Related Information for Gene Austin Gene Austin (June 24, 1900 - January 24, 1972) was an American singer and songwriter who is considered to have been the first "crooner".Austin was born as Lemeul Eugene Lucas in Gainesville, Texas (north of Dallas), to Nova Lucas (died 1943) and the former Serena Belle Harrell (died 1956). He took the name "Gene Austin" from his stepfather, Jim Austin, a blacksmith. Austin grew up in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, located east of S.. read more