January 7, 1940: Commonly known as "the singing cowboy", the gate to Gene Autry 's Melody Ranch opened. He would entertain on CBS radio for the next sixteen years, excluding the years 1942-45, during which Gene Autry was enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Gene Autry's Melody Ranch was a weekly show that aired on CBS from 1940-1916. The show was such a hit among young listeners that Autry created the Cowboy Code, which listed 10 Cowboy commandments. Due to the popularity of his radio (and also film) performances, Autry had many imitators, but none of them reached the success of the original.