Long before gene appeared in movies, he was a singer, as you said. His talent got him a role in the serial Phantom Empire. His character was a rancher who had a daily radio show, singing country music. He discovers a cave on his ranch, & a long elevator that went underground. That's where he finds the Phantom Empire, which is planning to invade the upper world. The gimmick of the film is that Gene goes down to the empire every episode, but has to be back at the ranch at a certain time to sing on the radio. Lots of silly fun.
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