Musical Western: Songs and Saddles - Featuring Gene Austin

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As the title betrays, Songs and Saddles is a quaint and enjoyable piece of Wild West musical Americana. Gene Austin was already a country music star, possibly the first ever true “crooner.” Songs and Saddles puts Austin on center stage, playing a cowboy hero who stops every once in a while to play a tune or two. In fact, Austin embarked on a singing tour with the film, showing it at his performances. The story is a western classic: a rancher is trying to be bought out by villains who know the value of the land is about to skyrocket. Austin does surprisingly well in the saddle for a first time cowboy, but the real joy of the film is to be found in the wonderful music. Songs and Saddles is a great way to enjoy country music from the nineteen thirties.

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