Kornfield Kounty Kontinued, Part Two
George “Goober” Lindsey.
George was in Nashville and visiting friends on the Hee Haw set, and was invited
to do a song for the show, so he did a traditional country song “ Just a bowl
of butterbeans” This song proved to to be a perfect vehicle to show off his country
comedic “Character” from that time on he was a regular on the show.
George had previously guested on the Jonathan Winters show and was also a
regular with the Andy Griffith show and its spin off Mayberry RFD.
Sheb was already a successful film actor appearing in many roles on the
big screen, you may remember him as a villain in High Noon and on the
television series Rawhide. Sheb was also a good song writer and
musician who wrote the song “The Purple People Eater”that turned out to
be a million record seller in 1958. He also penned the Hee Haw theme tune.
Due to some personal problems Sheb was dropped after twelve shows.
He passed away September the 16th 2003 at the age of 82.
Jimmy Riddle & Jackie Phelps.
These two guys were the hand slapping and spoon clacking duo on the show.
They were the Eefen and Hambone team. Jimmy was the harmonica player
in Roy Acuff’s band and Jackie played guitar for Bill Monroe. They
developed the routine while fooling around backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.
Their skit lasted on the show for thirteen years until Jimmy died of cancer in
1981. It was a tradition with the show, when someone retired or died
their sketches were no longer used. Jackie who was also in bad health due to a
heart condition, was kept on the payroll and played smaller rolls on the show so
that his medical insurance would continue. Jackie passed away a few years later.
Roy Acuff was a country music legend when he joined the cast of Hee Haw.
His first show was on October the 27th 1973 he was soon to become a regular.
Acuff at the time was also spokesperson for the Grand Ole Opry. Known as “King
of Country Music” He owned music stores in Nashville, and one time he was
accused of making Tennessee the “Hillbilly capitol of the United States “by the
then Governor Prentice Cooper in 1943. In 1962 Acuff became the first living
person inducted into the Country Music Hall of fame.
Gailard played in the role of the Truckstop cook and the ambulance chasing
attorney. He joined the show in 1974 after being discovered working at a
Tulsa television station. He could play many characters and had the mind of a
clown. He was nearly fired one time for his clowning around during taping of
the show. In a group sketch of pickin’ and grinnin’ each time Buck Owens
said “I’m a pickin’” and Roy Clark said “and I’m a grinnin’” Gailard would
make a loud farting sound that eventually pissed Roy off, he (Roy)walked
off the set to cool off, when he returned sure enough, just as he was about
to say his line,Gailard made that noise. Gailard was pulled out of the skit.
But he managed to keep his place in the show. Gailard Sartain has been
seen in such movies as Fried Green Tomatoes and Getting Even With Dad.
Became a member of the show in 1973. She played Gordie Tapp’s wife
in the sketch ‘The Naggers” She is an accomplished comedienne, singer
and Banjo player. In “The Naggers” she played the homemaker trying to get
her lazy husband off his rear and provide for the family. She was always
hitting him on the head with a rolling pin. Roni was discovered playing
banjo in Printers Ally in Nashville.
Kenny was a great comedian and singer who passed away before his time
after suffering a stroke in 1987. He was nicknamed the “Round Mound of
Sound” and had at least thirty four singles in the hot country charts between
1966/1980. ‘Walking On Grass” and “Happy Tracks” both reached number
seven on the country charts.
There were several other cast members that came and left during the shows
twenty five years of broadcasting such as Jimmy Hensley the thirteen year
old banjo player who became an instant success on the show, the American
viewers watched him grow up. Jana Jae a terrific violin player who was hired
by Buck Owens as an addition to the Buckaroos band and a possible replacement
for Don Rich. Jana and Buck had a whirlwind romance then got married, it did
not last long and she left the show. You may remember her as a spokesperson
for the Wal-Mart TV commercials.
Slim Pickens made his first appearance
in March of 1981. His best skits in the show were the “The Invisible Guy”
character who’s voice people were always trying to guess who it belonged to.
Slim Pickens was featured in many movies and western shows.
In 1982 Slim began suffering violent headaches that turned out to be an
inoperable brain tumor, not long after he passed on.
Kingfish the Wonder Dog.
There were four dogs used over the length of time the show was on the
air Kingfish only lasted a year because he chocked to death on a bone.
Beauregard the second dog was with the show from 1970 through 1975
this dog had an awful odor and was let go because of it. The third dog
another Beauregard was on the show until 1980, he left the studio one
day and never returned. Buford the fourth dog was always passing gas
on stage and would have lost its job but, the owner was a lawyer who
practiced contract law so they were stuck with the dog for five full years.
The Hee Haw Honeys.
There were many Hee Haw Honeys over the years that the show aired,
some of the most popular were Misty Rowe, Guilla Hutton
Victoria Hallman, Linda Thompson, Marianne Gordon, Diane Goodman,
Irlene Mandrel, Barbie Benton,Lisa todd and Mackenzie Colt.
Mackenzie Colt joined the cast in 1978 through 1982 and is now the owner
of Colts Chocolates in Nashville.
Lisa Todd appeared in sixty three episodes of Hee Haw from 1970 through
1986 she has also been seen in several television and big screen movies such
as Kung Fu, Dirty Dingus Magee and The Beverley Hillbillies. Lisa played
Juniors femme fatale.
Barbie Benton I think everyone knows Barbie, she was on Hee Haw for four
seasons from 1972/1976 her live in partner at the time was Hugh Hefner. One
time he was featured on the show dressed in a Bunny outfit in a sing a long
session in the kornfield. Barbie went on to appear in several films and television
shows. Benton also recorded several songs with one reaching number five
on the U.S. Country charts.
Irlene Madrell one of the Mandrell sisters was a regular from 1983 through
1991 her musical and comedic talent made her a popular addition to the show.
Irlene is an accomplished hunter, proficient with a rifle, handgun, shotgun and
crossbow. She is competitive in all sporting events even as a race car driver.
Diane Goodman hails from Georgia and was a Miss Georgia USA in 1975.
She was a regular Hee Haw Honey from 1981/1985 appearing with the
Honeys in various skits. Some reports say she dated Elvis for awhile in the
Marianne Gordon she became a Honey in 1972, a year or so later while
taping a segment of the show, Kenny Rogers came by the studio to visit,
He was in Nashville having just left his group the First Edition and looking
to get more into the country music scene. It was not long before a budding
romance developed between Marianne and Kenny resulting in them getting
married. In 1977,Sixteen years later she was awarded sixty million dollars when
they divorced. (You gotta know when to hold’em.) Marianne Gordon was the
Southern Belle of the show, being born and raised in Georgia,why not.
Linda Thompson was a regular Honey on the show from 1977 to 1992
A beauty queen from Tennessee. Linda also dated Elvis for about four
years. She has appeared in Starsky & Hutch, Veaga$, Fantasy Island and
the Fall Guy. Thompson is also a songwriter often confused with the British
songwriter of the same name. In 1991 she married songwriter and composer
David Foster and was a lyricist for some of his music. Prior to David she was
married to Bruce Jenner the athelete.
Vi, and once appeared on the Merv Griffin show.
touring with Buck Owens got her a regular spot on the Hee Haw show. In an
article in the Birmingham News May 28th 2008 Victoria says “ Hee Haw
was a career killer” because no one takes you seriously when they hear that.
Victoria has started singing again and we wish her well.
Misty Rowe Known for portraying the perky lisping blond on the show.
Misty was an important part of the Honeys, performing for nineteen years
in many of the regular skits, one being Junior Samples assistant during the
used car segments. Misty also starred in the spinoff series Hee Haw Honeys
in 1978, cast with then newcomer Kathy Lee Gifford, as the singing daughters
of diner owners Lulu Roman and Kenny Price. She is also known for
portraying Marilyn Monroe in two films, Minnie Pearl in another and Patsy
Cline in a Broadway musical. Playboy featured her in a 1976 issue of playboy.
She presently is starring in a Broadway musical “Fandance the Legend of Sally
Rand”. Sally Rand being known for the ostrich fan dance and burlesque
dancing In the twenties.
Gunilla Hutton Starred as Miss Nurse Goodbody in the series for many years.
1969/1991 She is a native of Sweden and we first saw her in Petticoat Junction
as “Billie Jo”. During her time at Hee Haw she was featured in many skits and
often times did a singing solo. She was a featured vocalist with the “Nat King
Cole” show and it was once rumored she was going to marry him, but he
died before that could happen. She frequently makes singing appearances
at major fairs and rodeos around the country. She has recorded for ABC
records and has opened for such acts as Roy Clark, Mel Tillis and Roger
Miller in Las Vegas, Reno and other major theaters around the country.
Another special interest is physical fitness and nutrition. Gunilla is
preparing to release a fitness video in which she shares her workout
techniques for staying in shape.
Two other ladies that appeared regular on the show who were not cast
as Honeys was Susan Raye and Cathy Baker.
Cathy Baker was the “that’s All girl also known as the Hee Haw girl
Originally she was a set painter and designer on the show and was hired
by Sam Lovullo because of her fresh next door girl looks. She appeared in the
movie W. W. & the Dixie Dancekings with Burt Reynolds and Swing Out, Sweet
Land,a made for TV movie, she portrayed a confederate soldiers wife.
Susan Raye was not a Hee Haw Honey but an accomplished singer
and worked with the Buckaroos and the Buck Owens road show before
appearing on Hee Haw. Buck wanted her to be one of the Honeys but the
producers of the show felt she was better suited doing the singing duets
with Buck. Susan eventually married the drummer of the Buckaroos, Jerry
Wiggins who at the time was the only single guy in the band. In 1978 Susan
and Jerry stepped out of the limelight and concentrated on raising their six
kids. She is presently a family counselor and psychologist, although she has
had several recordings in the top country charts she has not fully returned
to a recording career.
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