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Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
were the stage names of American country music duo Henry D. "Homer" Haynes (1920–1971) and Kenneth C. "Jethro" Burns (1920–1989), popular from the 1940s through the 1960s on radio and television for their satirical versions of popular songs. Known as the Thinking Man's Hillbillies, they received a Grammy
Grammy
in 1959 and are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early years 1.2 Song satirists 1.3 Later years

2 Album discography

2.1 with the Nashville String Band 2.2 Singles 2.3 Guest singles

3 Notes 4 References 5 External links

History[edit] Early years[edit] Haynes and Burns met in 1936 during a WNOX-AM audition in Knoxville, Tennessee when they were both 16 years old.[1] Known as Junior and Dude (pronounced "dood'-ee"), the pair was rechristened Homer (Haynes) and Jethro (Burns) when WNOX Program Director Lowell Blanchard forgot their nicknames during a 1936 broadcast. In 1939 they became regulars on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance radio program in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. They were drafted into the U.S. Army
U.S. Army
during World War II
World War II
but served separately; they reunited in Knoxville in 1945, and in 1947 they performed on WLW-AM's Midwestern Hayride in Cincinnati. They sang exaggerated hillbilly-styled versions of pop standards as their comedic hook, with Haynes on guitar and Burns on mandolin. They originally recorded for King Records, where they also worked as session musicians backing other artists such as Moon Mullican until a dispute over song credits with label owner Syd Nathan led Nathan to release them from the label. The duo and other stars were fired by new management at WLW in 1948, and after a brief tour, they moved to Springfield, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
and performed on KWTO-AM with Chet Atkins, the Carter Family
Carter Family
and Slim Wilson.[2] Song satirists[edit] Signed to the RCA Victor
RCA Victor
label in 1949, RCA's country A&R man Steve Sholes suggested they switch their comedy to singing parodies of country and pop hits. Most were penned by Burns, the humorist of the pair. Their parody of "Baby It's Cold Outside", recorded with June Carter, became a hit. The song's composer, Frank Loesser, gave them permission to parody the tune with the condition that the label read, "With apologies to Frank Loesser". It led to a spot on WLS-AM in Chicago in 1950, a tour with bandleader Spike Jones
Spike Jones
and an uncredited appearance on his recording of Pal-Yat-Chee, and a number of successful albums. They also served as backup musicians on a number of late 1940s and early 1950s RCA Victor
RCA Victor
recordings by Chet Atkins
Chet Atkins
and on many other RCA country sessions in Chicago and Nashville. Atkins was married to Burns' wife's sister. Taking a cue from other comic talents of the era, most of their humor was directed inward, towards themselves. In several notable exchanges recorded on the live album At the Country Club, they intone that the parade to be given by their fan club had to be canceled because one of the members was ill, and the other had to work. The implication of course being that there were only two members of such a club. Indeed, from the opening introduction, by Hee Haw
Hee Haw
stalwart Archie Campbell
Archie Campbell
the humor is towards them, rather than at others. Campbell's intro noted, "Ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control, the next act showed up." At one point in the evening, Burns remarked to one of the patrons, "Hey, you walking out! Get back in here, you're no better than the rest of them." However, taking a moment to imprint their serious musical talent, they and the other members of the band perform "C-Jam Blues", to the delight of the audience. Burns was also a talented guitarist, able to replicate the hot soloing he did on mandolin on the guitar. They won a Grammy
Grammy
for Best Comedy Performance – Musical in 1959 for "The Battle of Kookamonga", their parody of Johnny Horton's hit "The Battle of New Orleans". The majority of their recordings were similar parodies of famous old and new popular songs. One example was their treatment of the old romantic song "When You Wore a Tulip" (When you wore a Tulip/A sweet yellow tulip/and I wore a big red rose). While keeping that line of the chorus intact, the duo's version of its verse told of two lovers sleeping in a greenhouse, removing their clothes due to the heat and humidity, and then having to escape when the building caught fire. To cover their nakedness, the couple wore the flowers. In the 1960s they also recorded a parody version of Lennon and McCartney's "She Loves You". Later years[edit] Over time, Homer and Jethro's patter became more sophisticated, giving them access to mainstream audiences on network television and in Las Vegas. On May 12, 1960, they appeared with Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford. In the 1960s they were hired as commercial personalities for Kellogg's Corn Flakes; their "Ooh! That's corny!" television spots gave them exposure beyond country music audiences. One relatively notable gig was in November 1966, when they entertained at the grand opening ceremony for the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
made several appearances on The Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
Show during the 1970-1971 season, though they weren't considered regulars. During one appearance, they reprised their old hit "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with June Carter Cash
June Carter Cash
as part of a skit. Both were also established jazz musicians, who were deeply influenced by the European gypsy string jazz of Django Reinhardt. A version of Jethro Burns leading the house band on the Mike Douglas Show, playing "Take the A Train," is available on YouTube. Atkins produced many of their later RCA albums including two instrumental jazz efforts: Playing It Straight and It Ain't Necessarily Square. The Reinhardt style continued to influence the duo's work until Haynes' death from a heart attack in 1971. After Haynes' passing, Burns tried to maintain the duo with a new "Homer", guitarist Ken Eidson, but the effort was short-lived. Burns continued recording and performing solo and with Chicago folk singer Steve Goodman. He died in 1989 from prostate cancer. Haynes and Burns were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
in 2001. Album discography[edit]

Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
Fracture Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser
(RCA) Barefoot Ballads (RCA) The Worst of Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
(RCA) Life Can be Miserable (RCA) At the Country Club (RCA) (1960) (recorded live in 1959) Songs My Mother Never Sang (RCA) At the Convention (RCA) Fractured Folk Songs (RCA) Tenderly (RCA) Zany Songs of the '30s (RCA) (1963) Homer and Jethro Go West
Homer and Jethro Go West
(RCA) (1963) Old Crusty Minstrels (RCA) Cool Crazy Christmas (RCA) Something Stupid (RCA) Wanted for Murder (RCA) Ooh, That's Corny (RCA) Cornfucius Say (RCA) Nashville Cats (RCA) Any News from Nashville? (RCA) Live at Vanderbilt (RCA) Homer and Jethro's Next Album (RCA) The Far-Out World of Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
(RCA) Playing It Straight (RCA) (1962) (reissued on CD by RCA Japan) [jazz instrumentals] It Ain't Necessarily Square (1965?) (reissued on CD by RCA Japan) [jazz instrumentals] Songs for the Out Crowd (RCA) (1967) America's Song Butchers: The Weird World of Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
(Razor & Tie) Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
Assault the Rock 'n' Roll Era (Bear Family)

with the Nashville String Band[edit]

The Nashville String Band (RCA) Down Home (RCA) Strung Up (RCA) Identified! (RCA) The Bandit (RCA) World's Greatest Melodies (RCA)

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions

U.S. Country [3] U.S. [4]

1949 "I Feel That Old Age Creeping On" 14 —

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" (with June Carter) 9 22

"Tennessee Border—No. 2" 14 —

1953 "(How Much Is) That Hound Dog in the Window" 2 17

1954 "Hernando's Hideaway" 14 —

1955 "Sifting, Whimpering Sands"/"They Laid Him in the Ground" — —

1959 "The Battle of Kookamonga" 26 14

1960 "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" — 101

1964 "I Want to Hold Your Hand" 49 —

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist U.S. Country

1967 "Chet's Tune" Some of Chet's Friends 38

Notes[edit]

^ "Homer and Jethro". Country Music Hall of Fame. 2001. Archived from the original on 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2009-09-10.  ^ Stambler, Irwin; Landon, Grelun; Stambler, Lyndon (2000). Country Music: the Encyclopedia. MacMillan. ISBN 0-312-26487-9. . ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 192. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.  ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 411. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 

References[edit]

Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
biography at Britannica.com "Homer and Jethro". Country Music Hall of Fame. 2001. Archived from the original on 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2009-09-10.  Stambler, Irwin; Landon, Grelun; Stambler, Lyndon (2000). Country Music: the Encyclopedia. MacMillan. ISBN 0-312-26487-9. .

External links[edit]

Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
at the Country Music Hall of Fame Lyrics for the "Battle of Kookamonga" Homer & Jethro at AllMusic

v t e

Homer and Jethro

Henry D. "Homer" Haynes Kenneth C. "Jethro" Burns

Studio albums

Homer and Jethro Go West
Homer and Jethro Go West
(1963)

with Nashville String Band

The Nashville String Band (1969) Down Home (1970) Strung Up (1971) Identified! (1971) The Bandit (1972) World's Greatest Melodies (1972)

Singles

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" "Hernando's Hideaway" "Please Help Me, I'm Falling"

v t e

Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
2000s

Charley Pride
Charley Pride
(2000) Faron Young
Faron Young
(2000) Bill Anderson (2001) The Delmore Brothers (2001) The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers
(2001) Don Gibson
Don Gibson
(2001) Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
(2001) Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings
(2001) The Jordanaires
The Jordanaires
(2001) Don Law (2001) The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
(2001) Ken Nelson (2001) Sam Phillips
Sam Phillips
(2001) Webb Pierce
Webb Pierce
(2001) Bill Carlisle
Bill Carlisle
(2002) Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
(2002) Floyd Cramer
Floyd Cramer
(2003) Carl Smith (2003) Jim Foglesong (2004) Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson
(2004) Alabama (2005) DeFord Bailey
DeFord Bailey
(2005) Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell
(2005) Harold Bradley (2006) Sonny James
Sonny James
(2006) George Strait
George Strait
(2006) Ralph Emery (2007) Vince Gill
Vince Gill
(2007) Mel Tillis
Mel Tillis
(2007) Tom T. Hall
Tom T. Hall
(2008) Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
(2008) The Statler Brothers (2008) Ernest Stoneman
Ernest Stoneman
(2008) Roy Clark
Roy Clark
(2009) Barbara Mandrell
Barbara Mandrell
(2009) Charlie McCoy
Charlie McCoy
(2009)

Authority control

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