This Week In Texas Music History: Gene Austin
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet one of the most successful yet least well-known musicians ever to come from the Lone Star State.
Gene Austin died on January 24, 1972. Born Eugene Lucas on June 24, 1900, in Gainesville, Texas, he was only 15 when he began singing in vaudeville shows. Although Austin never learned to read music, he composed more than 100 songs, which were recorded by such stars as Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. Some of Austin’s tunes also became early jazz standards. Gene Austin also appeared in movies and was a popular singer in his own right. He sold more than 80 million recordings, including such hits as “Bye Bye, Blackbird” and “My Blue Heaven.”
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll celebrate a jazz musician who gained fame playing country music.