Friday, February 3, 2012

1938 Signal Work Clothes Presents The Hired Hands Real Photo Postcard

There's quite a bit stuff going on in this real photo postcard produced by Orcajo Photo Art Cards in Dayton, Ohio in 1938.

You have John Rissman & Sons, Signal Work Clothes, The Hired Hands (aka The Four Hired Hands), Lucille Overstake (aka Jenny Lou Carson) and WCFL Radio.

John Rissman & Sons, Chicago, stand out because they're known for trademarking  the name "Windbreaker." I'm not quite sure at what date they took over Signal Work Clothes who used to be produced by Hilker-Wiechers Manufacting Company in Racine, Wisconsin. They stopped producing Signal sometime in 1923 or 1924.

The Hired Hands (aka The Four Hired Hands) were a hillbilly/country band. Pictured in the postcard are Al Viodek, who joined the group in 1938,  Tony "Pitchie" Pacione, Don Giacolett, who left the band in 1938, and Ben "Blinky" Pigotti. The band was a big performer on WCFL and WLS, both Chicago based AM stations.

WLS was founded in 1924 and on its second night on the air debuted a show called National Barn Dance. This was one of the first American country music radio programs and a direct precursor to the Grand Ole Opry.

Another mainstay on National Barn Dance was Lucille Overstake (aka Jenny Lou Carson). She went on to write and record several #1 country hits including Jealous Heart preformed by country music and cowboy film legend, Tex Ritter.

The radio station featured on this card was WCFL. They were called the "Voice of Labor" and was founded by the Chicago Federation of Labor in 1926. They were the first labor union station in the country. Their mission statement was, "influence or educate the public mind upon the meaning and objects of Trade Unions and of the Federation on Labor, correct wrong impressions by broadcasting the truth, and advance progressive economic ideas which when actually put into operation will benefit the masses of the nation."

Below is a WLS Artist Studio photo featuring The Hired Hands.


  1. Hello;
    I am a volunteer at Tinley Park Historical Society Museum in Tinley Park, IL. We are currently trying to find photos and any information on an establishment that existed in the 1930s and early 1940s. It was the Bachelor Grove Ballroom and Roller Skating Rink at 145th and Oak Park Ave. One of the undated advertisements for this place shows a photo of four musicians with the caption DANCE EVERY NIGHT Except Monday -- (featuring) "DON JACKS AND THE MUSICA WAVES" Formerly known as "The Four Hired Hands" of WLS
    Music -- Vocals -- Comedy
    Are these the same folks as advertised? In this ad they are dressed in bowler hats, sports jackets, black and white shoes playing a trumpet, clarinet, baritone horn (looks like a small tuba) and an accordion. We are desperately tring to find any photos of The Bachelor Grove -- none seems to be in existence. I'll gladly send you a copy of this photo.
    Thank You,
    Phil Pursley

  2. Pitchie is my grandfather!!! Great photos, thanks!

  3. He was my grandfather's oldest brother. Something played up during the week when Josephine (his late wife) was laid to rest.