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Autry, Orvon Gene

Born: 1907 AD
Died: 1998 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Actors, Singer

1907 – Born on September 29th in Tioga, Texas. American performer.

1926 – Best known as the "Singing Cowboy," Autry got his start while singing and playing his guitar to pass the time at his telegraph operator’s job.

1928-1929 – He spent two years on Tulsa’s KVOO, billed as “Oklahoma’s Yodeling Cowboy” and singing Jimmie Rodgers’s then-current hits before returning to New York in October, just days before the market crashed.

1931 – Became a major hit and propelled Autry to a radio career on Chicago’s WLS, beginning with his first morning broadcast on December 1st, on his own show Conqueror Record Time.

1933 – Autry focused on western songs and attire, and recorded his first western songs.

1934 – Gene and his wife, Ina (Jimmy Long’s niece), and his friend Lester “Smiley” Burnette, musician-composer-comedian with the Autry radio troupe, drove to California, where the singing cowboy was to make a guest appearance in the Republic Pictures western movie, In Old Santa Fe.

1935 – Autry, who also starred in Tumbling Tumbleweeds, the first Western plotted around the main character’s ability to sing, is credited with creating the musical Western.

1937 – Exhibitors voted Autry the #1 box-office attraction in westerns.

1969 – Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

1997 – Winner of two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards.

         – Autry is the only entertainer who boasted five stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame for his work in motion pictures, radio, music recording, television, and live theater.

1998 – Died on October 2nd at the age of 91.

         – Even after his death, he continues to be idolized by generations, including many younger country singers who patterned their lives after his.