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Gene Autry

Gene Autry



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Gene Autry was America's first singing cowboy. During the '50s and '60s, he became a successful businessman, purchasing several radio and television stations. In 1961, he became the owner of an expansion team that made its debut as the Los Angeles Angels.Singing and strumming

Born Orvon Gene Autry on September 29, 1908, to Delbert and Elnora Autry, poor tenant farmers in Tioga, Texas, Gene was the eldest of four children. The grandson of a minister, Autry was taught to sing as a child so that he could perform in the church choir and other local venues. Life on the farm was hard. Gene had to learn to ride horses and work the fields with his father at an early age. His love of music arose from listening to cowboy songs, and at age 12 he bought his first guitar, from a Sears and Roebuck catalog, for $8 he had saved from baling hay on his uncle’s farm. His interest in music was encouraged by his mother, who taught him hymns and folk songs.Autry graduated from Ravia Community School in 1924, and spent a few months working for a traveling medicine show before finding work as a telegraph operator for the Frisco Railroad in Chelsea, Oklahoma. Autry took his guitar to work and strummed when things were slow. One night, a man came in to send a telegraph, and was impressed by what he heard. The man turned out to be none other than Will Rogers. He motioned to Autry to keep playing, and after hearing a few songs, suggested that he look for a job in radio. After trying unsuccessfully to find work in New York, Autry returned to Oklahoma where he appeared on KVOO Tulsa as the “Oklahoma Yodeling Cowboy."A recording, film, and TV career

In 1929, Autry made his first RCA Victor recording of “My Dreaming of You” and “My Alabama Home,” followed by other recordings for ARC Records. In 1931, he became a featured artist on the National Barn Dance. Before long, Autry Roundup guitars and songbooks were being sold by Sears. In late 1931, Autry recorded his first million-selling record, “That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine," which he recorded as a duet with co-writer Jimmy Long. The following year, Autry married Ina May Spivey, Long’s niece. The couple, who had no children, remained married until her death in 1980.In 1934, Autry was discovered by film producer Nat Levine. Autry and his sidekick Burnette made their film debut in the movie “In Old Santa Fe,” as part of a singing-cowboy quartet. In 1935, Levine gave Gene the starring role in a 12-part serial titled “The Phantom Empire." Autry became a top box-office star. From 1937 to 1942, he was rated in a survey of theater owners as one of the top 10 box-office attractions in the country, a string that was broken only when he enlisted in the army during World War II.In January 1940, Autry’s Melody Ranch radio show, sponsored by the Wrigley Gum Company, made its first appearance on CBS, and soon became a national institution with thousands of listeners. From 1940 until 1956, the show featured other famous singers of the day, along with Gene singing his hits. As a result, Autry built a house in the San Fernando Valley, called Melody Ranch. It was from that ranch in 1942 that he was sworn into the Army Air Force as atechnical sergeant, live on his Melody Ranch Radio program.Military service

Having previously earned a private pilot's license, Sergeant Autry decided to become a flight officer. Following basic training at the Santa Ana Air Force Base, and serving at Luke Field, Thunderbird Field, and Phoenix Airport, he was accepted for flight training at Love Field in Dallas. On June 21, 1944, Autry won his wings and was promoted to Flight Officer. He was attached to the 91st Ferrying Squadron of the 555th Army Air Base Unit, Air Transport Command, at Love Field. Flight Officer Autry served in that squadron from July 1942 to October 1945. While in the service, he continued to perform. He was honorably discharged in 1946.Business and baseball

In addition to his radio show and films, Autry toured extensively with his stage show, which featured roping, Indian dancers, comedy skits, trick riding and horse tricks performed by Autry’s horse Champion. He was so famous and respected that the small town of Berwyn Oklahoma officially changed its name to Gene Autry, Oklahoma.In the mid 1950s, Autry’s singing and acting career slowed, owing to rock 'n roll and rhythm and blues luring away younger listeners, but he was able to spend more time with his other business interests. He purchased numerous radio and television stations, and between 1950 and 1956, produced 91 episodes of the Gene Autry Show for CBS TV. His company also produced many other television series, including “The Range Rider” and “The Adventures of Champion."In 1960, Major League Baseball announced plans to add an expansion team in Los Angeles, and Autry, who had once declined an opportunity to play in the minor leagues, was persuaded to become the franchise owner. The team, initially called the Los Angles Angels, moved to Anaheim in 1966 and became known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels in 1997. Today they are called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.Autry married his second wife, Jackie, in 1981, and remained married to her until his death in 1998 at the age of 91. His long career produced 300 songs cut between 1929 and 1964, including nine gold records and one platinum, and 93 movies. Most consider Autry to be country music’s first genuine multimedia star.


Gene Autry - History

Gene Autry

Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998), nicknamed The Singing Cowboy, was an American singer, songwriter, actor, musician and rodeo performer who gained fame largely by singing in a crooning style on radio, in films, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Autry was the owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997.

From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 films, and between 1950 and 1956 hosted The Gene Autry Show television series. During the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most important pioneering figures in the history of country music, considered the second major influential artist of the genre's development after Jimmie Rodgers. His singing cowboy films were the first vehicle to carry country music to a national audience. In addition to his signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again", and his hit "At Mail Call Today", Autry is still remembered for his Christmas holiday songs, most especially his biggest hit "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as well as "Frosty the Snowman", "Here Comes Santa Claus", and "Up on the House Top".

Autry is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the only person to be awarded stars in all five categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for film, television, music, radio, and live performance. The town of Gene Autry, Oklahoma, was named in his honor, as was the Gene Autry precinct in Mesa, Arizona.

Birth and Death Data: Born September 29th, 1907 (Grayson County), Died October 2nd, 1998 (Studio City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, guitar, composer, lyricist, songwriter, yodeling, arranger

Notes: Listed on some Columbia labels as "Gene Autry (The Yodeling Cowboy)."

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 97 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Autry, Gene," accessed June 28, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103669.

Autry, Gene. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 28, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103669.

"Autry, Gene." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 28 June 2021.


Museum History

Somewhere around 1985 the idea of a B-Western Singing Cowboy museum began to float around our small town. The Gene Autry School closed in 1989. Our citizens, wanting to preserve the buildings, made the idea a reality. At a town meeting in the Spring of 1990, retired teacher / basketball coach Elvin Sweeten became the first Executive Director of the Museum with partner Willie Johnston in charge of the building. All the displays were built by Mr. Johnston’s talented hands. The Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum opened its doors in the Summer of 1990.

The Museum was initially dedicated to Gene Autry and the Singing Cowboys of the movies, particularly those in the “B-Westerns.” From a modest one-room beginning, the Museum expanded to fill nearly the entire school building (sharing a bit of space to the United States Post Office and the Town Hall). Over the years, Mr. Sweeten nearly single-handedly acquired a formidable collection of Singing Cowboy memorabilia as well as artifacts from the town’s past. It is now purported to be the Largest Collection of Gene Autry and Singing Cowboy memorabilia in the World.

Grants from several foundations helped refurbish the building beginning in 1997. In March 1999, a grand reopening commemorated a new roof, carpet, heating , air conditioning, restrooms, and wall coverings. As this was now nearly twenty years ago, plans are in the works for new renovations including new L.E.D. lighting and restoring the original hardwood floors of the old school building.

The Museum is ran by the Gene Autry Oklahoma Historical Society. We are a (501) c 3 non profit. We run on your help by donations alone. It is an honor to keep the doors open as much as possible since we do not get volunteer help very often.

We love to have folks come enjoy some of the things from their past and like to see young people visit to learn about the history of the old westerns. Please come visit and be amazed.


Explore

An actor and singer who was billed as "America's favorite cowboy," Orvon Gene Autry was born to Delbert and Elnora Ozmont Autry on September 29, 1907, on a small tenant farm near Tioga, Texas. The Autrys soon moved to Achille, Oklahoma, and later homesteaded near Ravia. A teenaged Autry found work at the local St. Louis and San Francisco Railway depot as a baggage hauler in payment, the stationmaster gave him free lessons in telegraphy.

Late one night, while filling in for a telegrapher at Chelsea, Oklahoma, Autry was singing and playing his guitar. According to legend, humorist Will Rogers came into the office to dispatch his daily syndicated column and was impressed by Autry's singing. With Rogers' encouragement, in 1927 Autry headed to New York to "make a record." Soon he found himself back in Tulsa, singing as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy" on KVOO Radio.

Autry found work in the infant movie industry in Hollywood, debuting, uncredited, with Ken Maynard in In Old Santa Fe (1934). Arguably the most famous, if not the first, singing cowboy, he starred in ninety-three movies, most of them musical Westerns and most with his faithful horse, Champion.

Autry released 635 records during his career and wrote several super hits including his first, "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine" (1932) and his trademark, "Back in the Saddle Again" (1939). His other signature tunes included "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "Here Comes Santa Claus," "You Are My Sunshine," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Autry also found fame on radio and television. His Melody Ranch show aired on CBS radio from 1940 to 1956. The first movie actor to star in a regular television series, in 1950 Autry premiered The Gene Autry Show on CBS. From his home base at "Melody Ranch," he fought evildoers of all varieties in a show that endured through the mid-1950s.

After his career ended, Autry owned radio and television stations and in 1983 purchased the California Angels baseball team. In 1941 he established a large ranch near his old Oklahoma home, and the same year the nearby town of Berwyn, Oklahoma, changed its name to Gene Autry. Autry died in California on October 2, 1998.

Bibliography

Gene Autry, with Mickey Herskowitz, Back in the Saddle Again (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1978).

Guy W. Logsdon, Mary Rogers, and William Jacobson, Saddle Serenaders (Salt Lake City, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 1995).

Larry O'Dell, comp., Oklahoma @ the Movies (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 2012).

David Rothel, The Gene Autry Book (New York: Empire Publishing, 1988). James Vinson, ed., International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 4 vols. (Chicago: St. James Press, 1986).

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society (unless otherwise stated).

Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Eric Dabney, &ldquoAutry, Orvon Gene,&rdquo The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=AU004.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

Oklahoma Historical Society | 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 | 405-521-2491
Site Index | Contact Us | Privacy | Press Room | Website Inquiries


Explore

An incorporated community in eastern Carter County, Gene Autry is situated south of State Highway 53, seventeen miles northeast of Ardmore and ninety-five miles south of Oklahoma City. The town was originally called Lou, but its name was changed three times between 1883 and 1941. Its present designation honors cowboy film actor and singer Orvon Gene Autry, who bought a nearby ranch in 1941.

A store opened just east of present Gene Autry during the 1870s, in what was then the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. A post office, designated Lou, was established inside the shop in July 1883. The mail room was moved four months later and renamed Dresden. When the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway bypassed Dresden in 1887, residents relocated to the track. They called their new townsite Berwyn.

Berwyn developed as a farming community. Early businesses included a feed mill, a flour warehouse, two cotton gins, a grain elevator, various stores, and the Berwyn Light newspaper. The town's population rose from 276 in 1900 to 378 in 1910. That number peaked at 435 in 1920 and declined to 300 in 1930.

Gene Autry purchased the 1,200-acre Flying A Ranch west of Berwyn in November 1941 to serve as headquarters for his traveling rodeo. Berwyn was renamed "Gene Autry" in his honor. An estimated thirty-five thousand people attended the ceremony on November 16, 1941. Those present included Autry and Oklahoma's governor, Leon Phillips. After the outbreak of World War II Autry enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and subsequently sold his Flying A Ranch.

The Ardmore Air Force Base was constructed north of Gene Autry in 1942 and provided jobs. Nevertheless, the town's population fell from 227 in 1940 to 110 in 1960. By 1970 only a grocery store and the post office remained open. After increasing to 178 in 1980, the number of residents dropped to 97 in 1990. In 2000 Gene Autry had 99 citizens, at least two stores, and a post office. Most local children attended school in Springer. The old Berwyn school is now the Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum. Annual events include the Gene Autry Oklahoma Film and Music Festival and the Gene Autry Oklahoma Jamboree. Ardmore and the Ardmore Industrial Airpark (the former Ardmore Air Force Base) offer employment. In 2010, 158 people lived in Gene Autry.

Bibliography

Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 9, 12, 16, 17 November 1941.

"Gene Autry," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

John W. Morris, Ghost Towns of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977).

David Smith, "Gene Autry's Town," Orbit Magazine, Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 15 September 1963.

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society (unless otherwise stated).

Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Jon D. May, &ldquoGene Autry (town),&rdquo The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=GE003.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

Oklahoma Historical Society | 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 | 405-521-2491
Site Index | Contact Us | Privacy | Press Room | Website Inquiries


Age, Height & Measurements

Gene Autry has been died on Oct 2, 1998 ( age 91). He born under the Libra horoscope as Gene's birth date is September 29. Gene Autry height 5 Feet 9 Inches (Approx) & weight 356 lbs (161.4 kg) (Approx.). Right now we don't know about body measurements. We will update in this article.

Height5 Feet 2 Inches (Approx)
Weight357 lbs (161.9 kg) (Approx)
Body Measurements
Eye ColorDark Brown
Hair ColorBlonde
Dress SizeL
Shoe Size11 (US), 10 (UK), 45 (EU), 28.5 (CM)

History of the Autry

The Autry Museum of the American West—"the Autry"—brings together the stories of all peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inspire our shared future. Co-founded in 1988 by Jackie and Gene Autry and Joanne and Monte Hale, the Autry has grown to encompass a broad and inclusive representation of art, artifacts, cultural materials, and library holdings. In 2002, the Autry merged with Women of the West, a nonprofit organization highlighting the impact of diverse women’s experiences on the history of the American West. In 2003, after many years of being on the verge of financial insolvency and with the collection and buildings in need of significant care and investment, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian sought a merger with the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, and a new organization was formed (now known as the Autry Museum of the American West). The Autry's diverse collections include more than 600,000 artifacts, artworks, and archival materials that reflect the interconnectedness of cultures and histories in the American West.

The Autry currently spans three campuses in Los Angeles: the Autry Museum in Griffith Park, the Historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus, and the Resources Center of the Autry (under construction):

Autry Museum in Griffith Park

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park, originally the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, was co-founded by Jackie and Gene Autry and Joanne and Monte Hale. With the opening of the Museum in 1988, Gene Autry realized his dream "to build a museum which would exhibit and interpret the heritage of the West and show how it influenced America and the world." Attracting between 150,000 and 200,000 annual visitors, the Autry in Griffith Park presents a wide range of special exhibitions and public programs that explore the art, history, and cultures of the American West.

Historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus

The Historic Southwest Museum Mount Washington Campus is the original location of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the oldest museum in Los Angeles, and was founded by Charles Fletcher Lummis. In 2015 the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the historic site a National Treasure, launching a collaborative process to identify a long-term sustainable future for this Los Angeles landmark.

>Learn more about this process and see our FAQs.

Resources Center of the Autry

The Autry is in the process of revitalizing a structure that will ultimately be a new, state-of-the-art, 100,000-square-foot Resources Center in Burbank to preserve its collections for generations to come. Utilizing sophisticated environmental controls and employing best-practice conservation solutions, this center will have the technology and equipment essential to properly care for, protect, and preserve the range of objects and library materials within the Autry's collections—everything from baskets and beadwork to firearms and saddles. When it opens, this center will serve as a destination where students, scholars, artists, archaeologists, tribal representatives, and the broader public can experience the breadth of the Autry's collections.

Museum Founders

Gene Autry, 1907-1998

Gene Autry's career spanned some 60 years in the entertainment industry, encompassing radio, recordings, motion pictures, television, rodeo, and live performances. He was an astute businessman whose range of interests encompassed ownership of radio and television stations, hotels, music companies, and the Angels Major League Baseball team.

Known as "America's Favorite Singing Cowboy," he is the only entertainer to have five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame: one each for radio, records, film, television and live theatrical performance (including rodeo). In his ability to transcend media and in the sheer scope of his output, Gene Autry was unsurpassed as a popular image-maker of the American West.

Born in Tioga, Texas, on September 29, 1907, Orvon Gene Autry bought his first guitar at the age of 12 for $8. By the late 1920s, he was working as a telegrapher for the railroad in Oklahoma. While he was singing and playing in the office one night, Gene was discovered by the great cowboy humorist Will Rogers. Rogers advised the young Autry to try radio, and the rest is history.

Gene Autry is the only entertainer to have five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, one each for radio, records, film, television and live theatrical performance.

Gene Autry began his radio career in 1928 and made his first recordings a year later. His first hit came in 1931 with That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine, the first record ever certified gold for having sold more than a million copies. Gene made his film debut as a dude ranch cowboy singer in the 1934 Ken Maynard film In Old Santa Fe. In 1935, he made his first starring appearance in the science fiction Western serial The Phantom Empire. By 1937 he was America's Favorite Cowboy, voted the "Number 1 Western Star" by the theater exhibitors of America. In 1940 the theater exhibitors voted Autry the fourth biggest box office attraction, behind Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy. Autry remained in first or second place among cowboy stars in terms of box office draw until he retired from motion pictures in 1953.

He appeared in 93 feature films and made 635 recordings, more than 300 of which he wrote or co-wrote. Some of his best known movies are based on his hit records, including South of the Border (1939), Mexicali Rose (1939), Back in the Saddle (1941), The Last Round-Up (1947), and Strawberry Roan (1948). Gene's recordings have sold more than 60 million copies and brought him more than a dozen gold records. Be Honest With Me was nominated for an Academy Award in 1941. Gene Autry's beloved Christmas and children's records Here Comes Santa Claus (1947) and Peter Cottontail (1950) went platinum for more than two million copies sold, while Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1949) remains the second best-selling single of all time, with sales totaling more than 30 million.

In addition to his movie and recording success, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch was heard weekly over the CBS Radio Network between 1940 and 1956. During World War II, Autry enlisted for service on the air during a broadcast of the show, going on to serve his country as a flight officer with the Air Transport Command. From 1943 until 1945, he flew large cargo planes in the China-Burma-India theater. When the war ended, Autry was assigned to Special Services, where he toured with a USO troupe in the South Pacific before resuming his movie career in 1946.

By 1937 he was America's Favorite Cowboy, voted the "Number 1 Western Star" by the theater exhibitors of America. In 1940 the theater exhibitors voted Autry the fourth biggest box office attraction, behind Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy.

Realizing that the days of the B-Western were numbered, in 1950 Autry became one of the first major movie stars to move into television. For the next five years, he produced and starred in 91 half-hour episodes of The Gene Autry Show, as well as producing such popular TV series as Annie Oakley, The Range Rider, Buffalo Bill Jr. and The Adventures of Champion. In the late 1980s, Gene and his former movie sidekick Pat Buttram hosted 93 episodes of the 90-minute Melody Ranch Theatre Show on Nashville Network, spotlighting the telecasting of his old Republic and Columbia movies. The show was one of the highest rated programs on TNN.

Gene Autry's great love of baseball prompted him to purchase the American League's California Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels) in 1961. As was his trademark, through the team, Gene provided the fans with quality entertainment. Long active in Major League Baseball, Autry held the title of Vice President of the American League until his death.

He was a 33rd Degree Mason and Honorary Inspector General and was given the prestigious award of the Grand Cross of the Court of Honor. Among the many hundreds of honors and awards Autry received were induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame the American Academy of Achievement Award, the Los Angeles Area Governor's Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Board of Directors Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Achievement in Arts Foundation. Gene Autry also was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He received the Songwriters' Guild Life Achievement Award and the Hubert Humphrey Humanitarian of the Year Award. He was honored by his songwriting peers with a lifetime achievement award from ASCAP.

Gene Autry's long-cherished dream came true with the opening of the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in November of 1988, since acclaimed as one of the finest museums on the West. Autry intended to give something back to the community that had been so good to him. Today thousands of visitors, children, and adults alike, learn the fascinating history of America's West through the Autry's world-class collections of art and artifacts.

Charles Fletcher Lummis, 1859-1928

The Southwest Museum of the American Indian was the brainchild of Charles Fletcher Lummis, a journalist, photographer, amateur anthropologist, and prolific historian of the southwestern United States. In 1903, Lummis organized the Southwest Society, the western branch of the Archaeological Institute of America, whose mission was to create "a great, characteristic Southern California museum." He garnered support among the city's financial elite, and in late 1907, he chartered Los Angeles's first "free public museum of science, history, and art." When the new museum opened in 1914, it included halls of conchology and Asian and European art, along with displays of Southwestern and California archaeological materials, the Munk Library of Arizoniana, and the Lummis Library. In the 1920s the Southwest Museum narrowed its focus to anthropology and its subject matter to the cultural history and prehistory of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. By building on the work begun by the Southwest Society, which had sponsored Edgar Lee Hewett's early excavations in New Mexico, the museum set about becoming a leader in Southwest, and later Great Basin, archaeological research.

In 1903, Lummis organized the Southwest Society, the western branch of the Archaeological Institute of America, whose mission was to create "a great, characteristic Southern California museum."

Museum staff and research associates, including Charles Amsden, Monroe Amsden, A. V. Kidder, Sylvanus Morely, and James A. B. Scherer, participated in the first Pecos Conference in 1927. Between 1925 and the mid-1960s, the Southwest Museum sponsored archaeological investigations in Casa Grande, Arizona the Mimbres area in New Mexico Mesa House and Gypsum, Nevada and Twentynine Palms, California, among others. Learn more about Lummis through KCET's website or CharlesLummis.com.

Women of the West®

In 2002 the Women of the West® Museum merged with the Autry, creating a gathering place for programs, exhibitions, collections, research, and education dedicated to diverse women's experiences in the American West. Our goal is to gain a new understanding, not simply of what women have done but of why it matters for the West—past, present, and future.

Founded in 1991 in Boulder, Colorado, the Women of the West Museum was the first museum in the nation dedicated to the history of women of all cultures in the American West. Committed to education outside traditional museum walls, theWomen of the West Museum broke new ground with its innovative use of online exhibitions, community partnerships, women's history trails, and art-based humanities programs. The merger with the Autry reflected a continuation of its original spirit, while providing a physical home in Los Angeles to continue its vision through new exhibitions and programs integrated into an overall vision of the West.

Virginia Scharff
Chair, Women of the West®
Professor of History, and Director, Center for the Southwest, at the University of New Mexico

Dr. Scharff has written numerous works about the history of women in the United States. At the Autry she works with Dr. Carolyn Brucken, Curator of Western Women's History, to develop exhibitions and programs about women and gender, including Home Lands: How Women Made the West.

WOMEN OF THE WEST® (Click image for details)

Painting by Henri Penelon, PORTRAIT OF A GIRL, 1860s. Portrait of a young member of the Sepúlveda family, dressed in the latest American style of the time.

Brown, gold, yellow, red and orange cotton quilt titled LATE FALL TIME made by Josephine Red Elk, a Lakota Sioux woman, circa 1970s-1990s.

Photograph by Frank J. Haynes of sixteen unidentified women in Yellowstone National Park, 1890s.

Bulto by Gloria Lopez Cordova of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, 1990.

Inuit child's sealskin moccasins, upper made from green felt or flannel with beaded floral design, lined with flannel, collected Alaska, acquired by the Museum 1930.

Sewing box with two sections inlaid with exotic woods imported from Hawaii, South American and Asia, late 1700s.

Photograph of a family portrait in Chinatown, San Francisco, California, late 1800s to early 1900s.

Woman's turquoise cotton dress with multi-colored embroidery and gold lame jacket designed and made by Guido F. Miele, circa mid-1940s.

Wood acoustic guitar made by the Larson Brothers, circa 1937. Made for Patsy Montana at her request for a guitar similar to a Martin guitar. This became one of the brands of guitars the Larsons made along with the Maurer and Prairie State.

Woman's blue and white buckskin dress made by the Sioux Indians, circa 1900.

Navajo First Phase chief-style blanket (beeldlei or hanolchadi), 1880-1910.

Woman's blue, grey and brown striped silk and velvet outfit (bodice, skirt) handstitched by Janette Sherlock Smith, 1875.


Christmas Song History

Every song has a story behind its genesis and Gene Autry's music has some great tales to tell. Here is a brief history of Gene's beloved holiday hits written by Jon Guyot Smith from the Grammy Nominated box set Sing, Cowboy, Sing!: The Gene Autry Collection released by Rhino Records, © 1997 Rhino Entertainment Company, re-printed by permission.

Here Comes Santa Claus
(Right Down Santa Claus Lane)

Gene was riding his horse, Champion, down Hollywood Boulevard for the annual Christmas parade in 1946 when, hearing the crowds of children gleefully crying, "Here comes Santa Claus!" he was inspired to write a song. He turned his sketch over to Oakley Haldeman (then in charge of Gene's music publishing firms) and legendary A&R chief "Uncle" Art Satherley. They completed the lead sheet, hastening a copy over to singer/guitarist Johnny Bond's home to make an acetate disc of the finished product. A cocktail was mixed for Uncle Art, who sipped near the microphone while Bond sang Here Comes Santa Claus for the first time. When the group heard the ice cubes jingling so merrily on the playback, they were inspired to use a "jingle bell" sound on Gene's record! It was the first Gene Autry Christmas release, a huge commercial and artistic triumph that opened the door to an unexpected extension of his phenomenal career.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

After the success of Here Comes Santa Claus, every songwriter on the planet was imploring Gene to record his or her marvelous Christmas composition. He received hundreds of lead sheets and home recordings, all of which he carefully studied.

Ina Autry, to whom Gene was married for nearly a half century, was an individual possessing both charm and superb judgment, and was as well-loved by fans and industry personnel as was the cowboy himself. When Gene passed on Johnny Marks' "Rudolph" in the belief that the song did not suit his image, Ina urged him to reconsider. She loved the line about Rudolph's exclusion from "reindeer games" and felt that the "ugly duckling" theme would appeal strongly to the young-at-heart.

Ina's advice was as sound as ever. Gene's 1949 platter became the biggest seller the Columbia label had ever known. It reappeared on the charts each Christmas season for several years, and the 1957 remake for his own Challenge label was likewise a hit. Although the lyric has no connection with cowboys or country & western themes, the simple tale of the physically challenged reindeer remains Gene Autry's all-time biggest seller.


Gene Autry Museum

This photograph is part of the collection entitled: Jim Argo Collection and was provided by the Oklahoma Historical Society to The Gateway to Oklahoma History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this photograph can be viewed below.

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this photograph or its content.

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Oklahoma Historical Society

In 1893, members of the Oklahoma Territory Press Association formed the Oklahoma Historical Society to keep a detailed record of Oklahoma history and preserve it for future generations. The Oklahoma History Center opened in 2005, and operates in Oklahoma City.

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Descriptive information to help identify this photograph. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Gateway.

Description

Photograph of a scene at the Gene Autry Museum.

Physical Description

1 photograph : col. 18 x 24 mm.

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Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this photograph in the Gateway or other systems.

  • Accession or Local Control No: 23389.54.45
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1644756

Collections

This photograph is part of the following collection of related materials.

Jim Argo Collection

Spanning the years 1950 to 2008, this collection of more than 50,000 images covers communities across Oklahoma, along with their events, scenery, buildings, art, businesses, industries, and people. Photojournalist Jim Argo co-authored three books on Oklahoma and contributed photographs to another fourteen. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 1997.


Welcome To The Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum

Welcome Ya’ll! This is the Official Website of the Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum! We hope you come see us in person real soon but in the meantime, you can learn a bit about us and see a sampling of what we’re all about right here!

The Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum houses the World’s Largest Collection of Vintage Cowboys in Entertainment Memorabilia from the 1920s to present day. Of course, Gene Autry and the Singing Cowboys are prominent but we just love all cowboys (and cowgirls). Cowboys and Cowgirls from Radio to Vinyl to Tape to CDs and from Film to Television to YouTube (live or animated) and web, they’re all so entertaining!

Visitors to the Museum learn about the Cowboy Way of Life, enjoy past memories while creating new ones, and discover a bit about what was Berwyn, Oklahoma, now the Town of Gene Autry.

Admission to the Museum is by donation. Currently, the Museum is supported solely by donations. We recommend going through the Museum first and then donate what you’re comfortable giving.


Watch the video: GENE AUTRY - SERIE TV SUBTITULADO ESPAÑOL (August 2022).

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