How much was Gene Autry worth?

Net Worth:$500 Million
Profession:Professional Singer
Date of Birth:September 29, 1907
Country:United States of America
1.75 m

Who Is Gene Autry

Orvon Grover “Gene” Autry was born on September 29, 1907, in Tioga, Texas. He died October 2, 1998, in Studio City, California; he was 91 years old.

“The Singing Cowboy”, Gene Autry, was an American singer, songwriter, actor, musician, and rodeo performer who had a net worth of $500 million dollars (adjusted for inflation) at the time of his death, in 1998.

The Gene Autry Cowboy Code

For his CBS radio program Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch (1940-1956), Autry created a cowboy code to guide his young listeners in their day-to-day lives. It was later published in several magazines, including Life. The cowboy’s 10 commandments are as follows:

  1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
  2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
  3. He must always tell the truth.
  4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
  5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  6. He must help people in distress.
  7. He must be a good worker.
  8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
  9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.
  10. The Cowboy is a patriot.
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Early Years

Gene Autry expressed his first interest in music with a $12 Sears guitar. When his family moved from Texas to Oklahoma, Autry worked as a telegraph operator for the St. Louis & Frisco railroad. Wanting to put his voice on wax, Autry left his job to audition for record companies in New York City. He didn’t land a contract, but when he returned home he was a little wiser about what it would take to become a successful performer.

Autry’s Big Break

Back in Tulsa, the young singer performed Jimmie Rodgers standards for KVOO radio. After two years, the more experienced Autry returned to New York City in late 1929, and recorded sides for multiple labels. Autry first hit was “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine.” That success landed him a regular slot on Chicago radio’s WLS with his own program, Conqueror Record Time.

A Singing Cowboy is Born

Autry began toying with Western-themed tunes in 1933. They became an indelible part of his image with the popularity of the songs “Cowboy’s Heaven” and “The Last Roundup,” and his first movie role in 1934’s In Old Santa Fe. It led to a long relationship with Republic Pictures, and long run of cowboy pictures that made Autry one of the biggest Western stars in the U.S.

Hero for Troubled Times

By the time Autry became a star, America was deep in the Great Depression. His romantic ballads of riding the high plains, accountable to no one but himself, struck a chord with audiences yearning for a simpler era. His clean-cut cowboys on the silver screen appealed to the same desires. Before riding into the sunset, Autry’s sagebrush troubadours had walloped the outlaws, kissed the girl, and delighted the audience with a few songs sung in his steady baritone.

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The Post-War Period

World War II delivered America from the Depression, but Gene Autry remained one of Hollywood’s most popular stars. His musical career remained stronger still, thanks to a series of popular Christmas recordings: “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Frosty the Snowman.” These successes helped the country singer sell over a million records in the post-war decades.

In 1950, Gene Autry made the move to television with The Gene Autry Show, which ran until 1956.

Key Facts:

  • In 1937, movie theater owners voted Autry as the top box-office draw for Westerns.
  • Champion was the name of Autry’s favorite movie horse.
  • In 1960, Autry became a baseball team owner when he purchased the Los Angeles Angels.
  • Autry was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969.

Best Songs

  • “Back in the Saddle Again”
  • “(I’ve Got Spurs That) Jingle, Jangle, Jingle”
  • “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds”
  • “You are My Sunshine”

Recommended Recordings

  • Essential Gene Autry, 1933-1946 (1992, Columbia Records): This greatest hits collection focuses on Autry during his cowboy country heyday. Also included in 18-track set is the unreleased song “Ole Faithful.”
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