The Happiness Boys

Happiness Boys, The

Billy Jones

Born on March 15, 1889 in New York City

Died on November 23, 1940 in New York City

Ernie Hare

Born on March 16, 1883 in Norfolk, Virginia

Died on March 9, 1939 in Jamaica, New York of bronchopneumonia


Billy Jones and Ernie Hare were two of radio's first big stars and claimed to be the first entertainers ever to be paid for radio work. Similar in appearance, age and background, tenor Jones and baritone Hare sang duets and told jokes on WJZ New York beginning in 1921. They changed professional names frequently, calling themselves "The Happiness Boys" when they went on the network in 1926 for Happiness Candies. They were called "The Interwoven Pair" when they were sponsored by Interwoven Sox, "The Flit Soldiers" when sponsored by Standard Oil and "The Tasty Breadwinners" or "The Tastyyeast Jesters" when sponsored by Tastyyeast Bakers. There is some confusion with respect to the latter name because Tastyyeast also sponsored a singing group consisting of Dwight Latham, Guy Bonham and Wamp Carlson, who played "Pep, Vim and Vigor" on the "The Tastyyeast Jesters" program.