Presenting…..Gene Autry “Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum”

Presenting…..Gene Autry “Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum”


Well folks I hope you enjoyed the
picture Barbed Wire. It’s a great picture Yeah, a lot of fun and… Yeah and you
know there’s collectors of barbed wire they got just, thousands of people out
there, there’s probably more collectors of barbed wire than there is of coat
hangers or anything else. Sure I’ve got a big plaque of wire Well in fact among
the many great artifacts in the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum that you
folks are putting together out there there’s a big display, the biggest bunch of
barbed wire, and it’s all dated as to what year that it come in, and they’re
coming in, and it looked like this, and then they changed it look like this, and
it’s really something to see, people who want to come see that. Hugh O’Brian did a good job there too
and in Wyatt Earp he did a good job I, speaking Wyatt Earp, I understand that
among the many historical artifacts that you’re going to have in the Gene Autry
Western Heritage Museum is going to be the Wyatt Earp the original Wyatt Earp’s
gun that he used in the Battle of the OK Corral. That’s absolutely correct Pat, that’s it. Whoa, that’s really, was something to find that gun. Oh yeah, and there’ll be a lot more of them like that too Ah, you know Gene ah, the other day I was tellin’ you, been
getting a lot of mail from the folks at watching these great western pictures of
yours that’s being shown for the first time on television and a lot of
questions and all, one of them that we get a lot of, is asking about your saddle.
The one you use the same saddle In most all your pictures didn’t you? Yes the ah, the
saddle that I have used in all of the movies was made back in 1934 by a fellow
named Jim Davis he was the saddle maker. And then, later, when I built a rodeo, why
a fella by the name of Gilmore, he made about 70 saddles for me, that about
twelve of ’em had silver pesos, Mexican pesos around the skirt, and all over the saddle,
and we used those for the grand entry you know everybody had to carry a flag,
and then the twelve special saddles that I had made was for the quadrille on
horseback, and that that was the beginning of the
real show stuff. Oh yeah I remember those spectacular saddles and the shows at the
rodeo and all. Saddle making is kind of a lost art it was such a tough thing to do. Yes it is a lost art, and there, there’s not too many good saddle makers left. When it comes to the real high-class saddles with all the gold and
silver on them I think the best in that was a fella named Ed Bohlin. Bohlin saddles, they’re famous. Yes he made those famous saddles and he was also a
silversmith, and he was a Swede and he made, I would say 75 to 85% of all the
saddles that you see in the Rose Bowl parade and all of the big
parades where you see those gorgeous saddles, well Ed Bohlin made ’em. I’ve got
four of those saddles, and one of them is probably the greatest saddle
that was ever built, it took Ed Bohlin 14 years to do it, and he kind of
worked on it in his spare time but this saddle has about four different
colors of gold in it and on each of the skirts and the horn and all it
represents all the animals in the American Western states, and also all of
the birds of the western states, it’s really quite a saddle. It’s on display, has been I think for about eight months at the Metropolitan Museum
of Art in New York, and it’s going to be displayed and all at the Gene Autry
Western Heritage Museum. Yes I’m really looking forward to the opening of the
great Museum we’re gonna have a lot of artifacts that you’re going to love, too. You know we’ve been getting a lot of
mail and we try and answer questions and we got a stack of them about, they see
the credits at the end the producer Jackie Autry, and they say who is Jackie
Autry? Gene: Who is Jackie Autry? Jackie Autry was a former vice-president of one
of the big banks in California but now here is Jackie Autry my wife. Good morning it’s nice to be on your show this morning Pat and Gene. Well it’s also nice to have you here. Thank you. Pat: Well you, you’re getting paid on this now, aren’t you? Jackie: Yeah he’s paying me minimum wage to appear on here as usual. Pat: She’s still a banker (laughs). Gene: Still a banker at heart. Pat: She ah, you were a loan arranger,
arranged Gene’s loans at the bank Yeah, I’ve known Gene since 1964, I um,
he banked with me down in Palm Springs and um, Pat: I remember when you were married
that was what, six years ago? Jackie: About six years ago July of 81. And the headlines in the paper says
“Gene Autry Marries Loan Arranger”. (laughs) That’s right, that’s right. Pat: That was cute! Pat: Well you sure have been good
for Gene and for all of us that work with him and all, getting us on time here
and there, and just everything else. Jackie: Well it’s been fun putting the show together and
getting everybody out here to do the show and I’ve enjoyed it and I think
everybody else has. Everybody has, and you’ve done a great job for us too.
You know Pat, I wanted to build a museum for many years, and kind of leave something
for the new generation, or the future generations to see when I’m gone. And we
have a lot of people asked just what this is going to be, and I turned it all
over to Jackie, I said Jackie you can have the money now to build the
museum building, and after it’s built why it’s up to you to put it all together
and she has carried the ball on this thing all the way through. So you’re
going to hear it right from the horse’s mouth. Pat: Oh that’s good! Well I know we’ve
gotten a lot of questions from the fans out there wondering about the museum and
and Gene asked me if I’d come over this morning and perhaps explain what
we’re doing but, we’re building a museum in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, it’s a
hundred and forty thousand square foot building so the fans out there, who can
just envision what the size of their home is the barn and rewrite and relate
that to the size of this building it is awesome. The city of Los Angeles was so
delighted about the museum that they offered us 13 acres of land in Griffith
Park which we are currently leasing, and this is a serious Western History Museum
it will depict the cowboy from the 16th century conquistador, which is really
where the cowboy began, to the modern-day cowboy. In addition to that about 1/8 of
the gallery space within the museum will have what we call The Spirit of
Imagination and that’s where the world learned about our West through the B
western movie, starting with the silent film era, Bill Hart, Buck Jones, Tom Mix,
Ken Maynard, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and, I think it’s going to be a lot of
fun. It’s going to be a hands-on museum, there’ll be a theater there at the
museum, there’ll be a 230 seat theater that will show Western documentaries, B-
Western films, there’ll be an Education Center, so that kids will be able to come
from the school districts, local school districts, come to the Education Center,
be taken through the museum by people from our education department, and by
docents and learned about our history and how our forefathers came across the
mountains to Arizona and New Mexico and Colorado and Wyoming
in California, and how our West really began. So I think it’s gonna be a lot of
fun. Pat: And you’re putting it all together and calling it the Western Herit,
Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. It’s a yes, it’s a Western Heritage Museum it’s
being named after Gene Autry because Genes foundation is funding the
construction of this magnificent complex, and we felt that we should put his name
in association with this Western Heritage Museum. We hired some, some time
ago as part of our construction team Disney Imagineering
and they of course they’re doing all the exhibit designs within the museum so it
will be fun, it will be creative but at the same time very serious Museum. Pat: And very educational. Very educational that is correct. Pat: And ah, save a little space for the sidekicks there. Jackie: You bet. Pat: I’m enjoying hearing
Jackie Autry your wife tell about the great Western Heritage Museum. I see it
being built there you can see it right from the freeway and I go by every day
and it’s gonna be a big sucker I’ll tell you that. Jackie: It sure is, You know I think when we first
conceptualized this Pat we envisioned a much smaller building but as a
collection, the scope of the collection presented itself we realized that we
would never be able to fit it into a building of 70,000 square feet. You know
the interesting thing, people have asked for years about a Gene Autry museum and
I think they were thinking more of a personal Museum as opposed to the a
Western history museum with serious artifacts, and specifically Monte and
Joanne Hale who were very good friends of ours, were continuously talking to us
about a museum and and I finally got to the point where I said put up or shut up,
you know I can’t do it by myself you guys have got to help me and ah, so they
came they moved down from the Santa Barbara area of California and moved
into Studio, the Studio City area which is close to the museum and Joanne Hale
has been really a mover and doer and shaker
as far as this museum is concerned she is probably one of the brightest ladies
I have ever met. Astute businesswoman and I’ll tell you something without her
I really would tell you that this museum would never been able to be realized in
the scope and the magnitude that it has been, but she is the executive director
and she’s done an outstanding job and I’m very proud to be associated with
both she and Monte. Pat: Yeah and that ah, having the Disney Minds in there
with all of the great things they’ve done this has got to be a classical, real classy place it’s
gonna be great. Well it’s so, they have so much creative talent Pat
at the Disney organization and we were a little apprehensive initially about working
with Disney because we didn’t want people to think of this as a Disneyland
we wanted them to think about it as a serious accredited museum and in fact we
went to Epcot Center and saw that Disney has a very unique ability to light a
serious artifact in a most unusual way and deal with serious artifacts in a
professional manner and so we hired them and their creative genius is so
unbelievable it’s been it’s been a delight it really has. Yeah, it’s gonna be
great

7 Comments

  1. I remember this. This was back in the days of TNN. Gone forever now. Gene was my childhood hero. I had a hat, cap pistol, spurs and I even chewed Double Mint gum. That was when the gum was the real stuff.

  2. I have loved the Autry Museum since just about day one and have visited MANY times. One of my favorite places on earth. I wonder what Gene would think of the museum today.

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