Republic Pictures present "THE SINGING COWBOY" (1936) (56 mins/B&W)(Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- relive those thrilling days when the "First Singing Cowboy" Gene Autry took us down the dusty trails with hard riding and straight shooting hitting the bull's eye with excitement every time ... the Gene Autry series of B-Westerns were a staple of Saturday matinees in the 1930s and 1940s ... don't miss any of the Singing Cowboy's Gene Autry features loaded with action that will leave you wanting more of his B-Western adventures
Under Mack Wright (Director), Nat Levine (Producer), Tom Gibson (Short Story Author), Dorrell McGowan (Screenwriter), Stuart E. McGowan (Screenwriter), Edgar Lyons (Cinematographer), William Nobles (Cinematographer), Smiley Burnette (Songwriter), Oliver Drake (Songwriter), Harry Grey (Musical Direction/Supervision / Composer (Music Score), Les Orlebeck (Editor) --- released May 11, 1936 --- Republic was promoting Gene, already a popular radio entertainer and recording artist, as the singing cowboy, hence the title of this picture --- "The Singing Cowboy" is one of Gene Autry's early films --- Besides the typical humorous interplay between Gene and Frog, improving with each picture --- Earle Hodgins (portraying Prof. Pandow), who made a small fortune playing a carnival barker-type con artist, is in top form, given more lines than usual. A real hoot comes near the end when Hodgins has to finish a song started by Gene. Lois Wilde as Helen Blake, a tenderfoot posing as a cowgirl, shares some amusing moments with Gene --- An African American trio headed by Fred 'Snowflake' Toones performs a funny routine using cow horns as musical instruments --- Song performed are "THERE'S AN EMPTY COT IN THE BUNKHOUSE TONIGHT" (Gene Autry and Extras), "YA HOO" (Gene Autry & SmileyBurnette), "WE'RE ON THE AIR" (Gene Autry), "TRUE BLUE BILL" Gene Autry), "RAINBOW TRAIL" (Gene Autry and Lois Wilde), "DOWN IN SLUMBERLAND" (Gene Autry), "WE'RE ON THE AIR" (Gene Autry), "RAINBOW TRAIL" (Lois Wilde), "SCATTIN'" Snowflake and Extras), "THE NEW JASSACKAPHONE" (Smiley Burnette), "WASHBOARD AND ROOM" (Frankie Marvin), "MY OLD SADDLE PAL" (Gene Autry), "I'LL BE THINKING OF YOU, LITTLE GAL" (Gene Autry and Earl Hodgins) and "RAINBOW TRAIL" (Gene Autry) --- Gene was the first Western star to perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
the cast includes
Gene Autry ... Gene Autry
Smiley Burnette ... Frog Millhouse
Lois Wilde ... Helen Blake
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Martin
Champion ... Champion - Gene's Horse
Ann Gillis ... Lou Ann Stevens (as Ann Gilles)
Earle Hodgins ... Professor Sandow
Harvey Clark ... Henry Blake
John Van Pelt ... Steve Stevens
Earl Eby ... Herbert Trenton
Ken Cooper ... Henchman Bill
Jack Rockwell ... Sheriff
Tracy Layne ... Henchman Kirk
Jack Kirk ... Lane - Autry Cowhand & Musician
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Horn Player
1. Gene Autry
Date of Birth: 29 September 1907 - Near Tioga, Texas
Date of Death: 2 October 1998 - Studio City, Los Angeles, California
Special footnote, Orvon Gene Autry was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television --- Discovered by film producer Nat Levine in 1934, he and Burnette made their film debut for Mascot Pictures Corp. "In Old Santa Fe" as part of a singing cowboy quartet; he was then given the starring role by Levine in 1935 in the 12-part serial "The Phantom Empire" --- Shortly thereafter, Mascot was absorbed by the formation of Republic Pictures Corp. and Autry went along to make a further 44 films up to 1940, all B westerns in which he played under his own name, rode his horse Champion, had Burnette as his regular sidekick and had many opportunities to sing in each film --- Autry became the top Western star at the box-office by 1937, reaching his national peak of popularity from 1940 to 1942. His Gene Autry Flying "A" Ranch Rodeo show debuted in 1940 --- Gene Autry is the only celebrity to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one in each of the five categories maintained by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce --- Radio, Films, Recordings, Television and Live Theater.
2. Smiley Burnette
Date of Birth: 18 March 1911 - Summum, Illinois
Date of Death: 16 February 1967 - Encino, California
Second special footnote, Lester Alvin (Smiley) Burnette an American singer-songwriter who could play as many as 100 different musical instruments, was a successful comedy actor in Western films over three decades --- The popularity of Burnette's Frog Millhouse character, with his trademark floppy black hat, was such that when Autry left for World War II service he did sidekicks duties with Eddie Dew, Sunset Carson and Bob Livingston, plus nine other films with Roy Rogers. After leaving Republic Pictures in 1944, Burnette became the sidekick to Charles Starrett at Columbia Pictures in the long Durango Kid series. Starrett starred in the series from 1944 until 1952, and that pairing resulted in more than 50 films. After the Starrett series was over, Burnette joined Autry for his final six films, all released by Columbia Pictures in 1953.
1. Reminiscing with Gene Autry and Pat Buttram at the "Melody Ranch Theater"
2. "Don't Touch That Dial", Gene Autry is on the air - excerpts from the Original "Melody Ranch Radio Show"
3. Production and Publicity Stills
5. Poster and lobby Card Art
6. Trivia and Movie Facts
7. Original Press Kit Material
Check out a new book "Those Great Cowboy Sidekicks" by David Rothel, available from Amazon and Empire Publishing. . . Empire Publishing presents "Best of the Badmen", by Boyd Magers, Bob Nareau and Bobby Copeland telling the inside story in depth about some of the bad guys, the heavy and the villain who rode against the law and the heroes of our B-Westerns era --- also a complete account of "Roy Barcroft:King of the Badmen", which is the title of Bobby J. Copeland's book on the life and times of "Republic Pictures Number One Villain" --- pick up your copy today.
Hats off and thanks to Les Adams (collector/guideslines for character identification), Chuck Anderson (Webmaster: The Old Corral/B-Westerns.Com), Boyd Magers (Western Clippings), Bobby J. Copeland (author of "Trail Talk"), Rhonda Lemons (Empire Publishing Inc), Bob Nareau (author of "The Real Bob Steele") and Trevor Scott (Down Under Com) as they have rekindled my interest once again for Film Noir, B-Westerns and Serials --- looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '20s, '30s & '40s and B-Westerns ... order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- stay tuned once again for top notch action mixed with deadly adventure --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out Image Entertainment where they are experts in releasing B-Westerns --- all my heroes have been cowboys!
Total Time: 56 min on DVD ~ Image Video #3572. ~ (10/25/2005)