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Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry
by Holly George-Warren (Goodreads Author)
The only performer to earn 5 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame--for film, recordings, TV, radio, and live performance--Gene Autry was the singing cowboy king of American entertainment. Now, in Public Cowboy No.1, Holly George-Warren offers the first serious biography of this singular individual, in a fascinating narrative that traces Autry's climb from small-town farm bo ...more
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published March 20th 2007)
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This author took what could have been a very intersting book and made it extremely boring. 4/5 of the book covers his early life in detail [including how much he made each year working for the railroads and on each of his records]. I couldn't wait to get to his later life which was just skimmed over. For instance it was mentioned he bailed Johnny Cash out of jail-- but no details! Why write a book if you are going to ignore the part of his life that was important to the reader?
I've loved Gene Autry's music since I was a child. In my early years, the main musical acts I liked were Marty Robbins, Riders in the Sky, and Gene Autry. I wanted to play the acoustic guitar because of Gene, but unfortunately his influence wasn't enough for me to overcome my impatience with my inability to play a G chord on beat. He continues to influence me though, and I'm glad to know some of my more recent influences like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson were also quite inspired by Gene.
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1 1/2 stars would be my real rating. After hearing "Here comes Sabnta Claus" one night this holiday season it ocurred to me that I would like to more about Gene Autry. I had always heard he was an incredibly successful businessman as well as an entertainment mogul. Well, this is the wrong book to find out anything that might be that interesting. If you want to know when he recorded every song, filmed every movie, who played on the sessions and how much he made every year from most every source o ...more
I read Gene's autobiography, "Back in the Saddle," nearly thirty years ago and enjoyed it. George-Warren's book goes much deeper, leaving the hero of all us front-row kids just a little gut-shot. Okay, so Gene fooled around and developed a drinking problem. Maybe finding that out is a bit disappointing, but we're all grownups now, and understand nobody's perfect. And, sadly, neither was Gene, but at this late date it doesn't change anything. I loved those movies and all his songs. I still love l ...more
It is safe to say that there will never be another career quite like Gene Autry's again. A modestly talented country singer from hardscrabble beginnings, successful singing actor in the golden age of movie cowboys, transitioned efficiently to television in its early days, he managed his own career with great shrewdness to become an enormous star and an even more successful investor, ending his life greatly loved by his employees, including the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels baseball club. ...more
The first 100 pages were painfully slow. Ordinarily I would have moved on when I couldn't get into the book by then but I pushed through this one. Gene Autry's life was extraordinary. I was disappointed that he turned out to be quite the philanderer but I suppose I shouldn't be really. Overall, I'm glad I read the book. I have to admit that even I teared up a bit in the end.