The Music of Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders was apparently a music fan. During the late 1960s, while he still owned Kentucky Fried Chicken, he released a number of albums which were sold at his restaurants.

His first record, released in 1966, was "Favorite Old Church Hymns recorded by The Colonel's Mandolin Band for the glorification of Christ."

The story goes, as reported by the Danville Advocate-Messenger (Nov 6, 1967), that "a group of sixth-graders originally became interested in mandolins after their teacher brought an instrument to the school. When the children, who lived near Colonel Sanders, had formed a band and played many times, they performed for him and he forthwith bought them all new mandolins and assisted them in making a record." In fact, he decided to print 30,000 copies of the record, almost none of which sold. reports that thousands of copies of the record are still in a storage warehouse in Kentucky, and you can buy one if you visit the original KFC location in Corbin, Kentucky.

The other albums he released were more generic music compilations. The best title among the lot is Colonel Sanders' Tijuana Picnic, which sounds vaguely obscene, but was just a collection of Tijuana Brass knockoffs. You can listen to the whole album on YouTube (clip below).

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 18, 2020
     Category: Music | Junk Food | 1960s

It's notable that restaurateurs fail in the music industry as much as musicians fail in the restaurant industry.
Posted by Jessica on 06/18/20 at 11:48 AM
Col Sanders / KFC wasn't the only business putting out albums. Firestone Tires put out Christmas albums, as did Hallmark Cards. Spend enough time in thrift shops going through albums and you will eventually find weirdness galore.
Posted by Patrick on 06/19/20 at 07:51 AM
Anyone interested in vintage Christmas music should visit, which features downloadable MP3s of public-domain holiday songs, mostly from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Not sure if they’re aware of Col Sanders’ contributions.
Posted by Brian on 06/19/20 at 11:13 AM
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