Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers

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Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers was a country-comedy band that performed largely in the Midwest United States from the late 1930s into the 1960s.

Members[edit]

  • Tom C. Fouts (Captain Stubby) November 24, 1918 - May 26, 2004. Comedy, played novelty instruments, including musical hat rack, tuned toilet seat (gitarlet). Vocalist. Born in Carroll County, Indiana.
  • Dwight E. (Tiny) Stokes November 11, 1920 - January 12, 1999. Lead tenor vocals, played bass. Born in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Jerald R. Richards - Clarinet, flute, bass clarinet, ocarina, tin whistle. Vocals.
  • Sonny Fleming - Played guitar, banjo. Vocalist.
  • Peter Kunatz - Accordion, piano.
  • Gerald (Curley) Myers - Guitar, banjo, vocals.
  • Chuck Kagy - Fiddle, guitar, mandolin.
  • Buddy Ross - Accordion.
  • Tony Walberg - Accordion.

History[edit]

Tom C. Fouts, nicknamed Stubby for his stature, left Indiana Central University after a year, and in 1938 formed a band with five friends. The Six Hoosiers specialized in comedy, Fouts playing novelty instruments like a "tuned toilet seat" he called the "gitarlet."

WDAN radio in Danville, Illinois signed them to a contract, and in 1940 held a contest to rename the Six Hoosiers. The $100 prizewinner suggested Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers. (During performances, Fouts would sometimes refer to them as "Captain Stubby and the bucket of tears.")

Appropriately, several of the band members joined the U.S. Navy in 1944, Entertainment Division, going overseas to entertain sailors. Tom chose to return home to the family farm to stay out of the war. The other band members eventually convinced him that joining the effort was the right and less cowardly act. After World War II they signed with WLS Radio in Chicago and performed on the popular National Barn Dance, heard throughout the Midwest.

Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers eventually became regulars on the ABC-TV program Polka Go-Round. They also recorded with five labels, performing many of Fouts' songs. With singer Lola Dee, they recorded the Mercury Records single "Padre" and "Takin' The Trains Out".[1] Fouts was host of a syndicated talk show called Captain Stubby's Special Delivery. He also wrote for and performed on the national Don McNeill's Breakfast Club from 1968 until 1971.

Curly Myers and Tiny Stokes performed for awhile as the Two Bucs. For a period of time in the late seventies and early eighties all five buccaneers worked for Martin Buildings, a farm pole building company, performing at state fairs throughout the Midwest, on Caribbean cruises and even one trip to London. In the mid eighties the Two Bucs were performing Wednesday through Saturday at the Best Western.[2]

The band continued to perform together under an agreement of equal pay. When it was discovered Tom Fouts was performing quietly with a band of his own making called "Captain Stubby and His Buccaneers" using musicians that were not part of the band and without compensating his fellow band members, the original Buccaneers demanded he halt using their name for his own personal gain. He cancelled future shows, however the trust within the band was never the same after his deception.

Advertising[edit]

Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers first performed the original Roto-Rooter jingle on WLS in the early 1950s, and the recorded version became one of the longest-running tunes in the history of advertising, featuring Tom Fouts' bass voice in "Away go Troubles Down the Drain." Shortly before his death at 85 in 2004, he contributed to nostalgic radio spots for Roto-Rooter.

Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers also sang the 1959 Chicago White Sox fight song, "Let's Go, Go-Go White Sox", and Tom Fouts was the voice of Green Giant's Little Sprout.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steffen Hung. "Lola Dee with Captain Stubby & The Buccaneers - Padre". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  2. ^ http://www.hillbilly-music.com/artists/story/printartist.php?id=13386