Hillbilly-Music.com—The People. The Music. The History.
Leonard (Slim) Rittenhouse
and the Night Riders
Born:  November 17, 1914
Died:  July 9, 1998
WKRZ Oil City, PA
WMFF Plattsburg, PA
WPIC Sharon, PA

About The Artist

This band got a small writeup in a 1946 magazine article by Gladys Card. The leaders of the group, Slim and Cowgirl Clara, were Leonard and Clara Rittenhouse in real life and were married on June 5, 1945.

At that time, they were entertaining the fans in Oil City, Pennsylvania over radio station WKBZ with a half-hour show at 1:00pm every Monday through Friday.

As one might expect, some of the band had served in the military for some time during World War II. Fred Miller, their Hawaiian guitar player (born on February 1, 1946), served in the U.S. Paratroopers for five years. He had been married a couple years at the time of the article and had a daugther. He was the newest member of the band at that time.

Ozark Zeke was another member of the troupe, playing the bass fiddle and from the name he used, one would assume also handling some of the comedic efforts in the band. He also sang lead on the band's trio numbers. By 1946, they said he had been married for six years and had a 4-year old son. Zeke

Finally the band included one veteran performer who went by the name of Arizona Bill or as his wife of 18 years (as of 1946) knew him, Bill Foster. The article mentions he and his wife had two girls and one boy. Bill was born on March 22, 1908. Prior to joining Slim and the Night Riders, Arizona Bill had worked at such stations as WCLE, WKRN, WLEU, WJTN, KDKA, WMFF among others.

Timeline & Trivia Notes

Group Members:

  • Slim (Leonard Rittenhouse, fiddle, vocals
  • Cowgirl Clara (Clara Rittenhouse), Spanish guitar, vocals
  • Ozark Zeke (Ralph Muchinhapt), bass fiddle, vocals
  • Arizona Bill (Bill Foster), guitar, vocals
  • Fred Miller, Hawaiian guitar

Credits & Sources

  • National Hillbilly News; November 1946; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV