Monday, July 4, 2011

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

A few minutes ago I came across a web-site originating from Oklahoma. I discovered that a Hee-Haw exhibit is taking place at the Oklahoma History Center. Those of you are familiar with the area or in the vicinity of Oklahoma City will probably know where the venue is. If not, the information can be found here along with a video clip of Roy Clark, Vince Gill, and Garth Brooks giving their comments on Hee-Haw and it's lasting impact. There's a nice article/write-up about the show and it mentions that although the show's been out of production since 1992 it's continued to find audiences through reruns. It reran on The Nashville Network (TNN) for nearly four years starting in the fall of 1993. Those reruns were a ratings success for the network and it helped promote the stage revival at Opryland Theme Park called Hee-Haw Live which got underway in the summer of 1994.

Upon the conclusion of the closing credits of the television rerun there would typically be a promo for Hee-Haw Live complete with ticket information, address, and phone number. Later, commercials for the future best-selling home video, Hee-Haw Laffs, began airing on TNN. The stage show featured just a small group from the regular cast and a few newcomers performing sketches and routines associated with Hee-Haw. Off the top of my head I think the members of the stage show were Lulu Roman, Grandpa Jones, Gunilla Hutton, George Lindsey, and theme park regular Jason Petty (now known as the definitive Hank Williams, Sr. in various stage productions). It was also around this time, the mid '90s, that the show's producer, Sam Lovullo, released his Life in the Kornfield book. I'll also add that the DVD releases from the middle part of last decade (2004-2006) have also helped introduce the program to multiple generations...especially since a lot of those episodes have turned up on You Tube and other video hosting sites within the last several years. Then a couple of years ago RFD-TV started airing the program...starting with the debut episode in 1969 and moving forward. Last night's episode was from 1972 with Porter and Dolly as special guests.

The Hee-Haw exhibit article states that the exhibit will be on display for exactly a year and so you'll have until sometime in April or May of 2012 to catch the exhibit. I had been watching Hee-Haw clips on You Tube earlier and it inspired me to do a Google news search and that's where I found the story about the Oklahoma City Hee-Haw exhibit. Strangely enough I didn't come across this article in May or June or I would've mentioned it then.

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