America's Favorite Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry was already a popular radio star and movie icon when he recorded Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) in 1947, a song which he co-wrote with Oakley Haldeman. The record launched Gene into yet another field of stardom, that of the role of the Christmas Cowboy. Gene Autry's affiliation with Old Saint Nick would lead him to record numerous Christmas songs including the chart topping holiday hit, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Gene also participated in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 1945, 1946, 1947, and was the Grand Marshal of the parade in 1980. Gene and his wife Jackie Autry rode in the parade in the early 1980s.
Half a century later, Gene is probably best known for his Christmas recordings of Here Comes Santa Claus and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Visit the Christmas Songs History section for the stories behind the songs. Rekindle that holiday feeling or create some new memories with the CDs and storybook below.
Christmas Song History
Gene Autry's association with Christmas began in 1947 with his classic Christmas song Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down anta Claus Lane). Inspired by the Hollywood Santa Claus Lane Parade, the song became a million seller for Gene and his recording remains popular today. You'll find information, photos, and Gene singing Here Comes Santa Claus in this special section.
"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen..." but do you know the story behind the most famous reindeer of all? Learn more about Gene Autry's 1949 classic Christmas recording Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer in this special Rudolph section. You'll find information on songwriter Johnny Marks, song lyrics, Gene Autry singing Rudolph more here.
Gene Autry Christmas YouTube Clips
Gene Autry's Melody Ranch Radio Show was broadcast weekly from 1940 to 1956. During the holiday season Gene and his musical cast performed a variety of Christmas songs and holiday humor. Today you can enjoy these vintage radio moments via the Gene Autry Official YouTube Channel's special playlists:
For more radio, movie, and television clips visit the Gene Autry Official YouTube Channel. Be sure to subscribe so you'll receive updates whenever Gene Autry Entertainment uploads new videos! Read More
ASCAP's Top Holiday Songs
Every year ASCAP provides a list of the top holiday songs played on the airwaves across America. Find out where Gene Autry's performances and songs rank year to year. ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Photo Album: 2005 Founder's Day Exhibit
“Gene Autry, The Christmas Cowboy”
Each fall, the Autry National Center presents a cameo exhibit focused on one special aspect of its founder's life and career. Currently on display are artifacts from Gene Autry's Christmas history including the outfit he wore in the Hollywood Christmas Parade and also featured on the cover of his Christmas album “Gene Autry Sings Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Other Christmas Favorites.” Can't visit Los Angeles to see it for yourself? Lucky for you we photographed the installation of this special display and you can see it all in our photo album.
Gene Autry Christmas CDs & LPs
Gene Autry A Melody Ranch Christmas
Gene Autry A Melody Ranch Christmas is a special album with a vintage radio show approach. It includes iconic and rare Christmas songs performed live on Gene Autry's popular Melody Ranch radio show by Gene, the Cass County Boys, the Pinafores, the Gene Autry Blue Jeans, Rosemary Clooney, and Carl Cotner's Orchestra. You'll also hear Gene introduce songs, Pat Buttram perform classic comedy, and Johnny Bond thoughtfully reflect on the season.
Originally released in 1957, this fondly remembered Gene Autry album features “America's Favorite Signing Cowboy” performing his classic Christmas songs. Gene's spoken introductions to his holiday hits make this unique Christmas album a very personal listening experience.
Originally released in 1957, this fondly remembered Gene Autry album features "America's Favorite Signing Cowboy" performing his classic Christmas songs. Gene's spoken introductions to his holiday hits make this unique Christmas album a very personal listening experience.
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
(2004) CD – Sold Out
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of the most familiar songs in all American music and was first recorded by Gene Autry. This CD includes Gene's original hit plus versions by The Temptations, Spike Jones, Bing Crosby, and many more!
Here Comes Santa Claus
Gene Autry recorded new versions of his greatest Christmas songs in the 1950s and '60s and for the first time ever they are together on one CD, Here Comes Santa Claus.
A Gene Autry Christmas
(1994) CD – Sold Out
A delightful compilation of Gene Autry's original 1940s and '50s Christmas recordings for Columbia Records.
Gene Autry Christmas Stuff
The Gene Autry Christmas Book
For the first time ever, Hal Leonard presents a collection of 25 Gene Autry Christmas classics.
Gene Autry Star Ornament
New this year, Gene Autry Entertainment and the Autry National Center are pleased to present the limited edition Gene Autry Star Ornament designed and created by artist Tandy Wilson.
Gene Autry and Rudolph T-Shirt
(2009) – Sold Out
Exclusive to the Autry National Center's Museum Store! Celebrate your favorite Singing Cowboy and your favorite flying reindeer with this Gene Autry and Rudolph T-shirt.
Gene Autry Centennial Artistry of Poland Glass Ornament
(2006) – Sold Out
Celebrate the Gene Autry Centennial with this special handmade glass ornament! Lovingly reproduced from a 1940s photograph of Gene Autry and Champion, this new and elaborate glass ornament will be cherished by Gene Autry fans for years to come.
Ladies' Limited Addition Handbag Holidaytime
(2005) – Sold Out
Take our favorite "Christmas Cowboy" with you everywhere you go! Seasonless and timeless, this unique handbag is made from an authentic Gene Autry Christmas record album, Holidaytime.
Commemorative 2002 Holiday Ornament
(2002) – Sold Out
The 2002 Gene Autry ornament is Gene and Champion riding along and roping. On the side is Gene's Martin D-45 guitar and all are surrounded by stars.
Here Comes Santa Claus
(2002) Book – Sold Out
Illustrator Bruce Whatley uses his artistry to bring to life the song's lyrics of hope and goodwill in his tale of a curious North Pole puppy that stows away on Santa's sleigh for an unforgettable Christmas adventure.
Vintage Gene Autry Christmas Items
Christmas Sheet Music Set
In addition to his singing and songwriting talents, Gene Autry was also a music publisher. Gene Autry Entertainment is pleased to provide this special set of original sheet music from his music company archives.
Holidaytime with Gene Autry
As the Christmas season approaches our thoughts turn more frequently to remembering the life and teaching of the One whose birth we celebrate on this day.
Christmastime with Gene Autry
This song book, with the charming Gene Autry Christmas cover illustration by Chuck Saxton, was released by Gene Autry's Western Music Publishing Co. in 1954.
To buy these items and much more, go to:
The Autry Museum of the American West's online Museum Store
Or contact the Museum Store at:
Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM PST
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST
Closed on Mondays
The sale of Gene Autry items will further the educational
and cultural mission of the renowned Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles.