The TallyCast

…all polite and classy.

The Cowboy Code

Movie poster from

I was reminded this past weekend of how much I enjoy the Christmas music recorded by Gene Autry. Autry was one of the original “singing cowboys”, a movie cowboy and the host of a weekly radio show.

Gene Autry was also a songwriter.  He wrote Here Comes Santa Claus, a Christmas classic.   The first recorded version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer  was performed by him.

Hearing the fabulous Mistletones sing Autry’s music at the Old Capitol this past Sunday sent me off looking for details of a memory fragment from my childhood. When I was a kid, we had an old GE radio that was a major source of entertainment. One of the weekly shows I especially looked forward to hearing was the Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch.

The show featured songs and stories of the old west. That memory fragment had to do with Autry’s Cowboy Code, a set of conduct standards recommended by Gene to his young listeners.  Thanks to that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, I found the code. As a very young boy, Gene Autry was a hero and I did my best to live by his code.

The Cowboy Code

The cowboy must …

1. Never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage;

2. Never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him;

3. Always tell the truth;

4. Be gentle with children, the elderly and animals;

5. Not advocate or profess racially or religiously intolerant ideas;

6. Help people in distress;

7. Be a good worker;

8. Keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits;

9. Respect women, parents and his nation’s laws;

10. Be a patriot.

The photo of Gene Autry was found on Wikipedia, as was the image of hat tipping Calvin Coolidge.   You can listen to episodes of Melody Ranch on the Old Time Radio section of the Internet Archive.  A tip of the TallyCast cap to Doug Gauss who sent me down memory lane.  To hear Doug Gauss perform, you have to be lucky.

1 Comment

  1. In my church, we have a similar code of behavior but ours came from a different cowboy.

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