Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
This edition of Biography, the long running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of cowboy Gene Autry. Best known as the "Singing Cowboy," Autry got his start in 1926 while singing and playing his guitar to pass the time at his telegraph operator's job. Autry was a popular radio figure in the early 1930 and performed regularly at the Grand Ole Opry. In 1935, Autry moved to California permanently to break into the film business. He signed with Republic Pictures and made his film debut with The Phantom Empire. Autry, who also starred in Tumbling Tumbleweeds, the first western plotted around the main character's ability to sing, is credited with creating the musical Western. When Roy Rogers also joined Republic in 1938, the two actors became the country's best-loved cowboy team. Autry's other films include The Singing Cowboy and Rhythm of the Saddle. The winner of two Grammy Hall of Fame awards in 1985 and 1997, Autry is the only entertainer who can boast five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame for his work in motion pictures, radio, music recording, television, and live theater. Autry is also the former owner and founder of baseball's California Angels.