Gene Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998) was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television.
Christened Orvon Gene Autry, the grandson of a Methodist preacher, near Tioga, Texas, his parents, Delbert Autry and Elnora Ozmont, moved to Ravia, Oklahoma in the 1920s. After leaving high school in 1925, Autry worked as a telegrapher for the St. Louisâ€“San Francisco Railway.
= An amateur talent with the guitar and voice led to his performing at local dances. After an encouraging chance encounter with Will Rogers, he began performing on local radio in 1928 as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy".
= He signed a recording deal with Columbia Records in 1931. He worked in Chicago, Illinois on the WLS (AM) radio show National Barn Dance for four years with his own show where he met singer/songwriter Smiley Burnette. In his early recording career Autry covered various gendres, including a labor song, "The Death of Mother Jones" in 1931. But his first hit was in 1932 with That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine, a duet with fellow railroad man, Jimm...