A Note from Western Producer and Poet Jeff Hildebrandt
Posted September 6, 2007
Over the last several years, Gene Autry Entertainment has had the pleasure of working with Encore Westerns' Managing Producer Jeff Hildebrandt. He's a class act when it comes to putting together those special features related to Gene Autry that air on the Westerns channel.
And he is a cowboy poet to boot! Jeff and his film crew were in Los Angeles to cover the opening of the Autry National Center's exhibit on Gene Autry and later returned to Southern California to cover the Gene Autry Friends' Fan Club Convention. We asked Jeff to share some inside info on the upcoming Westerns channel special programming for Gene Autry's 100th Birthday with us. He was happy to oblige and even shared a very special poem about America's Favorite Singing Cowboy.
August 31, 2007
Hey, Gene Autry fans!
I sure enjoyed spending time with some of you as we toured Gene's special haunts around L.A. Wasn't that tour of his home something special? And how about rubbing shoulders with Monte Hale and Adrian Booth during lunch at The Autry National Center? What a treat!
Well, let me get to the point. As an Autry fan myself, I can't wait for his centennial birthday because Encore Westerns is going all out to celebrate. I guess you've heard that we're running 100 hours of nothing but Autry. That starts on September 28th at 8pm (eastern & pacific) with a half hour special we've put together. Some of you might just see yourselves. It's a retrospective of his career with insights into the movies and the man. This special, "Gene Autry: White Hat, Silver Screen" will be running throughout our 100 hour celebration. We've also created lots of special short subjects like "Musical Memories" introduced by some of today's singing cowboys. There are also a lot of stories from his friends and some special folks reminding us of Gene's Cowboy Code. Encore Westerns had a hand in restoring the Autry library of films and television shows and we're hoping you enjoy them.
One more thing, I just have to tip my hat to Karla and Maxine at the Autry Entertainment office for all their help and hard work. If you like what you see, tell them "thanks."
A Legend's Legacy
He's a Cowboy Legend from his hat to his boots. He could ride like the wind. He could rope and could shoot. And, when we were young, on a Saturday we'd watch him for hours at the matinee.
See him ride cross the prairie on Champion, his horse. He's the first singing cowboy. It's Gene Autry, of course. He lived by the law and Cowboy's Code that says give all you've got and just take what yer owed.
He was there when folks needed him, that was his way and Gene hoped that we'd do the same thing some day. The good guys are gone and what's left us today are heroes whose morals and feet are of clay.
So, I guess if young cowpokes are gonna learn how to respect one another, we've gotta start now to teach em there's value in all that God's made, to show love and compassion, not anger and hate. The young uns need heroes to learn what to do So, saddle up pard cause that hero is you.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2007