Finding Aid to the Golden West Broadcasters Meeting Minutes and Business Records MSA.41
Finding aid prepared by Holly Rose Larson
Autry National Center, Autry Library2012 July 9
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
(323) 667-2000 ext. 349
Title: Golden West Broadcasting Meeting Minutes and Business Records
Identifier/Call Number: MSA.41
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Autry Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 Linear feet (3 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1951-2000
Abstract: Golden West Broadcasters was a corporation founded by Gene Autry in 1964 for the purpose of managing his business interests. Autry, famous for being a musician and actor, was also a savvy business man, buying radio and television stations in the 1950s, and participating in other business ventures including real estate, toy production, and ownership of the Anaheim Angels baseball team. Golden West Broadcasters was an umbrella corporation Autry used to manage his various business interests in Arizona, California, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Washington states. This collection of binders contains meeting minutes and business records for Golden West Broadcasters and some of its properties from 1951-2000, including Golden West Baseball Company, Range Rider Productions, Incorporated, and SigAlert & Airwatch, Incorporated.
creator: Autry, Gene, 1907-1998
creator: Golden West Broadcasters
Donated by Autry Qualified Interest Trust to the Museum of the American West, 2003 September 18. Archival records transferred to the Institute for the Study of the American West, 2006, December 12.
Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. An item-level inventory is available from library staff.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Initial inventory, physical processing, and cataloging by Autry National Center staff. Additional processing and finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Project Archivist, July 9, 2012, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
This collection consists of binders from various Golden West Broadcasters, Incorporated branches. Binders are often titled “Meeting Minutes” but may also contain articles, by-laws, correspondence, financial records, journals, ledgers, pamphlets, and other business records for Golden West Broadcasters, Incorporated, as well as organizations under the Golden West Broadcasters umbrella in Arizona, California, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Washington states. The binders in this collection are titled:
- Gene Autry Real Estate Company
- Golden West Baseball Company
- Golden West Broadcasters Benefit Committee
- Golden West Communications
- Golden West STV of Oklahoma City, Incorporated
- KLPZ, Inc.
- KQFM, Inc.
- K.U.T.E, Inc.
- KVI, Inc.
- Market Buy Market, Inc.
- Project Designers, Inc.
- Range Rider Productions, Inc.
- Sigalert and Airwatch, Incorporated
- WCXI-FM, Inc.
- WCXI-AM, Inc.
- WCAR, Inc.
From 1940 to 1956 the public listened to Autry on his "Melody Ranch" radio show, heard weekly over the CBS Radio Network,and featuring his trademark theme song "Back in the Saddle Again." Autry joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and became a Flight Officer, ferrying fuel, ammunition, and arms in the China-India-Burma area, flying over the area known as “The Hump” in the Himalayas during World War II. When the war ended, Autry was reassigned to Special Services, where he toured with a USO troupe in the South Pacific before resuming his movie career in 1946. In 1950, Autry became the first major movie star to use the television medium, producing and starring in his own television show through his production company Flying A Pictures, as well as producing other television series in which he had no acting role.
By 1952, Autry began expanding into other business ventures besides the creation of his own artistic material. Some were allied with entertainment, such as the ownership and directorship of radio stations, television stations, rodeos, production companies, and music publishing companies. But he also pursued opportunities in livestock, oil well drilling and operation, real estate management, licensing of toys and other merchandise, hotel and motel operation, and interior design. He was a keen businessman in his field and met matched success in most of his non-entertainment business ventures. His company Golden West Broadcasters, managed such organizations as Sigalert, KOOL Radio-Television, Inc. in Phoenix, and KTLA in Los Angeles. Autry also dreamed of building a museum showcasing the heritage of the West and its influence on America and the world. He founded the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, now known as the Autry National Center, in 1988.
In 1960, Autry's great love for baseball prompted him to acquire the Los Angeles Angels under his corporation Golden West Baseball Company. Autry held the title of Vice President of the Angels until his death in 1998. The Angel’s official name and location changed twice during Autry’s tenure as owner and VP. The Los Angeles Angels played their first season under Autry’s ownership in 1961 at the Wrigley Stadium in Los Angeles, then in 1962, moved to Chavez Ravine (now known as Dodger Stadium). In 1965, the team changed its name to the California Angels, and in 1966, moved into their new stadium in the city of Anaheim. Although Anaheim was the team’s home base as of 1966, their name didn’t change to the Anaheim Angels until 1996. The team is currently known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Autry’s first wife, Ina Mae Spivey, and his second wife, Jacqueline (Jackie) Ellam, both participated in Autry’s other business ventures, often in administrative and executive positions. Jackie Autry currently serves as Lifetime Director and Chairman Emeritus of the Autry National Center and Honorary American League President of Major League Baseball. Jackie Autry is the Director and President of The Autry Foundation and served as director and President of Gene Autry’s organizations Golden West Baseball Company and Golden West Broadcasters.
The businesses Gene Autry owned and controlled at different times from 1945-1999 were Flying A Pictures, Inc., Gene Autry Productions, Gene Autry Real Estate Co., Gene Autry Realty Company, Gene Autry Records, Inc., Gene Autry Tours, Inc., Golden West Baseball Company, Golden West Broadcasters, Golden West Communications, Golden West Melodies, Inc., Market Buy Market, Inc., Melody Ranch Music Company, Inc., Project Designers, Inc., Range Rider Productions, Inc., Ridgeway Music Company, Inc., Siagalert/Airwatch, Inc., Tie-Ups, Inc., and Western Music Publishing Company. Golden West Broadcasters oversaw KEX and KQFM in Portland, Oregon; KOOL Radio-Television, Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona; KPLZ and KVI in Seattle, Washington; KMPC, KTLA, and KUTE in Los Angeles, KSFO in San Francisco, California; and stations WCXI-FM, WCXI-AM, and WCAR in Detroit, Michigan.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Gene Autry Real Estate Company.
Golden West Baseball Company.
Range Rider Productions, Inc.
SigAlert & Airwatch, Inc.
Broadcasting -- United States
Bylaws (administrative records)
California -- History
Radio broadcasting -- United States
Television broadcasting -- United States