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Turn the clock back, way back to a time when comedy played a big part in country music. The Grand Ole Opry WSM used to have a regular slot on its weekly Saturday night radio broadcast (followed a few years by the TV programme Hee Haw that featured the likes of Roy Clark, Junior Samples, Stringbean, Don Rich, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl) and millions used to tune in.
Back to the music, Henry Hayes (guitar) and Kenneth Burns (mandolin) were both accomplished musicians, and from what you hear on these King Record originals amazingly sharp in the humour stakes. Arthur Wilkinson in this liner notes the duo were RCA’s most prolific recording artists during the mid-1960s, and given the label’s roster (Elvis etc) that says something!
Hayes was the main source of songs, beside them dipping back into the vaults as they gave their intimate spin to a wide range of material. They also had an appreciation of jazz. Short, sharp and, more often than not containing a message of sorts, Homer & Jethro vie from a song about war (“It’s Bloody War”), Irving Berlin’s “Always” and place their spin on perennial country tune “Boll Weevil”, “Rye Whiskey” and “Blue Tail Fly”, plus with great dash and much merriment “Donkey Serenade” is given the full crazy H & J treatment.
Others of note include jazzy warmed “All Night Long”, “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now? And their own “Goodbye Old Booze“, you can also add “(Don’t Telephone, Don’t Telegraph) Tell A Woman” (Tex Williams, Al Stewart), and if they boys do on occasions become a little predictable, a source of genuine laughter is never far away.
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