|Country Music "Remembers" by Gary Hayes
Archie Campbell was a writer and star of Hee Haw a popular long-running country-flavored television variety
show,along with Gordy tapp. He was also a recording musician with several hits on the RCA label in the 1960s.
He and Gordy created the television show in 1969,and it was the longest runnig prime time show in television
Campbell studied art at Mars Hill Collegein Mars Hill ,North Carolina after which he began a radio career at
WNOX in Knoxville. After a year alongside Roy Acuff on their "Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round" he relocated to
WDOD in Chattanooga, where he stayed until joining the United States Navy in 1941. At the end of World
War II, Campbell returned to WNOX. He left that station for rival WROL where he helped start Knoxville's first
country music television show (on WROL-TV), "Country Playhouse" that premiered in 1952 and ran until 1958.
At the close of that show, he moved to Nashville to replace Rod Brasfield on the nationally-syndicated Prince
Albert segment of the famous Grand Ole Opry. Shortly after, he signed a contract with RCA Victor and one of
his early singles, "Trouble in the Amen Corner" reached the 1960 Country music Top 25. After an unsuccessful
stint with the Starday label, Campbell returned to RCA in 1966 and had three Top 30 singles: "The Men in My
Little Girl's Life" (1966), "The Dark End of the Street" (1968), and "Tell It Like It Is" (1968). He was named
"Comedian of the Year" in 1969 by the Country Music Association.
In 1969 Campbell co-created "Hee Haw" on CBS as a chief writer and on-air talent. His regular characterizations
included the Barber, in which he performed his Spoonerism stories and his "That's Bad/That's Good" routines;
the Doctor; and, "Justus O'Peace," his version of the classic "Judge" routine of Pigmeat Markham One of his
most well known segments was the "Where Oh Where" song in which he would perform a short verse of original
comedy followed by a standard "Where Oh Where are you tonight" chorus which would lead he and a singing
partner, often Gordie Tapp sticking their tongues out at each other and spitting.
During his "Hee Haw" years Campbell also recorded several comedy/music albums such as Bull Session at
Bull's Creek with Junior Samples and Archie Cambpell(Elektra 1976). He frequently performed duets with
singer Lorene Mann.
In 1984, Campbell hosted TNN s "Yesteryear" interview show. Campbell was an accomplished amateur golfer
and built one of the earliest lighted golf courses in the United States. An avid painter, he also owned an art
gallery and served on the school board in Knoxville, where he lived until he suffered a fatal heart attack in
1987. His childhood home on Main Street in Bull's Gap has been preserved as a memorial, and has been
expanded into a "tourism complex and museum" which hosts annual "Archie Campbell Days" each September.
He is buried near the town of Powell, Tennessee.
Following Campbell's death, U.S. Highway 11 through Bulls Gap, Tennessee was renamed "Archie Campbell
Highway" in Campbell's memory
|A Tribute To Archie Campbell