classic country memories

by Marisa Bush

Remember the "good ol' days" when we only had three channels on TV?  Four, if you were lucky enough to have PBS?

It was back before the video channels quit showing videos all the time and started showing lifestyles of the rich country stars all the time...for that matter, it was before people started making videos. In the grand scheme of things, country music as well as television were relatively new on the horizon. Country stars had just learned that TV was a great medium for promoting their careers.

Saturday afternoons were country music TV time in the 1970's.  After the traumatic-looking failed ski jump on "ABC's Wide World of Sports" - you know, the agony of defeat - it was time to watch the syndicated country music shows.  Porter Wagoner, Buck Owens, Billy Walker, Jim Ed Brown, and Del Reeves were some of the stars who hosted these shows.  CBS even got into the trend with the Johnny Cash Show and the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and of course, "Hee Haw." CBS decided that was "too country" and cancelled the show, only to watch as the show went on for 24 more years in syndication.

I lived in the "Channel (insert 2, 4 or 5) Viewing Area" - near Nashville. Maybe we got more of the country music TV shows than the other parts of the country, I don't know, but from what I have heard, this was a nationwide phenomenon.

Recently RFD-TV started airing some those old "Hee Haw" shows. For years they have aired the Act IV Show Biz collection owned by Willie Nelson (including "The Porter Wagoner Show," "The Wilburn Brothers Show," and "Pop Goes the Country," among others). I thought once CMT started showing "Hee Haw" again a few years ago that my mission as self-appointed "Keeper of the Flame" would be over. Instead, I get more e-mail than ever from fans of "Hee Haw." The official "Hee Haw" website is nice and recently was updated. Still, I get a lot of visitors to my site especially when some of the stars are in the news. I was humbled by the number of visitors I got the week Jon Hager passed. It continues to amaze me how many fans there are out there.

Let me be very clear about my site - I'm not officially anything except a fan of good old classic country music. I do sell ads on my sites, through the companies that distribute the shows on DVD, etc. So, maybe I make a little money on the site, maybe enough to pay for the web hosting fee, and the owners of the shows sell their products too. Otherwise, I'm not affiliated with any country music industry businesses or individuals (though if any country music businesses or individuals are interested in utilizing my web experience or research skills, please let me know!!!) I do include links to the OFFICIAL websites on my page because that's only fair.

Currently I have pages about Hee Haw and the Porter Wagoner Show. I have been working on the Hee Haw page for nearly ten years, but I have only been working on the page for the Porter Wagoner show for a couple years, so bear with me. I'm sure as I keep working on this I will have a much better resource for Porter's fans.



Copyright 2006-2009, Marisa Bush