23 Facts About Gene Austin


Lemeul Eugene Lucas, better known by his stage name Gene Austin, was an American singer and songwriter, one of the first "crooners".

FactSnippet No. 2,333,464

Gene Austin's recording of "My Blue Heaven" sold over five million copies and was for a while the largest selling record of all time.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,465

Gene Austin took the name "Gene Austin" from his stepfather, Jim Austin, a blacksmith.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,466

Gene Austin attended a vaudeville act in Houston, Texas, where the audience was allowed to come to the stage and sing.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,467

On returning to the United States in 1919, Gene Austin settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where he briefly studied dentistry and law.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,468

Gene Austin started writing songs and formed a vaudeville act with Roy Bergere, with whom he wrote "How Come You Do Me Like You Do".

FactSnippet No. 2,333,469

Gene Austin worked briefly in a club owned by Lou Clayton, who later was a part of the famous vaudeville team Clayton, Jackson and Durante.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,470

Gene Austin was an influential early crooner whose records in their day enjoyed record sales and the highest circulation.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,471

Gene Austin made a substantial number of influential recordings including a string of best-sellers.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,472

At the peak of his career Gene Austin demanded that the pianist Fats Waller alone could provide accompaniment on his records.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,473

Gene Austin's first recording was surreptitiously providing the vocals for the Tennessee guitarist George Reneau, whose own voice did not record well.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,474

In 1925, Gene Austin recorded his popular song "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street" for the Victor Talking Machine Company in a duet with Aileen Stanley.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,475

Gene Austin formed a trio with bassist Johnny Candido and guitarist Otto Heimel.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,476

Gene Austin stopped in Minden, Louisiana, and performed there in a popular tent show on the grounds of the local Coca-Cola plant owned by the Hunter family.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,477

Such later crooners as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Russ Columbo all credited Gene Austin with creating the musical genre that began their careers.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,478

Gene Austin influenced his friend, Jimmie Rodgers, and as such contributed to the birth of Country music.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,479

Gene Austin married his first wife, Kathryn Arnold, a dancer, in 1924 and divorced her in 1929.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,480

Gene Austin married his second wife, Agnes Antelline, in 1933, and their daughter Charlotte was born that same year.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,481

Gene Austin then married actress Doris Sherrell in 1940, and divorced her in 1946.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,482

Gene Austin married wife number four, LouCeil Hudson, a singer, in 1949, and the marriage lasted until 1966.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,483

Gene Austin married Gigi Theodorea in 1967 — his fifth and final marriage.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,484

Gene Austin retired to Palm Springs in the late 1950s and was active in civic boards there until 1970.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,485

Gene Austin died in Palm Springs of lung cancer and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

FactSnippet No. 2,333,486