Monday, December 27, 2010

Hee-Haw: 1969-1992, Part Six...

This Life in the Kornfield book was released in 1996 and as far as I know it was never re-issued and so the only way an abundance of people were to get this book is if they bought it brand new at the time. It's available on the Amazon marketplace and it may be available on eBay...but it's long been out of print. 2011 will mark the book's 15th anniversary...it would be nice if the book were to get re-released in 2011 and have additional chapters focusing on Sam and the cast's thoughts about the success of the DVD's that Time-Life released in the mid 2000's and the thrill of the show getting a TV Land award a few years ago...in addition to the program's re-airing on RFD-TV...exposing the show to yet another generation. This book has a few flaws, though...those who get bent out of shape if a song might be referred to with a slightly different title or if 100% accuracy is a must you may find the book inferior. A slight inaccuracy is mistakenly crediting Gunilla Hutton as being a former cast-member of "Green Acres" instead of "Petticoat Junction". This sort of inaccuracy, though, would only be caught by those who are devoted fans of those two shows or know Gunilla's career history. The general public always mix-up those two shows because they both take place in the same town and have the same ensemble supporting cast...so, to all the nit-pickers, cut Sam some slack, okay?

This book contains an episode-by-episode breakdown...it's always been a fascinating part of the book...reading the names of all the celebrities that appeared from 1969 through 1992. This feature has added significance with RFD-TV airing the show in chronological order...now we can see ahead of time when one of our favorite singers are to make an appearance. Last night's rerun on RFD was from 1972 and it featured Jeannie C. Riley and Johnny Bench. That particular episode originally aired February 5, 1972. Looking in the episode breakdown I know that next Sunday night's rerun on January 2, 2011 will feature Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. The episode originally aired on February 12, 1972 of course.

The Hee-Haw 10th Anniversary celebration took place in 1978 as a 2-hour special that aired separately from it's weekly time-slot. This special was taped at the Opry, with a jam-packed audience, and it featured the cast and a lot of country singers stopping by giving their thoughts and memories of the show in addition to performing their current hits. One of the recurring features of the special was to air earlier clips of the cast prior to their current appearance. Tammy Wynette was saluted in a series of clips that spotlighted her various hair styles. Loretta Lynn appeared via video-tape and discussed her fondness for the show and they aired several clips of her and later she introduced Conway Twitty. All in all it was a fun celebration...and it included exclusive sketches performed live for the audience. They did a 20th Anniversary special in 1988 but for whatever reason it was never issued on DVD. In hindsight Time-Life should have issued the 1978 and 1988 anniversary specials together on one DVD. There were a few serious moments on the special...Grandpa Jones was featured sitting alone with a home made fishing pole discussing the murder of fellow cast-member, Dave "Stringbean" Akeman, which led into a video tribute of Stringbean's contributions to the show. Grandpa and Stringbean were close friends in real life. In another tribute, Buck Owens did a medley of his own hit songs as a salute to Don Rich, the leader of the Buckaroos band and an important figure in Buck's career. Don appeared on Hee-Haw every week as part of the Buckaroos band until his 1974 death at the age of 32.

Hee-Haw: 1969-1992.

No comments: