with five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for radio, records, film, television and live theater,” reported The Washington Post in its obituary of the year. ‘artist.

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“On screen, Mr. Autry rode hard, strummed his guitar nicely and promoted gentle virtues. He told young fans he believed in the ‘Ten Cowboy Commandments’ – including values ​​such as respect, tolerance towards others, honesty and truth, not taking unfair advantage of anyone and helping people in distress.”

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