Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Charlie Douglas...

I couldn't let 2011 slip by without making mention of Charlie Douglas. A lot of you blog readers probably won't know who he is but some might...depending on where you live. Charlie, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day this year, was a famed disc jockey from the late '50s through the mid '90s. Aside from the career in radio he also became equally popular for his comedic stories. Charlie's biggest impact on radio came on WWL radio in Louisiana as the star of an all-night truckers show titled "The Road Gang". He was at the helm of this radio program from 1970 until 1983...from WWL he made his way up North to Nashville's WSM and remained on their airwaves through 1995. I first heard of Charlie Douglas by way of Jerry Clower! I have all of Clower's main comedy albums from his first one in 1971 on through his final one in 1998. It's on a 1975 comedy album from Clower titled Live At Picayune where you'll hear Charlie bring out Jerry Clower to thunderous applause. So, yes, a 1975 comedy album from Jerry Clower is where I first heard the name and heard the voice of Charlie Douglas!

As luck would have it I was also an avid listener of our own local all-night truckers show...but I knew nothing of Charlie's legendary radio career at the time. One night the local DJ played a comedy record about a bugle and a mule...the actual name of the story is "The Plantin' Bugle". It was rather funny...hysterical in places. Some time later the DJ played the story that for Charlie Douglas was his most requested...the one about the three-hole privy. Each story is lengthy but the build-up is well worth it. It would not be until I got on-line in 2004 that I was able to look up and research Charlie's career and was stunned to find out that he remained on the radio (at WSM) through 1995...I was stunned because it was around that point in time where I first heard of Charlie via the Jerry Clower comedy album. As you can tell, it was sort of ironic that I was just discovering who Charlie was a few years after he had retired from the radio.

You Tube has several of Charlie's comedy stories and eBay and other places have his celebrated comedy album: Me and Dammit Ray - Longtime Friends.

Friday, December 16, 2011

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

Howdy...fresh off of You Tube comes this nearly 7 minute promo piece for Hee-Haw that aired on an Oklahoma news program. The news story inserts clips lifted from the DVD collection I wrote about in Part 12. You will also see footage taken at the Hee-Haw exhibit which runs through the first half of 2012. Most of the clips shown in the video embed below come from the program's first season but toward the end of the embed they feature clips of later seasons, too. The DVD collection is available for purchase at Country Family Reunion's web-site.

RFD-TV is currently airing the 1972-1973 season. During the last several weeks saw the debut of Gordie Tapp's sketch, The Naggers, which featured an uncredited Roni Stoneman. George Lindsey, Gailard Sartain, and Roni Stoneman began making appearances uncredited during this time period. Of course, the reason I use the phrase "uncredited" is because their names weren't called during the familiar opening sequence (where the announcer runs through the cast-list). The Naggers would ultimately turn out to be a long-running sketch that often appeared twice in an episode (one per half hour) and it was still a part of the show for the rest of Roni Stoneman's involvement with the series (through 1991). The sketch was so popular that Gordie and Roni often appeared in-character as Laverne and Ida Lee Nagger during other comedy sketches. Examples being the Justus O'Peace sketch with Archie Campbell where the Naggers often complained to the Judge about their married life, The Kornfield one-liner segment, and in the early '80s the Hee-Haw Honky Tonk sketch. As the series went on The Naggers acquired a son, Elrod, played by cast member Kenny Price. Also, Ida Lee's mother became a frequent presence. The mother was played by Wendy Suites, a member of the show's back-up group, The Nashville Edition.

I'll be purchasing my copy of the Salute to the Kornfield DVD collection, hopefully around the end of this month. The cost, before taxes, is $79.80. The collection comes with 4 DVD discs plus an additional DVD of behind the scenes/backstage excerpts. This salute will eventually air on RFD-TV in 2012 but on-line shoppers can order the program prior to it's national airing.