Hoosier Hotshots Biography

The group consisted of Hezzie Trietsch (Paul Trietsch, 11 April 1905, Arcadia, Indiana, USA, d. 27 April 1980; drums, song whistle, alto horn, washboard), brother Rudy Trietsch (b. Kenneth Trietsch, 13 September 1903, Arcadia, Indiana, USA, d. 17 September 1987; guitar, bass, banjo, horn), Frank Kettering (b. 1 January 1909, Monmouth, Illinois, USA, d. June 1973; bass, guitar, banjo, flute, piano, piccolo), and Gabe Ward (b. Charles Otto Ward, 26 November 1904, Knightstown, Indiana, USA, d. 14 January 1992; clarinet). After starting out as a dance band, they found comedy routines were more enjoyable to perform and consequently, by 1935, when they became regulars on the WLS National Barn Dance in Chicago, they had become a novelty act. Their rousing stage entrance, preceded by the cry ‘Are you ready, Hezzie’, inspired a national catchphrase, and for years they worked the NBCAlka Seltzer Show segment with Uncle Ezra. Songs that they made popular include ‘Meet Me In The Icehouse Lizzie’, ‘Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia’, ‘Red Hot Fannie’ and ‘The Man With Whiskers’. They toured extensively and recorded for ARC, Vocalion Records and Mercury Records, but their comedy and zany behaviour firmly established their live appeal. They toured with the WLS tours and historian Bill C. Malone states inCountry Music USA that they ‘frequently grossed between $3, 000 and $5, 000 dollars for one-day stands’. They visited Hollywood and even made appearances in several films. Naturally, over the years, there were personnel changes and other artists who appeared as members included Nathan Harrison, Keith Milheim and Gil Taylor.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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