Gene Autry was more than a musician. His music, coupled with his careers in movies and on radio and television, made him a part of the mythos that has made up the American identity for the past hundred years -- John Wayne with a little bit of Sam Houston and Davy Crockett all rolled into one, with a great singing voice and an ear for music added on. He defined country music for two generations of listeners, cowboy songs for much of the 20th century, and American music for much of the world. He was country music's first genuine "multimedia" star, the best-known country & western singer on records, in movies, on radio, and on television from the early '30s until the mid-'50s. His 300 songs cut between 1929 and 1964 include nine gold record awards and one platinum record; his 93 movies saved one big chunk of the movie industry, delighted millions, and made millionaires of several producers (as well as Autry himself); his radio and television shows were even more popular and successful; and a number of his songs outside of the country & western field have become American pop culture touchstones.