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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Gene Autry

When Western singer Gene Autry went to Hollywood in 1934, he couldn't act, he couldn't ride, he couldn't rope, and he couldn't shoot. But that didn't prevent him from becoming the screen's most popular cowboy star within just a few years.

Autry's best known song, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, was created in 1939, in Chicago, for the Montgomery Ward department stores for a Christmas promotion. The lyrics were written as a poem by Robert May, but weren't set to music until 1947. Gene Autry recorded the hit song in 1949.

Autry is the only entertainer to have been honored in all five categories by the Hollywood Walk of Fame, having been awarded stars for his performances in Radio, Recording, Motion Pictures, Television, and Live Theatre/performance.
He owned a chain of radio and television stations throughout the Western United States, including KMPC and KTLA in Los Angeles and KSFO in San Francisco. His other business interests included the Gene Autry Hotel in Palm Springs, and several other properties.

He ranked for many years on the Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans,

Gene Autry owned the Los Angeles Angels American League baseball club from 1961 to 1997. (They subsequently were renamed the California Angels when the team was relocated to Anaheim in 1966.) When he sold part of his interest to Disney in 1997, they became the Anaheim Angels.

Sadly, Autry never got to see his beloved Angels win the World Series. The team even retired Gene's number "26".

Autry was Vice President of The American League until his death in 1998.

1 comment:

  1. And, in 1953, after 93 feature films... he *still* couldn't act! (But boy, could he sing!)