Centennial News: Public Cowboy No. 1
Posted June 8, 2006
Gene Autry Entertainment is a very busy place these days as we prepare for the Gene Autry Centennial in 2007. Here are just a few things we’ve been working on:
The Official Gene Autry Biography
We are excited to announce that the official Gene Autry biography book title will be Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry and it will be published by Oxford University Press in April 2007. Author Holly George-Warren (more) is currently researching and writing this in-depth book on America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy. Holly has been granted access to Gene’s most private correspondence and personal documents.
In addition, she has obtained detailed interviews with those closest to the Cowboy. She has walked in the footsteps of Gene Autry from Tioga to Hollywood and beyond. In fact, some of Holly’s research travels would make a book in itself, including a particularly memorable midnight adventure in one of the train yards where the young Gene worked all those years ago. This highly anticipated book will provide a vivid and accurate account of Gene Autry’s remarkable life.
Gene Autry DVDs
We’ve made a change with one of our 2007 DVD film releases: We are replacing Melody Trail with Public Cowboy No. 1. You’ll want to watch Gene Autry in the fully restored 1937 movie Public Cowboy No. 1 to get ready to read the official biography titled Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry. We will release Melody Trail on DVD in 2008...and before you email us...no, we have not yet selected all the 2008 DVD titles! That information will be announced in the Fall. And for those folks who have asked about The Gene Autry Show television program on DVD please know that we are still working on the authorized DVD release. As soon as we have information to share, we will post it here on the Official Gene Autry website. For information on the 2006 and 2007 DVDs titles, please read here and for information on the DVD box sets read here.
The Autry National Center
The good folks at the Autry National Center are working day and night on the upcoming Gene Autry and the Twentieth-Century West Centennial exhibition. We recently visited with the museum’s Sr. Curator Michael Duchemin and received the “paper tour” of the exhibit and, boy, we’re all really excited about this! Imagine detailing the enormous entertainment, business, and personal history of Gene Autry and presenting it all together in one place. We think you’ll have a greater understand of the Cowboy’s influence on popular culture, technology, and the West once you’ve toured this exhibit. The museum is also working on the special programming that goes along with the exhibit. In development at the moment are plans for movie screenings, music events, radio dramas, and panel discussions with special guests.
The Gene Autry Centennial
Fan Club Convention
The Autry’s Personal Assistant, Maxine Hansen, is the trail boss for this gathering of Gene Autry enthusiasts in Los Angeles during the Gene Autry Centennial celebration. The convention will be held during the first two weeks of August 2007. The exact dates will be set this month. Starting with the kickoff Welcome Party, the Gene Autry Centennial Fan Club Conventioneers will experience five exciting days of high adventure including: a Meet-and-Greet with Mrs. Autry at the Autry house; an Autry Museum extravaganza filled with memories, music, silver screen treats, and more than a few surprises; a trip back in time to the Hollywood of the 1930s and 1940s as seen through Gene Autry’s eyes; an Angels baseball event from #26’s viewpoint (that’s Gene’s retired baseball number); plus a trail ride to Melody Ranch. And that’s just for starters! Exact dates and details will be posted here very soon!
Gene Autry Melody Ranch
Radio Show Restoration
Starting with the very first broadcast on December 31, 1939 and going through the last broadcast in 1956, we are digitally restoring Gene Autry’s popular weekly radio program. It took one full year just to photocopy the radio show scripts! Every week our restoration engineer Bob Fisher cleans, assembles, and restores three to six shows from digital audio tapes of the original disc recordings. Some shows are in better shape than others, and each program is rich with information on “the boss man himself, Gene Autry.” Songs, performers, comedy routines, dramas, and other information for each broadcast are carefully documented by the Autry Office super assistant, Irynne Isip. We are currently working on the shows from the Fall of 1946 and Gene Autry Entertainment Vice President Karla Buhlman is so immersed in this project she carries Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum with her at all times and accidentally dated a document this week as “1946”! The restoration will continue through the end of the year and then we’ll begin sharing the information on the Melody Ranch Radio Show on the website and release plans for the shows. In the meantime, you can find restored Gene Autry radio programs as one of the many bonus items on the Image Entertainment released Gene Autry feature film DVDs.
New Gene Autry CDs
By now we hope you’ve read about our new CD Gene Autry and Friends Year-Round Cowboy Songs for the Whole Year that will be available on June 20th. This was such a fun album to put together! Like the title says, we’ve collected songs for the whole year including tunes for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Summertime, the Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course Christmas. The biggest surprise was finding the Irving Berlin penned song celebrating Income Tax Day! Cary Mansfield of Varese Sarabande Records and our own Karla Buhlman are working on several new Gene Autry CD release for the Centennial. At the moment we are researching the following album projects:
Until Next Time...
As we continue to work on all aspects of the Gene Autry Centennial we’ll keep you updated with information right here on the Official Gene Autry Website. In the meantime, we hope to see every Thursday in July at the Autry for Dinner and a Movie: Gene Autry Westerns.