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Spike Jones

Spike Jones

Show Count: 55
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: December 14, 1911
Old Time Radio, Long Beach, California, U.S.
Died: May 1, 1965, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.

Born on December 14, 1911, Lindley Armstrong Jones got his nickname, “Spike,” by being as thin as a railroad spike for the Southern Pacific railroad company that his father worked for. He became a young musician at an early age when he received his first set of drums.

Jones later became a popular musician and bandleader who specialized in popular tunes. Offers to appear on the radio poured in, and Jones became a popular addition on shows such as Al Jolson’s Lifebuoy Program and Bing Crosby’s Kraft Music Hall. When Jones was a member of the Cindy Walker backup band Cindy wrote a song called, We’re Gonna Stomp Them City Slickers Down, and later he used the name, City Slickers for his own band.

Spike began to record under the name of Spike Jones and his City Slickers and took his band on the road using the name, The Musical Depreciation Revue. Their popularity got the band a contract with RCA and Spike and his band began to appear on some of the most popular radio (and later, television) shows.

One of Jones’ earliest appearances was as a panelist on The Adventures of Ellery Queen, a mystery radio show that premiered in 1939. He was also in charge of the music on the Bob Burns Show, a sort of spin off of the Kraft Music Hall. In 1942, Command Performance began, featuring many stars that appeared in the show’s various war-type productions. Spike Jones appeared – along with such greats as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore and Red Skelton. Time magazine voted Command Performance as “the best wartime program in America.”

After his appearance on The Bob Burns Show, Jones was awarded his own radio show, The Chase and Sanborn Program, which premiered in 1945 and lasted until 1949. Jones’ guest list included the crème de la crème of Hollywood – Frank Sinatra, Groucho Marx and Burl Ives among many others.

Spike married his first wife, Patricia, and they had one child, Linda. Later, Jones married Helen Grayco, a singer who appeared frequently with Jones on stage and television. Helen and Spike had three children – Spike Jr., Leslie Ann and Gina, who all followed their father into show business.

In 1942, Jones recorded a song, Der Fuehrer’s Face, which was a derogatory song making fun of the German dictator, Adolf Hitler. Jones was a genius at so-called satirical songs and many became big hits, such as his parody of Ghost Riders in the Sky and All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.

Emphysema began to cause the deterioration of Jones’ health and he finally started using an oxygen tank to help him breathe. He died when he was 53 years old and is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Broadcast: 1st July 1945
Added: Jul 10 2006
Broadcast: 30th January 1949
Added: Sep 12 2010
Broadcast: April 9, 1949
Added: Jul 26 2014
Broadcast: June 4, 1948
Added: Jun 14 2014
Broadcast: June 18, 1948
Added: Jul 05 2014
Broadcast: 20th February 1948
Added: Feb 20 2010
Broadcast: 2nd January 1948
Starring: Spike Jones
Added: Jan 02 2005
Broadcast: 7th October 1942
Added: Aug 27 2009
Broadcast: 22nd July 1945
Added: Jul 22 2007
Broadcast: 3rd June 1945
Added: Jul 18 2005
Broadcast: June 11, 1948
Added: Jun 28 2014
Broadcast: 18th June 1949
Starring: Spike Jones
Added: Aug 12 2007
Broadcast: 21st November 1947
Added: Nov 20 2009
Broadcast: 2nd November 1947
Added: Aug 31 2009
Broadcast: 14th May 1948
Starring: Spike Jones
Added: Aug 29 2009
Broadcast: 14th November 1947
Added: Nov 13 2009
Broadcast: 2nd December 1948
Added: Dec 04 2012
Broadcast: 17th October 1947
Added: Aug 27 2009
Broadcast: 28th May 1948
Added: Nov 08 2013
Broadcast: 1943
Starring: Spike Jones
Added: Nov 10 2007
Broadcast: 17th June 1945
Added: Sep 11 2009
Broadcast: 10th June 1945
Added: Jul 21 2005
Broadcast: 7th February 1947
Starring: Spike Jones, Bill Stern
Added: Aug 29 2009
Broadcast: 31st October 1947
Starring: Spike Jones
Added: Oct 31 2006
Broadcast: 24th June 1945
Added: Jul 01 2007
Broadcast: 7th November 1947
Added: Nov 06 2009
Broadcast: 23rd January 1948
Added: Jan 23 2010
Broadcast: 28th November 1947
Added: Nov 27 2009
Broadcast: 16th January 1948
Added: Jan 16 2010
Broadcast: 30th January 1948
Added: Jan 30 2010
Broadcast: 27th March 1943
Added: Sep 01 2009
Broadcast: 21st May 1948
Added: Nov 07 2013
Broadcast: 6th February 1948
Starring: Spike Jones
Added: Feb 06 2010
Broadcast: 9th January 1948
Starring: Spike Jones
Added: Jan 09 2010
Broadcast: 10th December 1948
Added: Oct 22 2009
Broadcast: 11th December 1948
Added: Aug 30 2009
Broadcast: 29th July 1945
Added: Jul 29 2007
Broadcast: 19th August 1945
Added: Aug 19 2007
Broadcast: 24th October 1947
Added: Aug 28 2009
Broadcast: 5th February 1947
Added: Aug 26 2007
Broadcast: 5th December 1947
Added: Dec 04 2009
Broadcast: 27th April 1946
Added: Aug 05 2007
Broadcast: 8th July 1945
Added: Jul 08 2007
Broadcast: 13th February 1948
Added: Feb 13 2010
Broadcast: 15th July 1945
Added: Jul 15 2007