Ballads and classical works receiving the Jones treatment would be punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells, and outlandish vocals.
The group came to be due to drummer Spike Jones growing bored with playing the same music each night he performed with the Victor Young orchestra;
First to be recruited was Delmar Porter, who sang with the Foursome -- a vocal and ocarina quartet Jones had backed on Decca Records -- was Jones' partner in musical mayhem from the outset. Porter led a six-piece group called the Feather Merchants, which was managed by Jones before it gradually evolved into the City Slickers.
They soon found other like-minded musicians and together they began playing parodies of standard songs for their own entertainment. The musicians wanted their wives to share in their enjoyment, so they recorded their weekly performances.
One of the recordings somehow made its way into the hands of an RCA Victor executive, who offered the musicians a recording contract. The first record made by the City Slickers was Der Fuehrer's Face.
Because of the success of the record, Jones turned from being the group's drummer to being its bandleader. He initially thought the popularity he and the City Slickers enjoyed as a result of the record would fade. Audiences kept wanting to hear more from Jones and his band, so he began working at more comic arrangements for the group.
The band released their last album in 1956, calling it a day soon afterward due to Jones wishing to perform "more serious" music.