Monday, October 03, 2005

Lonzo and Oscar


Not really a boot sale find but a tape sent to me by a friend who knows the sort of daft music I like.
Lonzo and Oscar are from that same mad hillbilly country vein as The Korn Kobblers, The Hoosier Hotshots etc. and as well as writing amusing songs they could play their instruments too. Listen to the fine mandolin and fiddle playing on these two tracks. Here's a short extract from awebsite devoted to them-

"A total of sixteen songs were recorded for RCA Victor that year under the name of "Lonzo and Oscar with their Winston County Pea Pickers." Their best selling song was released in 1948. Written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe, "I’m My Own Grandpa" became their signature tune and was recorded by many others. RCA Victor did not have the capacity to release this record (I'm My Own Grandpa); they had to enlist help in 10 other countries to press the record because RCA Victor couldn't do it fast enough. It sold over four million copies. Originally, RCA Victor approached Eddy Arnold to sing and release this record, but Eddy thought that it would suit Lonzo and Oscar better.

In 1949, the team switched record companies, finding their home with Capitol Records. Their first recording date with Capitol was August 21, 1949; however, Lloyd recorded his first songs as Ken Marvin on Capitol two days before he recorded as Lonzo and Oscar with Rollin. The latter recorded a total of ten songs for Capitol. By the end of January 1950, Lloyd was tired of the zany comedy act of Lonzo and Oscar, and he left the group to become Ken Marvin full-time. Lloyd asked Rollin if he could quit; Lloyd always told Rollin that "Sometime in my life, I am gonna try to go solo. It's something that I've always wanted to do." Lloyd had to choose a different name because WSM (the Grand Ole Opry radio station) stipulated that Lloyd would have to give up the name "Lonzo," so Rollin could find another Lonzo and continue with the "Lonzo and Oscar" name. As a child, Lloyd was an old western movie lover, and there was a guy that he liked named Marvin, and this is how he chose the stage name of Ken Marvin. After Lloyd left the group, he started playing shows with "Little" Jimmy Dickens, who had the hit song "Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed," which was co-written by Eugene "Happy" Wilson, who was also from Haleyville, Alabama.

Rollin Sullivan was not alone though. Johnny Sullivan stepped up to take on the role of Lonzo. Rollin produced the group from this point on. The group went to Decca Records and recorded twenty-one songs that were released as singles. In 1963, the group scored another hit with "Country Music Time." A tragic car accident caused the death of Johnny Sullivan on June 5, 1967, and resulted in Rollin continuing on with the name of Lonzo and Oscar when he found David Hooten, who was the third Lonzo."

Lonzo & Oscar - Tickle The Tom Cat's Tail

Lonzo & Oscar - Hey Joe

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2 comments:

Cocaine Jesus said...

tell me that their teeth aren't for real. i thought Americans had perfect teeth?

michael said...

Its a amazing what you can do with bits of black paper and spit!