Farmer City, Ill. (WCIA)
We all have a favorite Christmas song, but the next time you My Two Front Teeth (All I Want For Christmas) by Spike Jones and His City Slickers, you might feel a little Central Illinois pride.
That’s because that song was made famous by Farmer City native George Rock.
Rock graduated from Farmer City’s Moore Township Highschool in 1937. He was a talented trumpet player with a scholarship to play football at Wesleyan University.
However, Rock didn’t last long as a collegiate athlete. In the summer between his freshman and sophomore year of college, he joined Bob Pope’s band at the Farmer City Fair after his friends encouraged him to run home for his trumpet and join the band on stage.
Impressed by his skills, Pope offered the trumpet player a permanent position in his group and Rock left school to become a traveling musician.
“He was very good,” says Susan Ryan of the Farmer City Genealogical Society. We’re very proud of him.”
Rock played with various groups until the legendary Spike Jones spotted him at a gig in Hollywood. Jones invited Rock to play with his City Slickers in 1944. Together, they traveled the world hosting variety shows and staring in movies. Rock became famous for this large build and falsetto, which made him the perfect person to humorously sing the part of a young boy in My Two Front Teeth.
Rock played with Spike Jones and His City Slickers through the 1950s. He died in Champaign in 1988.