The Fendermen

The Fendermen resurrected an old song from the 30's and put their only top forty record on the chart in 1960. It was huge, and the duo returned to anonymity as one of the great one-hit wonder acts.

The great country singer/songwriter Jimmie Rodgers wrote Mule Skinner Blues in 1931, and he was the first to record the song that year. Jim Sundquist was born on November 26, 1937 in Niagara, Wisconsin and Phil Humphrey was born the very same day in Madison, Wisconsin. Humphrey was raised in the Wisconsin town of Stoughton.

By the late 50's Sundquist and Humphrey each had his own band, and in another similarity, each was playing a Fender guitar. They combined the bands when they met up at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They revived the blue yodel sound and recorded a boisterous, somewhat disorderly version of Rodgers' Mule Skinner Blues. Originally released on the Cuca label in 1959, by the following year there was another release on Soma and it started climbing the charts in June of 1960, finally landing at number five.

Mule Skinner Blues proved to be the one and only contribution to the top forty by the Fendermen, and is regarded as an early version of garage band music.

Most Recent Update: December 1, 2001

Return to Rock-and-Roll Page.

Return to Home Page.

Send email to the author, Tom Simon