Archie Campbell (1914-1987) is best remembered as an original cast member on Hee Haw, and was one of the main writers for the show. Campbell's best-known recurring gags were as the joke-telling barber, as the guy who did the "that's good/that's bad" routine, and as the genius behind the song "Phhht! You Were Gone." Campbell also recorded a number of albums, mixing music and country comedy. Here's a quick look at his work...
Archie Campbell "Grand Ole Opry's Good Humor Man" (Starday, 2005)
Archie Campbell "The Many Talents Of Archie Campbell" (Gusto/Nashville, 2008)
Archie Campbell/Various Artists "Country Comedy: Grand Ole Opry Live Classics" (Cracker Barrel, 2005)
Live recordings at the Ryman, from 1964-67... still pre-Hee Haw.
Archie Campbell/Various Artists "Hee Haw's Favorite Artists" (Starday, 2009)
Performances by Hee-Haw cast members and various musical guests such as Lynn Anderson and George Jones. Campbell does his "Archie's Little Black Book" and "Green Stamps."
Archie Campbell "Make Friends With Archie Campbell" (Starday, 1962) (LP)
Archie Campbell "Have A Laugh On Me" (RCA, 1966) (LP)
(Produced by Chet Atkins & Bob Ferguson)
Creaky country comedy, stuff that probably doesn't hold up that well any more, but who knows? Along with a bunch of questionably live "club" performances, there are some musical tracks, including the pre-Hee Haw version of "Pfft! You Were Gone" and the similarly mopey "Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart." This disc also includes one of Campbell's best-known routines, the super-spoonerific "Rindercella," and its evil twin sister, "Beeping Sleauty." If you like Campbell's brand of cornpone humor, this is one of the finer examples of his work.
Archie Campbell "The Cockfight And Other Tall Tales" (RCA, 1966) (LP)
Archie Campbell "Kids, I Love 'Em!" (RCA, 1967) (LP)
Archie Campbell "Golden Years" (RCA, 1967) (LP)
Archie Campbell & Lorene Mann "Archie And Lorene Tell It Like It Is" (RCA, 1968) (LP)
(Produced by Bob Ferguson)
Campbell wasn't the greatest vocalist ever, but compared to his duet partner Lorene Mann, he sounds pretty good... Sadly, despite her rural intonation, Ms. Mann was a pretty bad singer -- she's florid, flat, frequently off-key, and unable to resonate emotionally. Archie goes off-key sometimes too, but he manages to stay in tune when he wants to, and can emote more convincingly, although not enough to make up for her shortcomings... The main draws for this ill-concieved album are the outlandish arrangements and interesting choices in repertoire, with some intriguing covers of rock and soul songs, such as Dan Penn's "Dark End Of The Street." There are "hip" '60s touches -- electric guitars, etc. -- but also a fair amount of lackluster studio work that has its own kitschy charm. You can't blame the studio crew for not taking it too seriously: these are not great performances. Sadly. (By the way, if you want a better country cover of "Dark End," check out the Porter Wagoner/Dolly Parton version instead... Just saying.)
Archie Campbell & Junior Samples "Bull Session At Bulls Gap" (Chart, 1968)
Archie Campbell "The Best Of Archie Campbell" (RCA, 1970) (LP)
Archie Campbell "Didn't He Shine" (RCA, 1971) (LP)
A gospel album...
Archie Campbell "Archie" (Elektra, 1976) (LP)
Archie Campbell & Phil Campbell "An Evening With..." (Cumberland) (cassette)
(Produced by Hal Duncan)
Hick Music Index