Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, March 28, 2019


Gene who?

Gene Austin (1900-1972) is considered by many to be the first crooner, influencing a generation of singers, including Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, among others.  Another person greatly influenced by Austin was Jimmie Rodgers, making Austin an unsung early hero of country music.  Former sideshow talker Colonel Tom Parker began in the music business in 1938 by promoting Austin; Parker went on to manage or promote such artists as Eddie Arnold, Hank Snow, and Minnie Pearl before grabbing the brass ring in 1955 when he began to manage Elvis Presley. 

Gene Austin began in vaudeville on a dare when he was fifteen, shortly before the boy joined the army and won the Mexican Service Medal while serving in General John Pershing's Pancho Villa expedition.  Out of the army in 1919, Austin began performing in local bars in Baltimore, moving once again to vaudeville and beginning a songwriting career.  Austin wrote over 100 songs despite never having leaned to read or notate music.  By 1925 he was recording with Victor records, selling more than 80 million records over the next decade.

Two of his recordings were entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Here's just a few of his songs, some of which he also wrote.

"My Blue Heaven"

"My Melancholy Baby"

"Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue"

"Ain't She Sweet"

"Bye Bye Blackbird"

"Jeannine I Dream of Lilac Time"


"When My Sugar Walks Down the Street" (with Aileen Stanley)

"The Lonesome Road"

"How Come You Do Me Like You Do"/"One Sweet Letter from You"/I Can't Give You Anything But Love"

"Under a Texas Moon"

"Did You Ever See a Dream Walking"

"Someday Sweetheart"

...and so many more...

1 comment:

  1. Cool...I'm not sure I've heard or heard of Austin previously...