Gene Autry

His Life and Career


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About the Book

Gene Autry was the first of the wildly popular “singing cowboys” of the thirties and forties and the man who carried the flag for “western” in “country and western,” popularizing the genre’s marriage of seemingly disparate western and hillbilly influences. Beyond his highly successful recording career, his on-screen persona influenced an entire generation of American boys. Autry, an accomplished investor and businessman, was a longtime owner of Major League Baseball’s Angels franchise. This meticulously researched biography takes the reader from Gene Autry’s childhood in Oklahoma through his phenomenally successful career as a singer and actor, and covers his later triumphs in business and sports. Of particular interest is the book’s detailed day-to-day treatment of Autry’s performing career, with a wealth of information on each recording session and film shoot, including key personnel (e.g., songwriters, engineers, directors, crew) and interesting anecdotes. The work includes information from the author’s own interviews with Autry’s contemporaries.

About the Author(s)

Don Cusic is professor of music business at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

Don Cusic

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 235
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2007]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5978-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0751-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Introduction      1

1. Beginnings      3
2. First Recordings      9
3. New York      16
4. That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine      20
5. Chicago      26
6. The Cowboy      33
7. Goodbye, Chicago      39
8. Hello, Hollywood      42
9. The Phantom Empire      50
10. The Singing Cowboy      55
11. Public Cowboy Number One      61
12. Gene Autry and Bing Crosby      65
13. The Walk-Out      71
14. Back to Republic Pictures      79
15. Back in the Saddle Again      84
16. Melody Ranch      90
17. Gene Autry, Oklahoma      98
18. Army Air Corps      102
19. World War II      109
20. Herbert Yates and Republic, Revisited      116
21. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer      121
22. Tours and Television      131
23. Golden West      141
24. The End of the Singing Cowboys      146
25. The Spotlight Fades      153
26. A Baseball Man      161
27. Businessman      170
28. Baseball and Business      175
29. Golden Years      181
30. Into the Sunset      188

Conclusion      192
Chapter Notes      195
Bibliography      203
Index      213

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “well-written and detailed…high praise…extremely well-researched…offers a great insight”—Wrangler’s Roost
  • “extremely comprehensive”—The Illustrated Press