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 Rex Elvie Allen

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Rex Elvie Allen

  • Birth 31 Dec 1920 Willcox, Cochise County, Arizona, USA
  • Death 17 Dec 1999 Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
  • Burial Willcox, Cochise County, Arizona, USA
  • Memorial ID 6275033

Singer, Actor. Born Rex Elvie Allen in Willcox Arizona. His parents were Horace Allen and Faye Clark. He was given his first guitar when he was 11 years old. He graduated from Willcox High School in 1938. He began singing and after finishing high school, he worked for a short time as a performer at a Phoenix radio station. He later began a rodeo bull riding career. He suffered an injury on a bull and soon went back to singing. He was hired by WTTM in Trenton, New Jersey in 1943. After he left WTTM, Allen joined the "Sleepy Hollow Ranch Gang" in Pennsylvania. He tried out for WLS and the "National Barn Dance" in Chicago. He was one of the first country & western artists signed by Mercury Records. Mercury released several of Allen's singles. His first hit was with "Afraid" in 1949. That same year, Allen went to Hollywood. Between 1950 and 1954, he starred in 19 movies for Republic studios. He was billed as "The Arizona Cowboy." All the movies were musical Westerns with a rotating cast of sidekicks. Frequently, he would star with Slim Pickens, but Buddy Ebsen and Fuzzy Knight also made their appearances in his films. He became known as the "Last of the Silver Screen Cowboys" and his horse, Koko, billed as "The Wonder Horse" received equal billing with Rex in all movie publicity. One of the top-ten box office draws of his day, his character was also depicted in comic books. Allen personified the clean cut, God-fearing American hero of the wild west who wore a white Stetson. Allen signed with Decca Records, which released his biggest hit, 1953's "Crying in the Chapel." The song went to number 5 on the country charts and to the top 10 on the pop charts. Rex had a thirty five year career recording for Decca Records. He made a number of albums composed of Western songs. During this time, he acted in 39 episodes of the television program Frontier Doctor. He had several minor hits in the early 1960's which included, "Don't Go near the Indians," "Marines Let's Go" and "Tear after Tear." In the early 1970's he recorded albums for Disneyland, Buena Vista, and JMI. However, he was more prominent in this era as a narrator for many Walt Disney films and television programs, as well as a voice in several Disney cartoons. Rex was the first entertainer to receive the "Rodeo Man of the Year" plaque and the first recipient of the now famous "Golden Boot Award." Rex was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall Of Fame and has a star on Hollywood's famous "Walk of Fame." His son, Rex Allen Jr. was also a successful singer, with several country hits in the 1970s. In 1989 his life story was told in the book, Rex Allen: "My Life" Sunrise to Sunset - The Arizona Cowboy, written by Paula Simpson-Witt and Snuff Garrett. He died in 1999 in Tucson, Arizona from injuries received when his caretaker accidentally ran over him in the driveway of his home. Cremated, his ashes were scattered near the Rex Allen Museum and Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame in Willcox, Arizona where most of his memorabilia is on display.

Bio by: Jane Stacy Eubanks


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Moody
  • Added: 20 Mar 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6275033
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rex Elvie Allen (31 Dec 1920–17 Dec 1999), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6275033, citing Railroad Park, Willcox, Cochise County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Other.