Who the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is Spade Cooley and why do we care?
Spade Cooley was a musician (violin), big band leaderhe popularized Western Swingactor, television pioneer, and (ultimately) murderer.
In the early days of television, Cooley had a very popular show on a local Los Angeles station called The Hoffman Hayride. It became so popular during its near 10-year run (1948 to 56) that Paramount syndicated it as The Spade Cooley Show. It was a variety show and besides big stars like Frank Sinatra, he presented all manner of magicians, jugglers, ventriloquists, and other novelty acts. He gave Milo and Roger their name: it was Milo and Company before their appearance on his show, which was broadcast live from the Santa Monica Pier. Cooleys mistaken introduction stuck.
In 1961, Cooley was convicted of murdering his wife in a drunken rage. Sentenced to life in prison (and scheduled for release on parole in 1970some things never change), he died of a massive heart attack while out on a 72-hour furlough to play in a benefit show three months prior to his scheduled release.