Jim Henson was born in rural Mississippi in 1936, where he spent the first ten years of his life before mainly living his adolescence in Maryland and the Washington, DC area. People say there were parts of him that were very much the reserved, polite Southern gentleman--particularly in his manners--but you can also see his rural upbringing in some of the music he liked and often featured on The Muppet Show and in other projects.
The Gogolala Jubilee Jugband were a way to get some of the country and novelty music he'd liked as a kid onto The Muppet Show. They barely had names or distinctive personalities; they were mainly a music delivery device for fun little numbers. In fact, they were so non-distinct in character that they often had different performers. They were put together out of what the Muppet people call Whatnot Muppets, which are blank Muppets that any features can be molded on to. And their name speaks to Jim Henson's love of nonsense words.
The Hillbilly Singer had appeared earlier in the season, in a slightly different look, for probably my favorite segment featuring the Gogolala Jubilee Jugband, this cover of Tompall Glaser's "Put Another Log on the Fire," featuring Candice Bergen. (This song was, of course, written by Shel Silverstein.)
The final appearance by any of the Gogolala Jubilee Jugband is this little spot from late in the first season, a performance of the old Carson Jay Robison song "Life Gets Teejus, Don't It."
I'm not sure exactly why the decision was made to drop the band. They were part of a musical tradition that Jim Henson deeply enjoyed. They were actually the second Muppet country music band; the first was the Country Trio, which are really caricatures of Jim Henson, Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson. They pre-date The Muppet Show, appearing first on The Perry Como Winter Show, then on The Dick Cavett Show, and intermittently on The Muppet Show.
I wonder a little bit if the decision was made partially because of the departure of the two of the band's performers, Eren Ozker (seen above with Richard Hunt) and Peter Friedman, after the first season of The Muppet Show. Or, really, Jim could have just found new designs he liked and gone with them, as sometimes happened. Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy were redesigned after that first season. The Gogolala Jubilee Jugband was replaced by Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers, who stayed throughout the show and even appear in the "Happiness Hotel" song in The Great Muppet Caper.
The Muppet Encyclopedia says the group disbanded over an argument about whether or not to put a hole in the washtub, which is a nice wink at Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.
Either way, we got some fun performances out of them while they lasted.