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5th December – birthday of Ray Whitley (Raymond Otis Whitley, Dec 5, 1901 – Feb 21, 1979), Country and Western singer /songwriter and actor. Began his radio career in the early 1930s, then touring as a cowboy singing and novelty/rodeo act with his band Ray Whitley and The Six Bar Cowboys. Designed, and then performed with, the legendary Gibson SJ-200 (the ‘Super Jumbo’). His best known composition, Back In The Saddle Again became Gene Autry’s theme song and has become a country standard. It is one of the tracks on BACM’s compilation, celebrating the recording career of this talented , but nowadays undeservedly largely forgotten, legend.
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