Howdy ever'body! Welcome to part four in this Hee-Haw blog series. Part Three was published on this blog many months ago...almost a year ago...where I spotlighted a couple of DVD's that Time-Life had released. Several weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my cable provider now carries RFD-TV! This is excellent news because this is the channel that airs Hee-Haw on Sunday nights at 8pm. The show repeats on Monday morning at 10am. I've watched the show at 10am but I don't have that same feeling that I do watching the show in the evening hours...even though the 10am Monday morning airing is a repeat of the 8pm episode the night before. I guess that has to do with all those years watching the show at 7pm back when it was still in production. I do remember catching the show in 1991 during Saturday and, or, Sunday afternoon...so having it air in the daytime isn't unheard of...I just prefer watching it in the evening hours.
The episode that aired tonight, January 31st, featured Loretta Lynn and Bill Anderson as guests. Susan Raye, a regular cast-member and frequent duet partner with Buck Owens, sang a song as did hosts Buck Owens and Roy Clark and twin cast-members Jim and Jon Hager. Loretta sang "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "Secret Love"; Bill Anderson sang "Wild Weekend" and "I Love You, Drops". Susan Raye sang her Top-10 hit, "Willy Jones". The Hagers sang "Looking Out My Backdoor", a Creedence Clearwater Revival hit. The episode originally aired on February 2, 1971.
I have 11 of those Time-Life DVD's of Hee-Haw. I'm holding up 10 of them. An 11th wasn't able to be in the shot...as you can see I had a difficult enough time trying to keep them from falling from the stack...so I took the 11th DVD from the stack and snapped a picture real quick. Some of those DVD's have two episodes on them and several have just one episode. There is a 5-disc set called A Salute to Hee-Haw that is rather pricey. It's running time is 480 minutes altogether. I was never able to purchase it. It features 4 DVD's with 2 episodes per disc which adds up to 8 episodes and then a 5th disc which features interviews with some of the surviving cast members of the show.
Although I wish I had the 5-DVD release, I'm happy with the DVD's that I have so I'm not complaining...and the fact that I now get RFD-TV where I can see the show each Sunday evening is also a plus!! If I had my way, though, the show would air every weeknight at 7pm and I'd mix the episodes around. One evening have a show from 1970 and the next night have a show from 1984 and then the next night have something from 1972 and then an episode from 1989, etc etc. The 5-DVD collection is sold-out at Amazon and at Wal*Mart's web-site store...and I did a search at Time-Life's web-site and couldn't find any reference to Hee-Haw on their site. I did a product search and it came up empty so they must have stopped offering these DVD's. The 5-DVD set was released in 2006...much of the DVD's were released in 2004, 2005, and 2006...it certainly doesn't seem like it's been 4 years ago...in some cases 6!!
This is the DVD release of the only episode of Hee-Haw that George Strait appeared on. The episode originally aired on November 12, 1983 and at the time Strait was an emerging superstar...having been on the national scene a little over 2 years. In that short span of time he had racked up several consecutive Top-5 hits on his way to a hugely successful career...with over 50 #1 country hits and election into the Country Music Hall of Fame 23 years later in 2006. The Statler Brothers are the other guests on this episode and there have been some consumers upset over what they consider over-kill by the Statler Brothers. Some of the commentary I came across regarding this DVD included anger over how many sketches were centered around the group. I never saw anything wrong with the episode myself. The show's producer, Sam Lovullo, always wanted guests who loved to do the comedy sketches. Some artists shied away from doing too much comedy and they only shown up to sing. So, to my way of thinking, since the Statler Brothers are hilarious and have a comedic side to them, having them appear in the comedy sketches on the show seemed natural so you'll get no complaints from me.