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Uncle Harry and His Hillbillies
KDAL Duluth, MN

Uncle Harry's Hillbillies show up in an old Pete Pyle folio. The group at that time was working at radio station KDAL over in Duluth, Minnesota.

While with the group. Famous Lashua penned a popular tune called "Choc'late Ice Cream Cone" which gained popularity and was being sung by artists around the country.

Matt Pelkonen in his regular column "Matt's Chats" would often tell readers what songs the artists were singing on the air. And usually, it would be a song he had a hand in writing as was the case in many of the columns of that era. Uncle Harry's Hillbillies were doing a tune called "Little Gal, I Trusted You Too Long", written by Josephine Friedlinger, Ben Shelhammer Jr. and Lew Mel. So while we may not have any recordings by the group, we get some idea of the type of tunes the group would perform from such information.

By 1947, Famous Lashua had branched out on his own; he formed a group that was known as the Frontiersmen but was still being heard over KDAL. Country Music, a music publisher back then out of Chicago, published a folio of his songs and included pictures of Uncle Harry's Hillbillies as well.

Timeline & Trivia Notes

Group Members:

  • Uncle Harry Novitzke, violin, guitar, banjo and mandolin
  • Famous Lashua, guitar and vocals
  • Phil Saporito, accordion
  • Ollie Clayton, vocals; emcee chores
  • Paul Jensen, bass fiddle

Credits & Sources

  • Pete Pyle Folio; 1944; Russ Hull's Country Music; Chicago, IL
  • National Hillbilly News; No. 11; May 1946; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV
  • National Hillbilly News; Vol. 2 No. 2; August 1946; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV
  • National Hillbilly News; Vol. 2 No. 4; November 1946; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV
  • National Hillbilly News; Vol. 2 No. 6; January 1947; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV
  • National Hillbilly News; Vol. 3 No. 1; September / October 1947; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV
  • Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; September 1946; Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co., Inc.; New York, New York

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