Warner Chappell Music has acquired all four publishing companies that comprise the Gene Autry Music Group, the company announced Thursday (May 30).
The combined catalogues of the four companies contain more than 1,500 songs, including such Gene Autry classics as “Back In The Saddle Again,” “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane),” “Just Walkin’ In The Rain” and “You Belong To Me.”
“Gene Autry is an icon in American culture and a pioneer in the evolution of both country and pop music,” said Warner Chappell Music co-chair and CEO Guy Moot and co-chair and COO Carianne Marshall in a joint statement. “He was not only an incredibly gifted and prolific songwriter, but he assembled an extraordinary publishing catalogue filled with timeless classics and undiscovered gems. We are honored and privileged to be the stewards of this outstanding body of work and help preserve and enhance Gene Autry’s monumental legacy.”
Warner Chappell additionally announced that they will be administering several master recordings from the Autry estate “to facilitate one-stop synchronization licensing.”
“The Gene Autry Music Group has a long association with Warner Chappell Music,” added Autry’s widow, Jackie Autry. “I’m delighted that Gene’s songs and music catalogues have found a good home with them. I know the music will be treasured and respected for years to come.”
Famously known as “The Singing Cowboy,” Autry recorded over 640 songs (300 of which he wrote or co-wrote) and sold more than 100 million records over the course of his career. He also starred in 93 feature films and on 91 episodes of the CBS television series The Gene Autry Show. Additionally, he was a business mogul who owned radio and TV stations, hotels and the Anaheim Angels baseball team, among other interests. In 1988, he founded the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park.
Autry died in 1998 at age 91.