Gene Autry biography receives honor
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Gene Autry biography receives honor

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 – A biography of Gene Autry won an award as the best overall book on country music from the 25th annual International Country Music Conference (ICMC).

" Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry," written by Holly George-Warren and published by Oxford University Press, will receive the Belmont Book Award when the honors are formally presented in May. "It's a great honor to receive this award for my biography of a man who did so much to advance the popularity of country music around the world," said George-Warren. "Gene Autry inspired numerous legendary artists - from Johnny Cash to Solomon Burke to Bob Dylan. I'm thrilled that by recognizing my book, the Belmont Book Award is also acknowledging Gene Autry's many contributions to country music."

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a long-term commitment to linking books with country music. This year, the award will be presented to the Country Music Hall of Fame Foundation and Library. "This is the first time we've ever given the Lifetime Achievement Award to an institution," said Don Cusic, chair of the awards committee. "In the past, we have always recognized an individual with this award. However, it was clear to us that the Country Music Hall of Fame Foundation and Library deserves this honor."

The Charlie Lamb Awards are given to outstanding country music journalists. The 2008 honors will be awarded to Beverly Keel of The Tennessean in the contemporary category and entertainment industry veteran Barry McCloud in the lifetime category.

The winner of the Belmont Book Award receives $1,000, funded by the Mike Curb Family Foundation. Each of the recipients in the journalist category receives a check for $500, funded by Gary and Peggy Walker, owners of The Great Escape, in honor of legendary country music journalist Charlie Lamb. All of the awards will be presented at the International Country Music Conference, which will be held at Belmont University May 22-24.

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CD reviews for Gene Autry

Perhaps the most famous of the singing cowboys, Gene Autry made his mark on both the radio and the silver screen. This chronicles Autry's entry into showbiz with excerpts from radio programs he recorded during the '40's. Radio recordings of classics, such as "Back in the Saddle Again" and "Hair of Gold, Eyes of Blue," sound sweet and melancholy and a re-enactment of Autry's noteworthy meeting with Will Rogers is a fun listen. Newer fans seeking a little history, however, will be sorely disappointed. ...
Gene Autry: singer, radio host, film star, television pioneer, music publisher, label mogul, businessman, baseball team owner, museum benefactor. By today's standards, Autry might be criticized for being too commercial, but throughout the 90 years of his life, the original singing cowboy has been nothing but genuine. Like his character in his several westerns, Autry is the good guy. We like him. We always have, and we always will, with or without his many businesses. We like him so much that we'd ...

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