Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DJ Adolph Hofner

Not that Adolph , the other Adolph.Originally billed as "Adolph And the Boys," they changed their name to Dolph Hofner and the San Antonians for obvious reasons. Some history books call it "anti-German hysteria" but I prefer to think of the anti-German sentiments of WWI as pretty understandable.

His musical career began in 1936 with a touring western band, Jimmie Revard and the Oklahoma Playboys. In 1938 he played with Tom Dickey's Show Boys and probably was on air at WDAI-AM. In 1939 the same band went back out on tour playing more western swing and even cut a couple sides for Columbia. After WWII Adolph began cutting more ethnic tunes, specializing in Czech music for Imperial records. In 1941, Hofner signed a recording contract with Okeh and began touring the Foreman Phillips chain of dance hall.  More here.

In 1950 he mixed it up and with a sponsorship from Pearl Beer, Hofner formed the "Pearl Wranglers" and worked a regular slot on KTSA-AM  in San Antonio. It aired on at Mondays at 5PM. He was already 34 and turning the corner of his musical career. (Foreman Phillips was a radioman himself and had a programs on KFOX, KRKD, KFWB, and KXLA.)  They got what they could out of a 15-minute spot every Sunday. It ended poorly by all reports and they did guest performances but never had a regular program again. The last broadcast show I found for them was on KENS-AM.

Hofner continued to record for the tiny Sarg label for another 20 years.  Their last release was in 1998, a post-humous, self-titled LP.  Dolph died in 2000. As you might expect he is a member of the Texas Polka Music Association Hall of Fame.