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Posted October 1, 2010
Varese continues to mine the recorded legacy of Gene Autry. Having already anthologized every scrap of music from his 1950s television program, they delve back into the '40s to capture the then-Sergeant Autry's work on behalf of the war effort. Though Autry was on active duty during the war (primarily as a cargo pilot), he still contributed mightily as an entertainer, through the Wrigley Gum sponsored "Melody Ranch." ¶ This double-disc set collects primary recordings of patriotic tunes, along with continuity such as recruiting announcements, public service spots for bond and rubber drives, CBS network IDs, and plenty of Wrigley Doublemint Gum commercials. Disc one intersperses spoken word and musical passages, while disc two presents a complete recording of Autry's July 26, 1942 "Melody Ranch" program, during which he is inducted into the Army Air Force, live on the air! ¶ Varese's not only put together another valuable chapter on Autry, but a fascinating look at how entertainment was used to fuel the war effort. This is sure to be a hit with both Gene Autry fans, as well as those interested in WWII-era songs and ephemera.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.