The Korn Kobblers were once billed as "America's most nonsensical band;" part comedy act and part big band. In addition to traditional musical instruments, these fine artists added their own self-invented musical instruments, such as the skoocherphone and the tuned smokestack.
They were discovered in 1939 by Guy Lombardo at the Old Vienna in Cincinnati, OH. The following year, they opened for Lombardo when he played at the 194o Wold's Fair. During their run, The Korn Kobblers appeared on some 2oo radio station, made a handful of short films and recorded several albums.
The Korn Kobblers formed when six men split from Freddie Fisher's Schnickelfritz Band to a start what would soon prove to be a very successful radio career. Though they appealed to radio listeners, a great deal of their comedy was in fact visual. The characters were hillbilly boys, so they often sported overalls, flannel shirts and floppy hats and often employed the use of stage props to go along with songs they were singing.
The band was made up of members Harry Turen, who played the saxophone, clarinet, mouth harp, fiddle, tonette and the tuned smokestack; Charlie Koenig, who played the bass and fiddle; Howard "Chief" McElroy, a drumer who also played the vibraphone, xylophone and a duck-quacker; Nels Laakso, a trumpter that also played the ocarina, slide cornet and skoocherphone; Stan Fritts, another drummer who also played the trombone, washboard, various horns and other random gadgets; and Mary Gold, who played the piano and helped to arranged songs.
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