The museum and the annual festival celebrate the legacy of the singing cowboys of the B-Western films of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. The festival is held on the weekend nearest film star Gene Autry’s birthday.
This year’s event will include vintage films, western and country music concerts, Western authors, cowboy lookalikes, a memorabilia auction and cowboy church.
The theme is “The Music, the Movies, the Memories.” Performances, discussions, seminars and film screenings will expand on the theme, and promise to evoke memories and create new ones.
Various regional performers will share their cowboy and country music. Cowboy poets and storytellers will share their best works. Film stars will reminisce, answer questions and talk with attendees. Western authors will talk about their works. Vendors will sell Western wares. Vintage and Western films will be shown throughout the weekend.
Set to participate are:
Film and TV stars: Denny Miller (Wagon Train), Donna Douglass ("Beverly Hillbillies"), Burton Gilliam (Blazing Saddles), James Hampton ("F Troop")
Entertainers: Les Gilliam, Call of the West (Jeanne and Jerome), Johnny Western, Andy Wilkinson, Prairie Moon, Yvonne Hollenbeck (cowboy poet), Bob and Barb Lewis, Bill Barwick
Authors: Bobby Copeland, Holly George-Warren, Francis “Mike” Nevins, James Rosin
Celebrities: Jeff Hildebrandt (The Western Channel)
Cowboy lookalikes: Dean Baker (Gene Autry), Bob Seiber (John Wayne), Alan Bye (Gabby Hayes), Don Cagle (The Lone Ranger), John Phipps (Tonto), Bob Wallace (Lash LaRue)
- Wednesday evening: Tex & Mary’s Open Stage Show (for non-booked entertainers)
- Thursday (Senior Day, Military Day, Red Hatters Day): special afternoon concert, evening sampler concert
- Friday: The Call of the West Show (evening)
- Saturday: Memorabilia Auction (morning), The Les Gilliam Show (evening)
- Sunday: cowboy church
Free motorhome parking is available in a meadow behind the museum. Hookups are not available. “We usually have everything from small pull-type trailers up to 40-foot motorhomes, and even a few big bus conversions,” said Mary Schutz, who handles programs and publicity for the museum. She and her husband, Richard, are FMCA members.
“Most RVers come for the three-day event, and do fine without electricity,” Ms. Shutz said. “The weather in Oklahoma at that time is very comfortable and one hardly ever needs air conditioning or heat, so it works well.”
There is a charge for admission to the Film & Music Festival, but admission to the museum itself is by donation, she said.
Festival tickets go on sale May 1. A special weekend pass will be available. Senior adults, ages 62 and over, will receive discounts on regular shows throughout the weekend. For more information about the festival, visit www.geneautryokmuseum.com