Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 31 Dec. '20, Willcox AZ; d 17 Dec. '99) Singer, songwriter. One of the few singing cowboys who was a real cowboy, a better actor and singer than most. He was a highly rated rodeo performer, and worked with actor Slim Pickens, who he said was the best of the rodeo clowns, and who later appeared in films with him. He studied electronics in California, was on the radio in New Jersey '44, Chicago National Barn Dance '45-50. He had his own TV show '50, reportedly seventh in national ratings, and made cheap films for Republic studio for years; had feature roles in other films and also narrated documentaries, often for Walt Disney. He had a no. 4 hit on 'Crying In The Chapel' in the country chart '53 (not his song), other hits in '60s. He owned a hotel in Mexico and a ranch in California and won various awards and honours; he continued to appear in rodeos for many years, and published more than 300 songs.
Rex Allen Jr (b 23 Aug. '47, Chicago) was one of four children, travelled with Rex Sr on rodeo tours as a child, had country hits on WB '70-80s (including four top tens) and was a headliner on Grand Ole Opry.