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Gene Autry: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Here’s a hint: ‘round the campfire and onto the airwaves…

Gene Autry’s long and varied career began as an amateur singer on local broadcast radio in his hometown of Ravia, Oklahoma (apparently the home state of many a singing cowboy!). After successfully landing a recording contract, his rather strange entrance into films came in 1935, with the adventure serial “The Phantom Empire.” In this twelve-part cliffhanger, Autry played himself: a radio performer and singing cowboy named Gene Autry, who, along with several trusty young members of his fan-club, gets caught up in intrigue involving the long-lost, scientifically advanced underground Kingdom of Murania and its beautiful-yet-evil Queen Teeka. Autry soon moved on to more traditional Western fare. Ironically, however, his big break into radio wouldn’t come until 1940, meaning that before he became a radio star, Autry had played one in “The Phantom Empire.”

Music Heard On This Episode

Bob Nolan (1906-1980): Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Gene Autry — The Essential Gene Autry (Sony, 2005)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bob Nolan (1906-1980): Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Gene Autry — The Essential Gene Autry (Sony, 2005)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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