Cowboys of the Silver Screen
Issue Date: April 17, 2010
City: Oklahoma City, OK
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.5 x 10.75
In 1926, Gene Autry (1907-1998) was working as a telegraph operator when humorist Will Rogers overheard him singing. Rogers told Gene he was good enough to sing on the radio. Gene followed his advice and earned a spot on the radio show National Barn Dance as Oklahoma’s “Yodeling Cowboy.”
In 1934, Autry was cast in the film In Old Santa Fe. He only had one scene, where he sang a song and called a square dance, but his next appearance was much more important – starring in the 12-chapter movie short The Phantom Empire.
The following year Autry starred in Tumbling Tumbleweeds, which made him a household name and ushered in the era of the “singing cowboy.” The movie introduced a successful formula where Autry played himself. With the help of his sidekick Smiley and his horse Champion, Autry tracked down the bad guys and brought them to justice.
Known as “America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy,” Autry is the only entertainer to have five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Autry was the ultimate role model. He promoted clean living through his “Cowboy Code” – 10 virtues promoting an ethical, moral, and patriotic lifestyle. Through his movies, Autry entertained and inspired people throughout the world.