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The Fendermen

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The story of the Fendermen is one of those too good to be true stories of the business, but true nonetheless. It's one of two guitarists, Jim Sundquist and Phil Humphries, born on the same day and month in two different towns who didn't meet until they were teenagers. Mutually infused with the rock'n'roll bug, they started playing as a duo, naming themselves after the Fender guitars both of them plugged into a single amplifier. One of the songs that always received the biggest response when the duo played live the local bars was a hopped up, rockabilly rendition of Jimmie Rodgers' "Mule Skinner Blues," complete with goofball yodels and hot guitar licks. A local entrepreneur convinced the boys to record it--sans drummer or bassist--and had it pressed up on the local Cuca label in Wisconsin, then it was re-recorded for a Minnesota label, Soma. Inexplicably, the record caught on nationally, zooming up to the Top Ten in 1960. Humphries and Sundquist grabbed a local drummer and hit the road, touring behind their massive hit and eventually recording an entire album before the duo went their separate ways two years later. A one hit wonder group, the Fendermen nonetheless made full blooded, energetic rock'n'roll and provided one of the last gasps of rockabilly in a teen idol infested era. ~ Cub Koda

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1959 in Madison, WI

Years Active:

'50s, '60s