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America's Song Butchers: The Weird World of Homer & Jethro
     

America's Song Butchers: The Weird World of Homer & Jethro

by Homer & Jethro
 
Fans looking back to the classic era of country music often overlook one element that graced nearly every tent show, rural schoolhouse concert, and county fair: the comedy act. And for a time during the 1950s, there was no better comedy and song-parody duo than Homer & Jethro. Indeed, many performers of the era felt that their hits were not entirely validated, at

Overview

Fans looking back to the classic era of country music often overlook one element that graced nearly every tent show, rural schoolhouse concert, and county fair: the comedy act. And for a time during the 1950s, there was no better comedy and song-parody duo than Homer & Jethro. Indeed, many performers of the era felt that their hits were not entirely validated, at least in their own estimation, until Homer & Jethro made fun of them. The pair obliged as many as they could, and America's Favorite Song Butchers contains 20 uniformly hilarious examples of their efforts. Nearly a half century after the fact, some of the reference points for these songs will be lost on listeners not thoroughly steeped in country history, but few could fail to appreciate how the pair reconstructs "Jambalaya" as "Jam-Bowl-Liar," or cuts loose with immortal lines like, "Her teeth were like the stars above/Because they come out every night," or "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyeballs." Other hits are here as well, such as "(How Much) Is That Hound Dog in the Window" and "The Battle of Kookamonga." Newcomers to the Homer & Jethro legacy will learn that behind the sometimes surreal, sometimes cornball, usually howlingly funny humor were two terrific musicians. This stuff isn't tossed off; there's real artistry driving the jokes home, all of which makes for a scintillating experience.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Country music has a long and rich tradition of cornball jokes calculated to make audiences laugh and groan at the same time, and few if any acts mined this vein with greater results than Homer & Jethro. No one would ever accuse Homer & Jethro of having a subtle or sophisticated sense of humor, but their twangy parodies of various country and pop hits (and equally goofy original novelty numbers) revealed a genuine gift for prodding the funny bone, and it certainly didn't hurt that Kenneth "Jethro" Burns and Henry "Homer" Haynes had the good sense to make themselves the butt of their own joke more often than not. Even more importantly, they were both top-notch instrumentalists, and those who chose to listen past the gags were treated to some superb picking, especially from Burns, who later would show off his chops on a series of fine recordings with David Grisman. While most of Homer & Jethro's many albums for RCA Victor were frustratingly hit-and-miss, America's Song Butchers: The Weird World of Homer & Jethro is a superb compilation which pulls together 20 tunes which represent the duo at the top of their form, including their best-known hits (such as "Baby, It's Cold Outside," featuring June Carter, and "The Battle of Kookammonga") and a few choice obscurities (a silly but beautifully played version of "Misty," and a dead-on parody of the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"). Funnier than the entire series run of Hee Haw, and featuring nearly as much good music, America's Song Butchers is easily the best introduction to the clown princes of Nashville. A word of warning: don't play this around small children, or they'll be subjecting you to their favorite cuts on a regular basis for days on end.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/18/1997
Label:
Razor & Tie
UPC:
0793018213028
catalogNumber:
82130

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Homer & Jethro   Primary Artist
Chet Atkins   Electric Guitar
Jethro Burns   Mandolin,Vocals,Track Performer
Floyd Cramer   Piano
Jerry Reed   Banjo
Jordanaires   Vocals
George Barnes   Electric Guitar
Dick Marx   Piano
Marty Gold   Piano
Grady Martin   Guitar
Wade Ray   Fiddle
Anita Carter   Bass
Kenny Buttrey   Drums
June Carter Cash   Vocals,Track Performer
Johnny Frigo   Bass,Violin
Charles Randolph Grean   Bass
Buddy Harman   Drums
Hoyt Hawkins   Vocals
Homer Haynes   Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Phil Kraus   Drums
Neal Matthews   Vocals
Ernie Newton   Bass
Frank Rullo   Drums
Gordon Stoker   Vocals
Henry Strzelecki   Bass
Jerry Byrd   Steel Guitar
Farris Coursey   Drums
Marvin Hughes   Piano
Bob Moore   Bass
Ray C. Walker   Vocals
Jackie Phelps   Dobro
Julian Levert Stockale   Electric Guitar
Norman Szukala   Drums
"Papa" John Gordy   Piano
Marty Rubenstein   Piano
Bob Davis   Piano

Technical Credits

Chet Atkins   Producer
Jethro Burns   Composer
Erroll Garner   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Redd Stewart   Composer
Frank Loesser   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Charles Randolph Grean   Producer
Homer Haynes   Composer
Stephen H. Sholes   Producer
Mike Ragogna   Producer
Dave Samuelson   Liner Notes,Annotation
Chilton Price   Composer

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