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 .