Ina Mae Spivey: The Girl That Swept Gene Autry Off his Feet

Estimated read time 3 min read

Ina Mae Spivey was the wife of American actor, singer, baseball owner and rodeo performer Gene Autry. She was born on April 19, 1911, in Francis, Oklahoma. Ina Mae’s father was called Barney, and he worked as a telegrapher in Oklahoma. Little is known about Ina’s mother, but she had one sibling, a sister she cherished.


Ina Mae Spivey and her sister attended school in their living area in Duncan, Oklahoma. She was an active, outgoing, popular student who loved and excelled in music and sports. At Duncan High School, Ina Mae played for the school’s basketball team and participated in school plays. She was a very determined student, and after high school, she wanted to join college and later teach music.

Upon completing her high school studies, Ina Mae Spivey started working at a local office and saved the money she earned for her high school education. Ina later joined State Teachers College in Springfield, Missouri, to pursue higher education.  While in college, Ina used to stay with her uncle Jimmy Long, who used to perform music.

Personal Life

While still in college, Ina Mae Spivey used to accompany her uncle to his performances, and it was through these events that Ina met Gene Autry. Given they both loved music, it was easy to get along. Ina and Gene became friends, and the young Gene was often invited to Jimmy Long’s home for dinners. After years, Gene came by Ina’s uncle and told him he liked his niece and would love to marry her. It did not take long before the couple started dating, and on April 1, 1932, Gene proposed, and the couple was married on the same day.

Ina Mae Spivey and her husband were deeply in love, and their love for music kept them closer to each other. Their marriage was good; it lasted 48 years and was only cut short by Ina Mae’s death. The couple had no children as they focused on Gene’s music career.


Ina Mae Spivey always wanted to be a music teacher; however, that did not happen after her marriage to Gene Autry. Nevertheless, Ina was supportive and always encouraged her husband to do music even when he thought he was not good enough. Initially, Gene had doubts about his music career, but he could record and release many songs through Ina’s encouragement. She was responsible for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reinder, a song Gene didn’t like but reminded Ina of a story that children would love.

Ina Mae Spivey was also supportive of her husband’s acting career. Gene Autry is known for his appearances on The Singing Cowboy, Guns and Guitars, The Big Show, Get Along Little Dogies, and Melody Trail, among others.


Ina Mae Spivey was an intelligent, graceful and strong woman. She died in 1980, aged 69, and her death was tough on those who knew her, and they will continue remembering her for the effect she had on people. The cause of her death was never mentioned to the public.

You May Also Like

More From Author