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Showing posts with the label KVOO

September 29: Happy Birthday, Gene Autry

Today marks the birthday, in 1907, of Gene Autry , song-writer, singer, cowboy, singing cowboy , actor, radio star, and baseball team owner. A teenage Autry took a job operating a telegraph wire, sending people's messages for them.  One day, in walked the comedian Will Rogers .  Autry, a good worker though he may have been, happened to have been playing a guitar between customers.  Rogers was impressed with what he heard and encouraged Autry to go into show biz. To Autry this meant landing a spot of Tulsa's KVOO, billed as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy." From there it was a successful radio career that would then propel Autry into the role of radio host, taking the helm of a show sponsored by Wrigley's.  The CBS show put on a spread, not just of music and comedy, but even drama.  It lasted a lot longer than a stick of gum: 16 years in all. In the spirit of honoring that kind of longevity, we take off our hats and offer a cowboy salute to Gene Autry .

September 2: Happy Birthday, Johnnie Lee Wills

Perhaps once when you were enjoying the swinging dance music of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, you wondered "how did one get to be a Playboy?" Well, being Bob's brother was the way Johnnie Lee Wills chose. The banjoist joined his brother on the road and in the studio, where the band hosted a show on Tulsa's KVOO.  Brother Bob set his compass for Hollywood, the band became " Johnnie Lee Wills and His Boys " and the show went on. Were they no longer playboys? Had they turned a new leaf and started practicing temperance? Probably not. In any event, the show ran exactly a quarter of a decade on KVOO, and did syndicated broadcasts after that. He also took the boys on the road. He and his family also ran a store that sold Western clothing. So let's salute a great musician and long-time radio host, born on this day in 1912.