Gene Autry

Gene Autry, 1930s

Gene Autry in the 1940s posing for a photo in his usual western getup.


Gene Autry was a popular actor, musician, and performer in the country and western genre of music. He began his rise to fame in the 1930s and eventually was at the peak of his career in the '40s and early '50s. He is credited with being one of the founding artists in the country genre along with Jimmie Rogers. He is famously known also for his christmas tunes, "Here Comes Santa Claus", "Frosty the Snowman", and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer". During the war, he influenced troops with his popular easy going western swing style of music and reminded fans of the genre of home. 

Gene Autry Enlists

Gene Autry is seen here getting his thumbprints taken as he enlists in the Army Air Force, 1942

Service in the War

During the war, he not only performed benefit shows but also was also a member of the Army Air Force. Initially, he was wanted for the Special Services to entertain troops overseas, but he knew he belonged up in the skies with the other airmen. He enlisted on his radio show, "Melody Ranch", in 1942. From there on, he served valiantly in the Pacific campagin, flying missions in India, Burma (Myanmar), and China. Allegedly, he was the only man allowed to wear cowboy boots while serving in the Army Air Force. He remained in service until 1946 as he toured U.S. bases entertaining troops awaiting to return home. 

The Music

Here is the one of the most famous Gene Autry songs, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Although made after the war, it shows us still that the country has not forgotten its musical patterns that it set forth in the war years era; simple and easy-going melodies.