The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70309   Message #1199310
Posted By: Once Famous
03-Jun-04 - 11:30 AM
Thread Name: Lonzo and Oscar Discography Available
Subject: RE: Lonzo and Oscar Discography Available
From a favorite web site of mine called: "Century of Country" I offer the following:


Group Info: Formed: 1944 Lonzo Oscar Lonzo Mark I: (1944-1950) Lonzo Mark III: (1967- )
Give Name: Lonzo: John Y. Sullivan Oscar: Rollin Sullivan
Date of Birth: Lonzo: January 19, 1919 Oscar: July 7, 1917
Place of Birth: Lonzo: Edmonton, Kentucky Oscar: Edmonton, Kentucky
Date of Death: Lonzo: June 5, 1967
Marital Status: Lonzo: Mildred Perry Oscar: 1. Helen (dec'd) 2. Geneva Busby
Children: Lonzo: Danny, Donny, Perry Oscar: Linda Kay

Musical Syle: Comedy
Talents: Lonzo: Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo

Recommend Record Albums:
"America's Greatest Country Comedians" (Starday)(1960) "Country Music Time" (Starday)(1963) "Country Comedy Time" (Decca)(1963) [Re-released by Stetson UK in original sleeve (1989)] "Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" (Nugget)(1965) "Mountain Dew" (Columbia)(1968) "Take Your Pick" (Chalet)(1972) "Traces of Life" (GRC)(1975) "Old & New Songs" (Brylen)(1982) "Live at the Opry" (LOS)(1984) "Honky Tonk Sweetheart" (Cowgirlboy Germany)(1992)

The duo of Lonzo & Oscar ranked as the Grand Ole Opry's premier musical comedy team for a quarter century, performing both original humorous songs and parodies of current hits. Actually there were three "Lonzos" during the team's four-plus decades of existence, with John Sullivan being the most significant; the original was Lloyd George (better known as Ken Marvin) and the third was David Hooten. Toward their last decade as an act, Lonzo & Oscar abandoned much of their zany comedy, becoming a nearly straight Country Bluegrass duet, placing a serious song on the Billboard charts and working numerous Bluegrass festival. The Sullivans grew up in a family of 10, not far from the cave country of south central Kentucky. Rollin and Johnny began playing square dances at a fairly early age and also played in a local group called the Kentucky Ramblers. About 1939, Rollin went to WTJS Jackson, Tennessee, and began playing in a band led by Cousin Wilbur Wesbrooks (later a comedian with Bill Monroe on the Opry) where he received the nickname "Oscar." Later Oscar went to Louisville for a while, but in 1942 journeyed to Nashville's WSM and the Opry, finding a job picking mandolin with Paul Howard's Arkansas Cotton Pickers. Two years later, he became a sideman for the show's new superstar, Eddy Arnold, as did his brother John and an Alabama boy named Lloyd L. George (1924-1991). Oscar and Lloyd became a comedy team and Eddy finally hit upon the name "Lonzo" for Lloyd. Thus was born the team of Lonzo & Oscar. The Tennessee Plowboy also helped the duo land a contract with his own label, RCA Victor. Their initial release, You Blacked My Blue Eyes Once Too Often, then I Am My Own Grandpa became mild hits. Soon the duo went on their own, subtitling themselves the Winston County Pea Pickers (from a locale in the Alabama hill country) and became Opry regulars in 1947. George left the act in 1950 to embark on a solo career as "Ken Marvin." Johnny Sullivan stepped into the Lonzo role, holding it until his death some 17 years later. Their parodies of hits like Hank Snow's I'm Movin' On and other comedy numbers like Onions, Onions, found favor with Opry fans, as did the antics of Clell "Cousin Jody" Summey, who contributed his own brand of humor to their act. The rival team of Homer and Jethro generally had more chartmakers, but the two continued to record, placing singles on such labels as Capitol, Starday, Columbia, Nugget, and Decca as well as album releases. In 1948, Lonzo & Oscar hit the Country singles chart with I'm My Own Grandpa, which reached the Top 5 and on which they were backed by Winston County Pea Pickers. They did not return to the chart until 1961, when Country Music Time made the Top 30. In 1959, Oscar's wife, Helen was killed in a car crash. John Sullivan died in mid 1967, but Oscar found a new Lonzo in David Hooten and continued the act. Hooten tended to dress in the conventional style of a Country singer of the time, but Oscar still favored the old rube comedian appearance. While they still did humorous songs, they also began to experiment with more serious material. They had a Top 30 hit in 1974 with Traces Of Life on the GRC label. By this time Oscar had abandoned much of his hillbilly costume and the duo had moved toward a more contemporary Country sound. In the later 70's, they shifted toward Bluegrass, hiring a banjo picker named Grady Eldridge and included their bass player in a trio sound influenced by the success of the Osborne Brothers. They worked often on the Bluegrass festivals circuit and for a time also operated their Ranch House, a night club in Nashville. By the time they announced their retirement from the Opry, Hooten had played the Lonzo role longer than Johnny Sullivan. Afterward they worked part time at a jamboree show in Kentucky. Many of their recordings have long been out of print, but Stetson re-issued their Decca album and Cowgirlboy released a collector's edition containing several of their early singles.
Ivan M. Tribe