Gene Autry bore an endearing title, "America's Singing Cowboy," a label that belied the breadth of his talents, the magnitude of his achievements or the extent of his impact on the American public. A modest man, Orvon Gene Autry was a Texan by birth, but an Okie by childhood, where his father, a poor tenant farmer and itinerant preacher, moved for better ground. Autry grew up in Ravia, Okla., stacking and bailing hay, listening to cowboy music, learning to ride on his father's farm and singing in the choir of his grandfather's church.