Henry Haynes and Kenneth Burns, better known as Homer and Jethro, were a comedy duo with musical roots in hillbilly and bluegrass.
Known as Junior and Dude (pronounced “dood-ee”) when they worked together on Tennessee radio in the 1930s, the pair was rechristened Homer (Haynes) and Jethro (Burns) when programme director Lowell Blanchard forgot their nicknames during a 1936 broadcast.
Following a spell in the US Army, the pair reunited and developed an act which featured exaggerated hillbilly-styled versions of pop standards. After signing to RCA in 1949, the label’s country A&R man Steve Sholes suggested they recorded their parodies, and the duo immediately struck a chord with a re-working of Frank Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Taking a cue from other comic talents of the era, most of their humour was directed inward, towards themselves and over the next few years they remained a mainstay on radio and television. This 58-track set brings together selected A- and B-sides of their releases on RCA from this era, mostly comprising their trademark parody and comic performances.
It features all their country and pop chart entries on RCA from these years, including the Top 10 hits Baby It’s Cold Outside and How Much Is That Hound Dog In The Window, and the Top 20 hits Hernando’s Hideaway and The Battle Of Kookamunga.
They represented a highly individual and idiosyncratic strand of country music, cornering the market as just about the only practitioners of this particular art. This collection offers a showcase not only for their unusual material but also their finely-honed skills harmony vocalists.