Friday, October 28, 2011

The Mona Motor Oil Twins

Now this is truly obscure. There are scant few references to the Mona Motor Oil Twins, and many of them erroneously list them as the Mono Motor Oil Twins. It's difficult to track down any information on the group. but we do know that they had a little something to do with KOIL. The Mona Motor Oil Company owned 1080 KOIL-AM, which signed on July 10, 1925. (They didn't move to 1290 until much later) They originally broadcast from twin towers in Council Bluffs, Iowa and then moved to Omaha in 1937.  None of my books even gave a year. Thankfully Google scans newspapers. The Milwaukee Journal newspaper mentioned the Mona Motor Oil Twins in a short article on Sept 6th 1928.
"Ned and John, the Mona Motor Oil Twins, from Council Bluffs, Iowa, and station KOIL  will broadcast a special program over WTMJ, the Milwaukee Journal station from 7 to 7:30 and from 10 to 10:30 tonight. They will sing a number of popular songs of today and play a few Hawaiian guitar selections. Listen to the twins tonight over WTMJ."
That's the whole thing. I have also found exactly one 78 release by the duo titled "The Book on Etiquette/ I'm Saving Saturday Night For You" on Columbia [1340 D]. Modern complication CDs seem to list that first track as 'Etiquette Blues." That was also released in 1928. A 1927 issue of Ohio State University monthly lists the Mona Motor Oil Twins the morning of Tuesday, May 10th.My impression here is that the group was very short-lived. The Encyclopedia of American Radio lists entries for a Mona Motor Oil Trio, and a Mona Motor Oil String Quartet.

What ultimately happened to ned and Jonh we may never know.  The great depression was hard on the Mona Motor Oil Co. before the crash, the Mona Motor Oil complex was expanding down South 6th Stree. but after things were bad. Barnsdall Corp. acquired the company in 1932. They sold KOIL to promoter Don Burden in 1953. The stories about Don Burden deserve their own post and he too will have his day.