Autry’s Influence on Pop Christmas Music

By Tracy Conrad | Desert Sun

Christmas and cowboys seem an unlikely combination. But Christmas has a lot to do with one particular cowboy, who was one of the most important personages to call Palm Springs home, Gene Autry. Autry’s accomplishments are legion and legendary in many different arenas, from the hotel business to professional baseball, radio and rodeos. But, Autry’s association with the genesis of Christmas in today’s popular culture is not that well known. So, entrenched is Gene Autry’s songs in Christmas celebrations today, it is hard to imagine these tunes only date back to the 1940s. That they were written by or made famous by the signing cowboy is remarkable… including “Here Comes Santa Claus!”


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