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The Happiness Boys
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  • From a knowledgeable eBay seller, gluedtotheset: The Happiness Boys was a popular radio program of the early 1920s. It featured the vocal duo of tenor Billy Jones (1889-1940) and bass/baritone Ernie Hare (1881-1939) who sang novelty songs. Jones and Hare were already established as soloists on phonograph records. One of Jones's better solos was "Mary Lou," while Hare scored with the Yuletide novelty "Santa Claus Hides in the Phonograph." In 1920 recording executive Gus Haenschen had them sing an accompaniment on a Brunswick recording. They went on to do numerous recordings for Brunswick Records, Edison, and other companies. Similarities between the two singers were often noted: same height, same weight, birthdays a few days apart. Fred Rabinstein, who worked with Edison, recalled: They had amused themselves by singing opera in a burlesque fashion, as they [later] did in their 1922 record of "Operatic Syncopation"...They seemed to have everything in common except that Jones was a bachelor (he took a wife after his mother's death) and Hare was married, with a little girl named Marilyn, who was to serve for a short time as Jones's singing partner after her father's death in 1939... both had mothers whose maiden names were Roberts; both were five feet and seven inches tall; both had voices of operatic calibre that perfectly complemented each other, and both had had operatic experience. (Tim P. Ryan)
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