Cowboy singer, songwriter, and movie actor. Born December 5, 1901. Died February 21, 1979. Full name: Raymond Otis Whitley. Successful dual career in music and movies. Starred in sixteen singing cowboy shorts for RKO and appeared in sixty feature films overall, including his final film role in the 1956 epic, Giant. Wrote several western standards, including “Back in the Saddle Again,” and “Lonely River” (co-written with Fred Rose). Worked with Gibson Guitar Company to develop the J-200 model guitar, a prototype of the guitar model popularized by the singing cowboy films. Member, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
1974 July 1
(1 hour, 29 minutes)
Entertainer Ray Whitley talks about his career. Discussion includes his movie career in the late 1930s and early 1940s; experiences entertaining U. S. military troops; working with Gene Autry; his work as a rodeo entertainer, including a description of his stage show; his movie work after his termination from RKO Studios; managing the Sons of the Pioneers in the late 1930s; and memories from his career.