Hitch’s Happy Harmonists by Pat Sides


In the early 1920s, Evansville resident Curt Hitch organized a popular jazz ensemble, Hitch’s Happy Harmonists, which entertained audiences throughout southern Indiana.

The group frequently performed at dances at Indiana University in Bloomington, where they met Hoagy Carmichael, then enrolled as a law student. He accompanied the Harmonists to Gennett Records studio in Richmond, Indiana, where they recorded the first two of Carmichael’s songs, helping to launch his legendary musical career. Here Curt Hitch is seated at the piano (upper right); holding the cornet in front of him is band member Fred Rollison, who later became a prominent radio personality in Evansville.


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