Gene Autry

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Gene Autry. Group 2 Lauren Hartmann, Suyog Dahal, Benjamin Markham, and Sarah Youssef. Artist Biography . Born Orvon Gene Autry on September 29, 1907 in Tioga, Texas Son of Delbert and Elnora Ozment Autry Married to Ina Mae Autry - remarried to Jacqueline Autry after Ina passed away
Gene Autry Group 2 Lauren Hartmann, Suyog Dahal, Benjamin Markham, and Sarah Youssef Artist Biography
  • Born Orvon Gene Autry on September 29, 1907 in Tioga, Texas
  • Son of Delbert and Elnora Ozment Autry
  • Married to Ina Mae Autry - remarried to Jacqueline Autry after Ina passed away Ovron Gene Autry
  • Gene Autry’s Early Years
  • Was taught how to sing at the age of 5 by his grandfather, William T. Autry, a Baptist preacher.
  • His interest in music was encouraged by his mother, who taught him hymns and folk songs.
  • Started to perform anywhere in Tioga such as church choir, school plays, local cafes, and so forth.
  • Encountered actor Will Rogers while working as an operator
  • Told Autry to go to New York to pursue a singing career
  • Eder, R.B
  • Gene Autry’s Career
  • First Record with RC Victor - October 9, 1929
  • “My Dreaming of You” and “My Alabama Home”
  • Signed with American Record Corporation
  • “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine” duet with Jimmy Long
  • Landed first radio job on Chicago’s WLS as “Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy.”
  • Focused on Western songs and attire
  • Known as “Singing Cowboy”
  • Movie debuts:
  • The Phantom Empire, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, The Singing Cowboy, Rhythm of the Saddle, and Sioux City Sue, and more!
  • Produced own TV series, The Gene Autry Show
  • Eder, R.B
  • Major Influence
  • Jimmie Rodgers
  • Considered “The Father of Country Music” and was arguably Gene’s largest musical influence.
  • Also known as “The Blue Yodeler” or sometimes “America’s Blue Yodeler”, a musical style that Autry imitated.
  • Early in his career, Autry would practice Jimmie Rodgers’ songs, he would imitate Jimmie Rodgers to the point that sometimes, on the songs he recorded, it was hard to tell that it wasn’t Rodgers singing.
  • Cusic, Don. 2007 Other Influences
  • The Carter Family
  • Along with Jimmie Rodger, they were one of the first successful country music stars. Known for switching the musical emphasis from the instruments to the voice in hillbilly music. Autry recorded multiple Carter Family songs.
  • Gene Austin & Al Jolson
  • While auditioning for record companies in New York City, Gene Autry auditioned using Gene Austin and Al Jolson songs.
  • Vernon Dalhart
  • Dalhart had extreme success taking hillbilly music and adapted it to suite the taste of the non-hillbilly music listening population. Autry idolized the success and popular appeal Vernon Dalhart had.
  • Cusic, Don. (2007) Musical Style
  • First music: a mix of hillbilly, blues, country, yodel songs, and cowboy ballads
  • Carl Cotner: A saxophone, clarinet, and piano player in Autry’s band who often helped translate Autry’s thoughts into musical notes and arrangements
  • Brought in a rhythm & blues style Eder, Bruce. (2014)
  • Musical Style
  • Before he went to war, Autry moved away from country music occasionally
  • Autry also scored big when he moved away from country songs
  • He recorded “Blueberry Hill” 16 years before Fats Domino did Eder, Bruce. (2014)
  • Musical Style
  • After World War II (1939-1945), Autry began incorporating more folk and pop songs into his collection
  • His songs saw more lyrics about boy and girl romantic love
  • “Goodnight Irene” (1950)
  • “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” (1946)
  • Gene Autry Entertainment (2014). Musical Style
  • Some of Gene Autry’s biggest hits ended up being Christmas songs
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was the #1 song on both the Pop and Country charts in 1949. It was still #3 on the Pop chart and #5 on the Country chart in 1950. Gene Autry Entertainment (2014).
  • Music Genres of the 1930’s and 1940’s
  • Swing- The most popular style of American music in the 1930’s and 1940’s. relies on an upbeat tempo and syncopation. Country and Western- Popularized by cowboy and western Hollywood films in which romanized actors(notably Gene Autry and Roy Rogers) were shown performing this style of music.
  • Music Genres of the 1930’s and 1940’s Bing Crosby- Arguably the most famous singer of the time period. Known for his many iconic films and songs including “White Christmas.” Was heavily influential to both Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Relevant events of the Time Period Stock Market Crash of 1929 Many songs of the time were geared toward to the depression and working class. One example of this would be “The Death of Mother Jones” by Gene Autry which tells of Mary Harris Jones, an American labor organizer. One lyric in the song says “and bring back better conditions for every laboring man,” a tribute to the kind of hope the song was trying to inspire. Also The “Maddox Brothers and Rose” wrote a song against the Taft-Hartley act(a federal law that restricts the power of labor unions). Relevant events of the Time Period Stock Market Crash of 1929 Aside from affecting the content and lyrics of the music produced, the Great Depression also affect how the music was distributed and heard. The poor financial state many people were in reduced the number of records that were sold. This led to the popularization of radio, a free source of music. This benefited many up and coming musicians, including Gene Autry. Artists Influenced by Gene Autry Gene Autry’s success influenced many of the up and coming country singers.
  • Eddy Arnold
  • Eddy Arnold’s music and style was originally influenced by “cowboy singers” like Gene Autry. Eddy had the opportunity meet Autry early in his career.
  • Was quoted saying “There was something in Gene Autry’s voice” that captured him. Also saying that Autry’s singing talent made him stop and take notice. Cusic, Don. (2007)
  • Artists Influenced by Gene Autry
  • Johnny Cash
  • Gene Autry has a large influence on Johnny Cash, even at a young age.
  • In Cash’s song “Who’s Gene Autry”, he tells a stories about Gene Autry to his son. Cash said he would save all his change just to go see Gene Autry movies. He also sings in the song “Well, he could ride his horse and play his guitar, and sing all at the same time. And I was ridin’ right along there beside him, on that broomstick pony of mine.” expressing how he looked at Gene Autry as an idol.
  • Gene Autry’s Legacy
  • Career began to diminish around early 1960s
  • Inducted to Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969
  • Winner of 2 Grammy Hall of Fame Awards (1985 and 1997)
  • Has 5 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • motion pictures, radio, music, TV, and live theater
  • Was 91 years old when he died on October 2, 1998 in Studio City, California Smith, J.G
  • References Cash, Johnny. (1978) “Who’s Gene Autry”. I Would Like to See You Again. New York: Columbia Records. Cusic, Don. (2007) Gene Autry: His Life and Career. Jefferson: MacFarland & Company. Eder, Bruce. (2014). Gene Autry: Biography. Retrieved from: Eder, R. B. (n.d.). Gene Autry Bio | Gene Autry Career. CMT Artists. Retrieved June 03, 2014, from Gene Autry Entertainment (2014). The official website for gene autry america’s favorite singing cowboy: Music. Retrieved from: Orvon Gene Autry. (2014). Retrieved 02:13, Jun 03, 2014, Roughstock Staff (2009). Cowboy Music. Retrieved June 3rd, 2014 from: Smith, J. G. (n.d.). “Gene Autry”. Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 03, 2014, from Swing Music. Retrieved from June 3rd, 2014 from: “The Death of Mother Jones” remembered by Gene Autry (2013). Retrieved on June 3rd, 2014 from:
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