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Spade Cooley (1910–1969)

Violinist and cellist, singer, actor, composer and songwriter ("Shame On You"), conductor, arranger and inventor who popularized western swing music on film and recordings, in person and on radio and television. When Spade was four, he and his parents John and Emma Cooley moved to Oregon where he studied classical violin and cello, and at the age ... See full bio »

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Known For

42 Soundtrack
The Killer Inside Me
The Straight Story
The Straight Story Soundtrack
The Kid from Gower Gulch


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (52 credits)
 1955 The Big Tip Off
 1951 Casa Manana
 1950 Everybody's Dancin'
 1945 Texas Panhandle
Band Leader Spade
 1945 The Trouble with Me (Short)
Leader, Spade Cooley's Western Dance Gang
 1945 My Chickashay Gal (Short)
Band Leader
 1945 Senorita from the West
 1945 Rockin' in the Rockies
Spade Cooley (as Spade Cooley King of Western Swing)
 1944 The Singing Sheriff
Spade Cooley (uncredited)
 1944 Take Me Back to Tulsa (Short)
 1943 Chatterbox
Band Leader / Fiddle Player
 1942 Dawn on the Great Divide
Fiddler (uncredited)
 1942 Lost Canyon
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
 1942 Strictly in the Groove
Fiddler (uncredited)
 1942 Heart of the Golden West
Rustler (uncredited)
 1942 Thundering Hoofs
Fiddler (uncredited)
 1942 Romance on the Range
Townsman (uncredited)
 1942 Home in Wyomin'
1st Fiddler (uncredited)
 1942 Cactus Capers (Short)
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
 1942 Sunset on the Desert
Musician (uncredited)
 1942 Riding the Wind
1st Fiddler (uncredited)
 1942 South of Santa Fe
Jim Clancy (uncredited)
 1942 North to the Klondike
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
 1942 Man from Cheyenne
Cowhand (uncredited)
 1941 Bad Man of Deadwood
Musician (uncredited)
 1941 Nevada City
Musician (uncredited)
 1941 Saddlemates
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
 1941 Sheriff of Tombstone
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
 1941 Redskins and Redheads (Short)
Fiddle Player
 1941 In Old Cheyenne
Cowhand / Musician (uncredited)
 1941 Robin Hood of the Pecos
Soldier (uncredited)
 1941 Wyoming Wildcat
Dance Musician (uncredited)
 1940 The Border Legion
Musician (uncredited)
 1940 Melody Ranch
Melody Ranch Band Musician (uncredited)
 1940 Young Bill Hickok
Musician (uncredited)
 1940 Colorado
Henchman (uncredited)
 1940 The Ranger and the Lady
Bent's Banjoist (uncredited)
 1940 You're Not So Tough
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
 1940 Bullet Code
Fiddler (uncredited)
 1939 Destry Rides Again
Fiddle Player (uncredited)
 1939 The Marshal of Mesa City
Fiddler (uncredited)
 1939 The Arizona Kid
Union Soldier (uncredited)
 1939 Frontier Pony Express
Charley Weston (uncredited)
 1939 Southward Ho
Fiddler (uncredited)
 1938 Land of Fighting Men
Member, Walt Shrum and His Colorado Hillbillies (uncredited)
Show Show Soundtrack (23 credits)
Show Show Producer (2 credits)
Show Show Writer (1 credit)
Show Show Music department (1 credit)
Show Show Self (9 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

CD: "Shame On You" (Columbia) See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Biographical Movie | See more »

Alternate Names:

Spade Cooley King of Western Swing

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

Playing the fiddle was as much a part of my life as breathing. I was knee-high to a stump and playing the fiddle, and my daddy played the fiddle and so did my granddad before him. So I came by it naturally, and later on I got it in my head to just flat quit schooling, the idea to be making money because being born poor and staying poor and being satisfied with it wasn't how I saw living out the ... See more »


He was convicted of murdering his second wife Ella Mae over alleged infidelities--they had an argument and he beat her to death. The murder happened on April 3, 1961 in front of his 14-year-old daughter Melody. He was sentenced to life in prison. He was furloughed in 1969 to appear at a police benefit show. While waiting backstage to come on, he had a sudden heart attack and died. See more »


The King of Western Swing

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