Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Lonzo & Oscar|
Lonzo & Oscar
Genres: Country, Special Interest, Pop
Listen to Samples
Great country talent
William C. Adams | Elyria, Ohio | 02/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up listening to thes guy's on an old Philco radio on WSM Nashville Tenn.They are like family to me. These two and Cousin Jody were great cards. Like Homer & Jethro, Uncle Cy P. Brassfield and Dr, Lou Childers I will never forget the hours of enjoyment they gave to our family. There are so many great country stars that have passed on That have paved the way for country music as it is today. People accuse me of clinging to too much of the past. They can say what the want, it was a very happy time in my life. Thank you and may GOD bless all of the greats that have passed."
A Sampling Of The Humour Of Lonzo & Oscar
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's disappointing that there is so little available in the way of comprehensive CDs on the singles delivered by this Country comedy duo. Yes, they only had three hits, and those were spread out over 26 years! But to anyone who grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and The Louisiana Hayride on radio, and to legendary Country music stations such as WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia, they were every bit as popular at the time as Homer & Jethro, and much of their material, even though they may not have become hits, per se, remains in the memories of those of us who were around at the time.
It was none other than Country Music Hall Of Famer Eddy Arnold who started the ball rolling sometime in the mid-1940s by singling out two members of his back-up group, The Tennessee Plowboys, to form a comedy duo known as Cicero & Oscar to open his touring shows, namely Rollin Sullivan, already nicknamed "Oscar" by other band members, and bass fiddle player Lloyd George. The name stuck for only a short time before it was changed to Lonzo & Oscar after Eddy overheard that name being used in the hotel at one of his stops.
It was instant popularity, and in early 1948 they even cut their own record for RCA Victor, the original version of I'm My Own Grandpa, billed to Lonzo And Oscar with The Winston County Pea Pickers and backed with You Blacked My Blue Eyes Once Too Often. In February it climbed to # 5 Country, and was quickly covered by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians on Decca (# 10 Pop) and Jo Stafford on Capitol as I'm My Own Grandmaw (# 21 Pop).
That launched them on a separate career by the end of 1948, including a long-time association with the Opry but, as fate would have it, that would be the only hit single for this particular pairing. Lloyd split from Sullivan in 1950 to try his luck under the billing Ken Marvin (without any hits), his replacement being Sullivan's brother Johnny, also formerly part of the Tennessee Plowboys.
This duo continued to shine on the Grand Ole Opry stage and, in fact, is generally regarded as the most popular form of the act, often being joined on stage by Clell "Cousin Jody" Summey, he of the toothless grin, baggy clothes, and wicked dobro (he was the original dobro player with Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys). But another hit record remained elusive until June 1961 when Country Music Time made it to # 26 for the Starday label b/w Can't Pitch Woo (In An Igloo).
When Johnny passed away in June of 1967, Dave Hooten became the third to take on the Lonzo persona, staying with the act until they and the Opry parted company in 1987. But not before they scored a third and final hit in February 1974 with Traces Of Life, which peaked at # 29 Country b/w Lubbock for the GRC label. Mike Johnson assumed the Lonzo role for a brief period before being replaced by Cleo Hogan, as they began operating primarily in and around the southern regions of Kentucky. After Cleo's death in 1998, Oscar, now 81 years of age, hired singer/songwriter, and long-time lead guitarist with the act, Billy Henson, to be the sixth Lonzo, before retiring himself in 1999. Henson then got Ron Ryan to assume the Lonzo part while he switched to Oscar and, at last report, this duo is still cranking out the comedy tunes on the circuit.
Although this release contains just one of the three hit singles registered by the act (I'm My Own Grandpa), it's still a good sampling of their style. But that's all it is - a sampling (and an expensive one at that), as 10-track retrospective CDs have long gone the way of the DoDo. What we need is for Ace of London or Bear Family to do a proper anthology of the various stages of the act, with detailed liner notes. I notice there is an audio cassette advertised with the title Country Comedy Time, but no contents"