Born Orvon Gene Autry on September 29, 1907 in Tioga, Texas. Autry's
musical influence came early in life when he was taught to sing
at age five by his grandfather, a Baptist preacher. At age twelve,
he handed down 12 hard-earned dollars at Sears for his first guitar.
Years later in 1927 while working as a telegraph operator, Autry
would sometimes pass the time by singing and playing guitar. A customer
was the legendary Will Rogers, the American humorist and one of
the most beloved personalities of his era. Rogers suggested to Autry
to go to New York and pursue a singing career.
Autry took his advice, eventually recording for both the Victor
and Columbia record labels. The recording that would help propel
Autry into national stardom "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine,"
co-written by Autry, came in 1931. By the end of the year, 500,000
copies had been sold and the overwhelming success brought Autry
to Chicago and WLS Radio starring on "The Conqueror Record
Hour" and "The National Barn Dance."
Gene Autry died on October 2, 1998.
Gene Autry was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2003.
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