Jon Hager (b. 30 August 1941, Chicago, Illinois, USA; guitar, harmonica, drums, vocals) and Jim Hager (b. 30 August 1941, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 1 May 2008, Nashville, Tennessee, USA; guitar, drums, vocals) were identical twins (John being the elder by 20 minutes). They were adopted by Rev. Jack Hager and his wife and grew up with a love for music which, in their teens, saw them perform on local radio and television. They served in Germany and Vietnam during their US Army service and regularly entertained their fellow servicemen. After discharge, they spent two years working in a trio in the Chicago area, before relocating to California. They played at Disneyland and had a club residency, until Buck Owens made them part of his touring show for the next two years. In 1969, they became members of the cast of the popular Hee Haw television show and their vocals, comedy routines and impersonations saw them remain show favourites for 18 years, until 1987. They were signed by Capitol Records in 1969, and gained their first chart hit with the oddly titled ‘Gotta Get To Oklahoma (Cause California’s Getting To Me)’. In 1970, they registered three more Top 75 hits, including a version of Merle Haggard’s now much recorded ‘Silver Wings’. In 1971, their final entry, ‘I’m Miles Away’, just reached the Top 50 and proved prophetically correct as far as further hits were concerned.
During the 70s, the Hager Twins recorded without chart success for Barnaby and Elektra Records and toured with their country show. They also made successful acting appearances, including roles in the movieTwin Detectives for ABC-TV in 1976, and in 1987, they co-presentedCountry Kitchen on TNN. Their uniqueness as identical twins led to many television appearances, as well as work on commercials, and they are the only twins to achieve major success in country music. In the 90s, they became noted for hosting their major annual fishing competition at Lakewood, Wisconsin, which they organized to benefit charities.