Jethro Burns, the mandolin-playing partner in the Homer and Jethro country music team, died Saturday of cancer in Evanston, Ill. He was 69.
Homer, whose real name was Henry D. Haynes, and Jethro, whose real name was Kenneth C. Burns, were boyhood friends in Knoxville, Tenn.Their act took off after World War II when they became part of the "Midwestern Hayride" on a radio station in Cincinnati. The duo won a Grammy award for the best comedy performance of 1959 with "The Battle of Kookamonga," a parody of the "The Battle of New Orleans."
Homer and Jethro appeared in television commercials for Kellogg's Corn Flakes. Burns was a regular on the television show "Hee Haw," and played many times on the radio program "A Prairie Home Companion." Haynes died in 1971.