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.

1 comment:

ACcountryFan said...

In reply to a comment that didn't get published (at the commenters request) Gailard Sartain began making appearances on HEE-HAW at the end of the '72-'73 season as a policeman character. The episodes currently airing on RFD-TV show Gailard as this policeman character but his name isn't in the opening credits yet. I think he started appearing in the opening credits during the '73-'74 season.

He wouldn't do the Flea Market routine until years later and those episodes, as you mentioned, aren't airing on RFD-TV yet.

As far as Ray Stevens goes, his Twitter page is @raystevensmusic and not the one you provided in your unpublished comment.