Hillbilly Band

Hillbilly Band History

The Hillbilly Band was begun by Noble Louie Fruhauf in 1923 as a marching unit called “Herr Louie’s German Band” as an informal part of the Arab Patrol, but has been known as the “Hillbilly Band” since 1938, and is one of Midian’s oldest musical units in Midian.


The Band, booking non-Shrine functions as the “Bourbon Street Six, Sometimes Seven,” has made a record and appeared in two movies. We are proud to claim Red Skelton and Al Hirt as honorary members due to appearances made with both.  Our chief claim to fame remains the ability of our professional musicians to play Dixieland and Old Standards in a “slightly-crazy” manner. There is no contradiction between our name and the music we play; we dress like Hillbilly’s and play quality music.


Our 1923 Model “T” Ford parade vehicle…the one with seven “live” musicians performing on it… was Noble Fruhauf’s personal car, which was donated to the Band in the late 1920″s and has been in exclusive Shrine use ever since, although a “few” repairs and modifications have been made in the past eighty years!  We perform an average of fifty times a year and welcome new members who love good music and a great time playing it.


Concerning the Hillbillies: We have NO dues. Our only uniform is a polo shirt and ball cap, both of which we have available for a nominal fee.   There is no musical qualification test to join our Unit, but prospective members are expected to be proficient in their instrument and be able to work without written music when needed.  We currently have 6-8 members left who ride on the 1923 Ford Hillbilly Truck.  We would love to have new members join us in the fun.

As part of our philanthropy we commit $1,000 a year to the Plane of  Mercy Transportation fund plus other fund raisers going to support Midian Shrine and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

As the Hillbilly Band normally plays ahead of Midian Stated Meetings, we consider each performance a “meeting.” However, the Unit does have one formal meeting each year to elect officers, and that is normally late in October.    All of the Unit members have worked as professional musicians, although they now perform primarily to have a lot of fun and support Shrine and Masonic organizations while doing so!  The bulk of our performances are for Shrine, area nursing homes, and Masonic Lodge functions and parades, but we do occasional non-Masonic-related paid performances, booking the group as the “Bourbon Street Six–Sometimes Seven”

Unit Contact
Email John Heckman for more information
Unit Officers - 2016
  • Cecil I Goldsmith – President
  • John Heckman – Secretary
  • Al Brumbaugh – Director