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Western Classics


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An iconic figure of mid-20th Century America, Gene Autry (1907-1998) created the enduring persona of the singing cowboy. Originally a country stylist in the Jimmie Rodgers mold, Autry matured into an engaging baritone vocalist and cultivated a laidback, appealing western image that led to success on records, radio, film, and eventually television. A native of Tioga, Texas, Autry secured his professional career in 1931 with an early morning radio show on WLS, a Chicago station with a powerful signal that blanketed the Midwest and into the Appalachians. He recorded prolifically for the American Record Company, which distributed budget-priced releases to dime stores and mail-order houses. Autry's guest appearance in a 1934 Ken Maynard western led to his own movie contract the following year. Within three years movie exhibitors named Autry the top box office attraction in westerns. In 1940 CBS launched Autry's Melody Ranch series, a lively mix of western music, drama and comedy relief. The show ran until 1956, interrupted only by Autry's Army Air Corps service during World War II. After returning from the service, Autry recorded two albums of western standards in Los Angeles. Although he recorded most of the selected songs a decade earlier, Autry wanted new versions reflecting his current sound and style. Two years after the first album's release, Western Classics, Vol. 2 appeared in February 1949 in a four-record 78 rpm set and as a 10" long-play album. Dave Samuelson Camden, Indiana August 2019

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UPC Number: 136002155327

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