Country Singer Rex Allen Jr. Hanging Up His Guitar

Published: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 2:57pm

In the 1950s and 60s, singing cowboys like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were heroes of the American West. And one of them — Rex Allen — was known as “the Arizona cowboy.”

He was famous for singing old-fashioned tunes about the cowboy life, narrating many Walt Disney Westerns and starting in films like Shadows of Tombstone with his loyal horse, Koko.

A generation later, his son and namesake Rex Allen Jr. has kept the legacy of the cowboy life alive, becoming an American country Western singer with hits like “Goodbye” and “Two Less Lonely People” in the 1970s. And he’s the writer of our state’s alternative anthem, a song called “Arizona.”

Every year, he comes back to Arizona to perform at Rex Allen Days, a rodeo celebration that takes place each summer in Willcox, Arizona. It celebrates all things Western and, of course, the legacy of Rex Allen.

But this year, Rex Allen Jr. will take the stage there for the last time. His “Sunrise to Sunset” tour will conclude there on Saturday, where his career began when he was just a child. The Show’s Lauren Gilger spoke with him more about his decision to retire, his own legacy and what it was like to grow up the son of a famous “singing cowboy.”

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