/arts-days/september/29

September 29

Gene Autry playing guitar

Gene Autry made several Christmas songs famous, including “Here Comes Santa Claus” (which he wrote) and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Photo by John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

1907: The Singing Cowboy
Gene Autry is born in Tioga, Texas
The five stars bearing Gene Autry’s name on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame are a testament to his versatility as a performer. The “Singing Cowboy,” as he was commonly known, earned stars for his work in radio, recording, television, movies, and theater. Autry is the only person to have been awarded five stars.

As a very popular public figure, Autry felt a personal responsibility to live by a creed he called the Cowboy Code, rules to live by that he hoped his young radio fans would emulate. Over the course of his multi-faceted life, Autry also served in the military, bought the Los Angeles Angels baseball team, and gave money to create a museum about the West, now known as the Autry National Center.
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