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Thread: Korkis Korner: The Lost Biographies of the Country Bears

  1. #1
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    Korkis Korner: The Lost Biographies of the Country Bears

    The Lost Biographies of the Country Bears by Jim Korkis

    Jim explores the stories behind the bruin residents of Grizzly Hall.

    Read it here!


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  3. #2
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    More Country Bear History

    The name of the founder of the Country Bear Jamboree is Ursus H. Bear (not middle initial "J"). To confirm this, just look above the proscenium arch in the theater, where you'll also learn that the founder was born in 1848 and died in 1928, the year of Mickey Mouse's birth. (By the way, one of Lou Mongello's trivia books makes this same error.)

    Regarding the Country Bear Jamboree soundtrack album, the sketches of the bears were not drawn by Marc Davis, although they were obviously based on his character sketches for the show.

    Here is one other bit of trivia: Henry and Wendell were based on a comedic musical act known as Homer and Jethro, which is one reason why these two bears are referred to as the "Hilarious Duo." Henry D. Haynes (1920-1971) and Kenneth C. Burns (1920-1989) began performing together as Homer and Jethro in 1936 (Henry as Homer, Kenneth as Jethro). Just like Henry and Wendell, Haynes played guitar and Burns played the mandolin (although Marc Davis based Wendell's appearance on Harper Goff, who played the banjo). This musical team wrote "Fractured Folk Song" and "Mama Don't Whoop Little Buford," which Henry and Wendell sing in the original Country Bear Jamboree, and both songs were featured on their 1964 album, "Fractured Folk Songs."

    In "Fractured Folk Song," Henry and Wendell sing, "We wrote these lousy lyrics, and we also wrote the words." In actuality, Kenneth Burns (Jethro) wrote most of their song parodies. "Mama, Don't Whoop Little Buford" was sung to the tune "Beautiful, Beautiful Brown Eyes," written by Arthur Smith in the late 1940s, but popularized by both Jimmy Wakely and Rosemary Clooney in 1951. The song's original lyrics feature the refrain "I'll never love blue eyes again" in place of the words "I think you should shoot him instead."

    Haynes and Burns were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, the same year that the Country Bear Playhouse closed at Disneyland.

    Jeff Peterson
    Escondido, California


  4. #3
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    The Ballad of Davy Crew-Cut

    By the way, here is one Homer and Jethro song parody that was not used in the Country Bear Jamboree:

    THE BALLAD OF DAVY CREW-CUT

    Born in a taxicab in Tennessee,
    Slowest cab that you ever did see.
    Warmed up his bottle an' he took 'im a nip.
    He didn't even leave the driver a tip.
    Davy, Davy Crew-Cut, the cat with the coonskin cap.

    He was the cleanest baby that you ever saw.
    When he sucked his thumb, he used a straw.
    He liked the girls instead of toys.
    He liked 'em ever since he found they weren't boys.
    Davy, Davy Crew-Cut, the cat with the coonskin cap.

    Davy was so lazy that he wouldn't raise his thumb.
    He used a bicycle pump to blow up his bubblegum.
    Became a politician in Washington D.C.
    He took him a bribe when he was only three.
    Davy, Davy Crew-Cut, the cat with the coonskin cap.

    Well, he entered a contest in Tennessee,
    And Mr. America he thought he'd be.
    The judge looked 'im over an' said, "Who's this drip?"
    An' Davy nearly lost his citizenship.
    Davy, Davy Crew-Cut, the cat with the coonskin cap.

    Well, he went a-bar-huntin' all alone.
    Well, he grinned but the bar bit him clean to the bone.
    Davy got the lockjaw an' had to go to bed.
    He sneezed an' he blowed off the top of his head.
    Davy, Davy Crew-Cut.
    He can't live his legend down.
    He had the only crew-cut coonskin cap in town.

    Jeff Peterson
    Escondido, California


  5. #4

    I'm My Own Grandpa

    I remember Homer and Jethro, but not well.

    I only know one of their songs, because Dr. Demento used to play it on his show on Sunday nights on his FM radio show, namely, "I'm My Own Grandpa."

    "It is, it is, a glorious thing, to be a Pirate King."
    -- Gilbert & Sullivan, "Pirates of Penzance, or, The Slave of Duty"

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