Smiley Burnette

Lester Alvin Burnett (March 18, 1911 – February 16, 1967), better known as Smiley Burnette, was an American country music performer and a comedic actor in Western films and on radio and TV, playing sidekick to Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and other B-movie cowboys. He was also a prolific singer-songwriter who is reported to have played proficiently over 100 musical instruments, sometimes more than one simultaneously. His career, beginning in 1934, spanned four decades, including a regular role on CBS-TV's Petticoat Junction in the 1960s.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 18, 1911 (Summum), Died February 16, 1967 (Encino)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1934 - 1947

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, songwriter, vocalist

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-80848 10-in. 10/9/1934 Round-up in Cheyenne Girls of the Golden West Female vocal duet, with guitar songwriter  
Victor BS-02521 10-in. 10/11/1936 Follow the bugle Fred Morris ; Washboard Wonders Washboard band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor D7VB-0797 10-in. 8/12/1947 Hominy grits Ernie Lee ; Midwesterners (Ernie Lee) Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor D7VB-1898 10-in. 12/2/1947 Swamp woman blues Riders of the Rio Grande ; Johnny Tyler Male vocal solo, with string band composer  
Columbia HCO1863 10-in. 6/5/1946 Ridin' down the canyon Gene Autry Male vocal solo, with string band songwriter  
Columbia C2129 10-in. 2/28/1938 The roundup in Cheyenne Girls of the Golden West Female vocal duet, with guitar songwriter  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Burnette, Smiley," accessed September 30, 2023,

Burnette, Smiley. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 30, 2023, from

"Burnette, Smiley." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 30 September 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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