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THOSE COUNTRY MUSIC
TV SHOWS OF THE 1960s & 1970s!

by Billy Ingram

When I was growing up in the South in the '60s / early-'70s the weekends were crowded with country music shows on TV, I did my best to avoid them. Now I enjoy Bluegrass and the old country tunes and would love to watch Billy Walker Country Carnival, The Arthur Smith Show, Porter Wagner Show, or any of those shows that I considered so corny back then.

You may remember Flatt & Scruggs, if for nothing else than penning and performing The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. Here they are doing 'Ruby,' a big Bluegrass hit, on their long-running series The Martha White Grand Ole Opry Show. The 7 year old kid playing Mandolin and singing with them is a young Ricky Skaggs.

Like I said I hated those country shows then but the commercial jingle for Martha White grabbed me for some reason. Well, what's not to like - it was performed by Flatt & Scruggs. "Martha White self-risin' flower with Hot Rise Plus..." This is one of the Martha White commercials from the Flatt & Scruggs show.

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagner were the Sonny & Cher of the country music world before Sonny & Cher conquered TV. Wagner & Parton had a rocky relationship, to say the least, but they had a definite chemistry. Here they are performing a spiritual number written by Dolly, 'Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man.' An old-time gospel number was a regular feature of these shows.

Porter Wagoner gave Dolly her start as a performer with regional exposure on his TV program in 1967. She stayed with The Porter Wagoner Show and continued recording duets until she had the massive solo hit 'Jolene' in 1974 and left Porter Wagoner behind. Dolly launched a solo show in 1976 that lasted one season.

Here's Dolly & Porter again with 'The Last Thing on My Mind', you can see why their show was so popular in syndication in 1968, Dolly just bubbles up from inside. The two singers loved to try to trip each other one up during their duets.


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COUNTRY MUSIC
TV SHOWS OF THE
1960s & 1970s


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