The Official Website of Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

Fun Autry Fact:

When he was a young man, Gene received an offer from a professional baseball team to become a player. Gene turned down the offer because it would have meant a fifty-dollar-a-month pay cut from his telegrapher's job.

Watch a Gene Autry Video Clip

Private Buckaroo
Gene Autry's Melody Ranch Radio Show
(July 26, 1942)

Gene Autry's Melody Ranch Radio Show broadcast from WBBM in Chicago, Illinois on July 26, 1942 was a very special program. During the show, Republic Pictures great cowboy star Gene Autry became Sgt. Gene Autry when he was sworn into the United States Army Air Forces.

This clip from the radio show begins immediately after Gene Autry took his Oath of Enlistment. First Gene explains why he is happy to enlist and encourages other fellows to join because "now is the time your Country needs you more than ever before."

"Shorty Long" then joins Gene, asking the question that everyone at home listening must be asking as well, "Sergeant jest what's gonna happen to you?" Colonel Ed Shaiffer, Chicago District Recruiting Officer who enlisted Gene, explains and then gives Sgt. Autry his first command, "Sergeant Autry, a song."

Sgt. Autry, backed by Carl Cotner's Orchestra and Eddie Dean, Jimmie Dean, and Dick Reinhart, then sings "Private Buckaroo."

The very next week, the radio show changed its name to "Sgt. Gene Autry" and was part of Gene's military duties from August 2, 1942 until August 1, 1943. After the war, "Gene Autry's Melody Ranch" radio show returned to the CBS radio network on September 23, 1945.

Written by Allie Wrubel & Charles Newman

© Autry Qualified Interest Trust and The Autry Foundation

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