Spike Jones, f/k/a Lindley Armstrong Jones, (born Dec. 14, 1911, Long Beach, Calif., ) was U.S. bandleader known for his originality recordings. Jones played drums in radio bands in the late 1930s and soon became known for adding chaotically comical sounds such as car horns, cowbells, and anvils to his percussion. In 1942 he formed Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Jones’s comic hits continued into the 1950s, when he also had his own TV show. Later switching from comedy to Dixieland, the band continued to record into the 1960s.
NEAR SHORE RADIO SHOW ON SPIKE JONES, 3-MIN CLIPS…
Got his nickname from his father’s co-workers on the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Had an unusual hobby as a young adult of collecting junk that made odd, funny noises, which started the orchestra leader off on his wild and wooly career that would feature everything from cowbells to toilet plungers.
World War II audiences embraced Spike and his City Slickers (“the Band who played for fun”) for their delicious parodies of popular songs.
Began his career as a top studio drummer, working on several Bing Crosby sessions and as a percussionist on the The Wizard of Oz (1939) soundtrack, among many other assignments.
Jones was drum major of a 90-piece band in his early high sic after hearing a pair of squeaky shoes during a number with a legitimate band. He said later that he began wondering why mistakes couldn’t be made in music to get laughs, the same way talking comedians make grammatical errors.
After he graduated from high school. Jones attended Chaffee.
Junior College for two years. he then began playing with some of Hollywoods name bands.
During the years, he added other “instruments” including gold plated cow bells, kitchen utensils, anvils, automobile horns, small cannons, bird calls, dog barks, hiccoughs and sneezes.