Trail_to_San_AntoneThere are several exhibits throughout the museum honoring the career of singing cowboy Gene Autry. With five stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Gene is the only entertainer to be recognized in all five categories; for film, television, radio, recording and live performance. In Lone Pine we honor his films and the music they contain. From the late 1930s to the mid-1950s Autry made over twenty theatrical features and twelve TV episodes for his CBS television show in the Lone Pine area.


The most prominent of the Autry exhibits features the 1941 Buick 8 Roadmaster convertible on loan to the museum from the collection of patron James Rogers. The car was featured in the Autry film features Autry (actually stuntman Joe Yrigoyen) jumping the car on his horse, Champion,  while leading lady, Peggy Stewart, reacts in the car. It is a magnificent car and an impressive movie stunt. A number of other stills from the movie featuring the car are also displayed. A large photo blowup from the film of the stunt is on display in the museum.

Trail to San Antone is solid entertainment for fans of Gene Autry . He’s backed up by the Cass County Boys (Fred S. Martin, Jerry Scoggins, and Bert Dodson), who do double duty as ranch hands and Autry’s back-up band. Dependable Republic Pictures heavy Tristram Coffin plays the bad guy, Cal Young, who’s attempting to derail the career of a young jockey named Ted Malloy (Johnny Duncan), whom Gene has taken under his wing. And the horrible comic relief is provided by the rubber-faced Sterling Holloway, as the cowardly and pencil-necked Droopy Stearns.

The film is bookended by performances of “Down the Trail to San Antone,” by Deuce Spriggins. Over the course of the picture, Autry and the Cass County Boys belt out plenty of pleasant country & western tunes, including Autry and Cindy Walker’s “The Cowboy Blues,” Spade Cooley’s “Shame on You,” Sid Robin’s “That’s My Home,” and Marty Symes and Joseph Burke’s “By the River of the Roses.”

"On Location" - A short interview with Peggy Stewart during the 2012 Lone Pine Film Festival talking about the 1947 Gene Autry film, The Trail to San Antone and clip of Champion jumping the Buick Roadmaster

Another featured exhibit honoring Gene Autry is a case displaying a suit and hat, with a pair of boots that belonged to Gene. There is also a window card and a press-book promoting his personal appearances from the late 1930s incorporated into this display. Around the museum are posters from several of his Lone Pine films. CowboyTriviaLogo

Gene’s legacy as an entertainer went far beyond his ninety plus films and his television series. He is also one of the most important country music figures. In addition to carrying country music to the world through his films, Autry was one of the most prolific recording artists of the formative years of country music. Beginning with his first big hit, “That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine,” recorded in 1932, Gene continued to produce hit records into the early 1960s when he stopped recording. As a businessman Gene’s company Golden West Broadcasting owned television stations around the Southwest. He also owned a number of hotels as well as the California Angels baseball team.

Other Items in our Museum gift shop30_Years_on_the_Road_with_Gene_Autry_sm

The Museum has published an exclusive and revealing book (available in the museums gift shop and online) about Gene’s extensive touring called Thirty Years on the Road With Gene Autry.

PTrail_to_San_Antone_Gene__Peggy_sm_125eggy Stewart:
One of the major leading ladies from the heyday of the B Western and serials, Peggy Stewart has been one of the staunchest supporters of both the Film Festival and the Lone Pine Museum, where she serves as a member of the Board of directors. Having worked with almost all of the B Western stars of the 1940s and 1950s, it is two films she made in Lone Pine with two of the leading singing cowboys that cement her place in Lone Pine film history. One is Trail to San Antone, a Gene Autry film featured in one of the prominent exhibits in the museum. The other is Utah, a Roy Rogers film where she is featured along with Dale Evans.    See Peggy Stewart on IMDB