The Colonel of Corn
                    and the Schnickelfritz Band

NEW! Su Lum's book, Fisher The Fixer is now available for reading here at Freddie's site. Yes, Su has graciously given us permission to put the entire book on line. Check it out at Fisher The Fixer


The New FREDDIE STORE has opened. You can own your own hard copy of Su's book, DVDs of Freddies movies and CD's of his works all by taking a visit to FREDDIE'S STORE

more pages...
Fisher The Fixer

VIDEOFEST is sponsoring 16 videos of The Schnickelfritzers and Korn Kobblers. Enjoy!!
  • I Wanna Go Back To Bali
  • Old Hank
  • The Latin Quarter
  • Colonel Corn
  • Raz-A-Ma-Taz
  • Round and Round on the Merry Go Round
  • Poor Little Fly On The Wall
  • Colonel Corn (Jamboree)
  • Turkey In The Straw
  • Hilda Was A Darned Good Cook
  • Ther's Gonna Be A Jamboree
  • Tiger Rag
  • Listen To The Mockingbird
  • Where The Sweet Mamas Grow
  • I Want My Rib
  • That's My Weakness Now
  • You can buy copies of these on DVD at THE FREDDIE STORE or at

    Here on some of Freddie's songs and styles to listen to.
    Horsey Keep Your Tail Up
    When My Baby Smiles At Me
    Colonel Corn
    Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now

    Freddie Fisher CDs, DVDs and movies are avaialble at THE FREDDIE STORE or at

    In Windows Media Format

    Tiger Rag

    Old Hank

    Turkey In The Straw

    More music in this manner from...
    Captain Stubby
    George Formby
    Hoosier Hot Shots
    Korn Kobblers
    Paul Moore
    Snap On Voles
    Yogi Yorgesson

    Sites Featuring artists of similar music


    Rediscovering Schnickelfritz
    (Reprinted from the Winona Post)

    by Frances Edstrom

    A couple of weeks ago, we ran a photo of the Schnickelfritz band from a postcard supplied to us by Scott and Kathy Turner. We asked for any information, and our request was granted.

    Don Kiekbusch came to visit, and brought a wonderful collection of Schnickelfritz memorabilia.

    Schnickelfritz was the moniker adopted by Freddie Fisher, a musician originally from Iowa. Freddie and his band, a forerunner of the Spike Jones type of entertainers, combining music with comedy routines, some rather irreverent, were the house band at the Sugar Loaf Tavern, which was located near the intersection of Hwy. 43 and Homer Road in West Burns Valley.

    The Sugar Loaf Tavern was owned by Louie and Mae Biltgen, and was a popular place to listen to music and dance.

    Schnickelfritz and the band worked with New York agents, had a recording contract with Decca Records, and were billed as "America's Most Unsophisticated Band!" and "Still the Biggest Novelty Recording Attraction."

    Some of the band's recordings were Tiger Rag, Red Hot Mama, Wabash Blues, I'm a Ding Dong Daddy, Washboard Man, The Wild, Wild Women, Red Wing, Goofus, The Schnickelfritz Waltz, and Lonely Me and Lovely You. They also did an album of Old Time songs, which included such standards as Oh, Susannah.

    Don's parents, Herb and Della, became friends with Freddie Fisher, who would walk to their house near Jefferson School from Sugar Loaf to visit with the Kiekbusches.

    After some time, Schnickelfritz and his band moved up to St. Paul, where they played at the Midway. Friends of the band, including the Biltgens and Kiekbusches, traveled to St. Paul to catch the show up there.

    It was in St. Paul that an agent of singing and movie star Rudy Vallee caught the Schnickelfritz show. He brought Rudy to see the band, and they signed Schnickelfritz to a contract for a movie.

    Don remembers seeing the movie sometime in the late 1930s. The movie was already nearly complete when Schnickelfritz was signed, so they filmed Schnickelfritz after the fact and inserted the clip in the movie.

    The Rudy Vallee movie took the band to Hollywood, where they made a few more "shorts" which Don also remembers seeing in the local movie theater.

    While they were in Hollywood, the band fell apart. Band member Stan Fritts took some of the band members and moved to the east coast, where they formed the Korn Kobblers. That band, too, recorded with Decca, and pretty much carried on the Schnickelfritz sort of corny stuff. They had some success, and one of the members of that band, Nels Laakso, ended up playing with Eddie Duchin's band.

    Don can remember hearing both Schnickelfritz, who had his own radio show (theme song Mood Indigo), and the Korn Kobblers on various radio shows.

    Freddie Fisher, Schnickelfritz, stayed in Hollywood and opened a night club called the Radio Room, somewhere near the Brown Derby, where Freddie, billing himself as the "Original Colonel of the Corn," played nightly.

    During World War II, Don found himself in Hollywood with some Navy buddies, and looked up the Radio Room. He told his buddies he was personal friends with Schnickelfritz, which was met with some suspicion.

    Of course Freddie Fisher recognized Don and welcomed him warmly to Hollywood, taking him up a notch in his buddies' estimation.

    After a while, Freddie and his family left Hollywood and moved to what was then becoming a new entertainment mecca, an old mining town in Colorado, Aspen. In Aspen, Freddie ran a novelty shop and played at the popular night club, the Red Onion. In the 1950s, the Red Onion and Schnickelfritz, plus his son, King Fisher, who was playing with him by then, were featured in a full-color Fuller Brush catalog -- "And speaking of performance, the Red Onion musicians really put on one for us - and they seemed to enjoy it as much as we did."

    You have to believe that Freddie Fisher did enjoy the life -- music, comedy, the stage and bright lights -- which got its start in Winona at the Sugar Loaf Tavern.

    This article provided by, and copyright, The Winona Post. Used by permission.
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    Members of the band included...
    Freddie Fisher - woodwinds, vocals
    Stan Fritts - trombone, vocals (left in 1939 to form Korn Kobblers)
    Nels Laasko - trumpet (left in 1939 to form Korn Kobblers)
    Charlie Koenig - bass (left in 1939 to form Korn Kobblers)
    Paul Cooper - piano
    Kennie Trisko - drums

    Marty Gold - piano (replaced Paul Cooper) (left in 1939 to form Korn Kobblers)(Marty had been with Paul Napoleon's Band and was hired away while both bands were at the Paradise where Freddie was promoting Gold Diggers of 1938.
    Harry Lindeman - Drums (replaced Kennie Trisko)

    George Rock - trumpet (replaced Nels Laasko)

    Freddie's Aspen live material besides Freddie featured...
    Walt Smith - Piano
    King Fisher - cornet
    Jim McCabe drums, bass
    Les Gaylord - bass

    Freddies self issued lp on the Schnickelfritz label besides Freddie featured...
    King Fisher - cornet
    Don Ingle - valve trombone/vocals
    Walt Smith - piano
    Red Ingle - baritone sax


    Copyright © 2004 Hoosier Hot Shots Museum
    Aspen Times logo copyright The Aspen Times. Freddie Fisher Red Onion Poster Copyright Greg Poshman
    Our thanks to Charlene Dowd, Amy Miner, Celia Miner and David Michael for their help on this site.