With everything on TV these days — from reality TV to game shows, special interests, food programs and sports and news — it’s hard not to find something to watch.
While I enjoy episodes of “NCIS” and “24” and “Man vs. Food” along with “Adult Swim” programs, I often find myself watching classic TV.
Now I am not talking about the History Channel, Discovery Channel, TV-Land or even the National Geographic Channel. I am talking about Rural Free Delivery TV, better known as RFD-TV.
I stumbled across this gem of a network a few years back as my mother was watching it. I walked in, said hello to her, and headed toward the kitchen, where my father was working on his latest culinary masterpiece.
As I began to round the corner, I stopped when I heard an all-too-familiar sound from my past.
It was Buck Owens introducing George Jones, who sang “White Lightning.” For those who don’t know, the show was “Hee Haw” and this episode first aired in 1969. And before you ask, I am 29 and no I am not an immortal who can only find death through my head being cut off nor have I recently driven a DeLorean 88 mph back from the past.
However, I did watch “Hee Haw” re-runs as a child. I was also fortunate enough to see a few Porter Wagner shows in black and white and sparkling Technicolor.
Now most people my age might be wondering who is Buck Owens or Porter Wagner. To give you the short version they are country music pioneers.
I’ve watched “Hee Haw” more than Porter Wagner only because of the availability of re-runs. I enjoy the humor and sketches done by the cast.
Archie Campbell plays a barber who always has a funny story to share with Roy Clark or we can check on “The adventures of the Culhane family.” And who can forget “Hey Grandpa. What’s for supper?” That’s when Grandpa Jones shares the delights he’ll be having for supper. I love how spotless those windows are that Grandpa Jones is always cleaning.
The show always had a musical guest or two and for those who can remember that was the sound of real country music. I mean no disrespect to today’s country music artists. I enjoy music from Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson and many others. But for me country is Patsy Cline, George Jones, Faron Young, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride and so many more.
“Hee Haw” brought together two of my favorite things, comedy and music. It was a well-orchestrated show that left me with a smile every time.
Thanks to RFD-TV I can now watch “Hee Haw,” the “Porter Wagner Show” and the occasional “Pop Goes the Country.” I have been told many times that I was born two decades too early and at times I would agree.
Thomas Garcia writes for the Quay County Sun in Tucumcari.
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