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Archie Campbell
Archie Campbell in 1977
Archie Campbell in 1977
Background information
Born(1914-11-07)November 7, 1914
Bulls Gap, Tennessee, U.S.
Origin Knoxville, Tennessee
DiedAugust 29, 1987(1987-08-29) (aged 72)
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
  • Musician
  • comedian
  • actor
Labels RCA Victor

Archie Campbell (November 7, 1914 – August 29, 1987) [1] was an American comedian, writer, and star of Hee Haw, a country-flavored network television variety show. He was also a recording artist with several hits for RCA Victor in the 1960s.


Early career

Born in Bulls Gap, Tennessee, Campbell studied art at Mars Hill College in 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, [1] he relocated to WDOD in Chattanooga, where he stayed until joining the U.S. Navy in 1941. [1] 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. [1]

At the close of that show, he moved to Nashville to replace Rod Brasfield on the nationally-syndicated Prince Albert segment of the Grand Ole Opry. [1] 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. [1] After an unsuccessful stint with the Starday label, Campbell returned to RCA Victor 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). [1] He was named "Comedian of the Year" in 1969 by the Country Music Association.


One of Campbell's "signature" routines was to tell stories in " Spoonerism" form, with the first letters of words in some phrases intentionally switched for comic effect. The best-known of these stories was "RinderCella", his re-telling of the fairy tale "Cinderella", about the girl who "slopped her dripper" (dropped her slipper). Campbell once told the "RinderCella" story on an episode of the game show Juvenile Jury. At the conclusion of the story, host Jack Barry said "That's one of the funniest stories Carchie Ampbell tells." All of Campbell's spoonerism routines borrowed heavily from comedy routines performed by Colonel Stoopnagle on the radio show Stoopnagle and Budd in the 1930s. ("Colonel Stoopnagle" was the stage name of F. Chase Taylor, 1897–1950.)

Campbell also performed a routine with various partners generally known as "That's Bad/That's Good." Campbell would state a troublesome occurrence; when the partner would sympathize by saying, "Oh that's bad," Campbell would quickly counter, "No, that's good!", and then state a good result from the previous occurrence. When the partner would say, "Oh that's good!", Campbell would immediately counter with "No, that's bad!" and tell the new result, and so on.

Hee Haw

Campbell was a charter member of the cast of Hee Haw on CBS-TV from its beginning in 1969, though he also served as a head writer. [1] His regular characterizations included:

  • "Archie's Barber Shop", in which he performed his Spoonerism stories and his "That's Bad/That's Good" routine
  • "Doc Campbell", with Gunilla Hutton as "Nurse Goodbody"; though Campbell portrayed a M.D., a certification hanging on the wall clearly showed him being a veterinarian (D.V.M.).
  • "Justus O'Peace", his version of the classic "Judge" routine of Pigmeat Markham.
  • Campbell was also a lead character in the group bit “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me!”
  • One of his most well-known segments was the song "PFFT! You Was Gone", in which he would perform a short verse of original comedy, followed by the standard chorus of "Where Oh Where Are You Tonight", which would conclude with him and a singing partner, often Gordie Tapp, blowing a raspberry at each other or at the camera. In later years, Tapp was replaced by the episode's guest star, who was mentioned in Campbell's lyrics right before they revealed themselves.

Campbell also recorded several comedy-music albums, which he continued doing during his Hee Haw years; such as Bull Session at Bull's Creek with Junior Samples, released the year before Hee Haw premiered. He frequently performed musical duets with singer Lorene Mann.

Later life and death

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. [1] He is buried near the town of Powell, Tennessee.


Campbell's childhood home on Main Street in Bull's Gap, Tennessee has been preserved as a memorial, and has been expanded into a "tourism complex and museum" which hosts annual "Archie Campbell Days" each September.

Following Campbell's death, U.S. Highway 11E through Bulls Gap was renamed "Archie Campbell Highway" in his memory.



Year Album US Country Label
1962 Make Friends with Archie Campbell Starday
1962 Bedtime Stories For Adults Starday
1966 Have a Laugh on Me RCA
The Cockfight and Other Tall Tales 30
1967 Kids I Love 'Em
Golden Years
1968 Tell It Like It Is (with Lorene Mann) 45
Bull Session at Bulls Gap (with Junior Samples) Chart
1970 The Best of Archie Campbell RCA
1971 Didn't He Shine
1976 Archie Elektra


Year Single US Country Album
1960 " Trouble in the Amen Corner" 24 Make Friends with Archie Campbell
"Make Friends"
"Don't Jump from the Bridge" singles only
1964 "Do Lord"
1965 "Rindercella" [Note 1] Have a Laugh on Me
1966 " The Men in My Little Girl's Life" 16 Kids I Love 'Em
"Mommy's Little Angel"
"Life Gits Tee-Jus Don't It" The Cockfight and Other Tall Tales
1967 "The Cockfight" 44
"We Never Get Hungry in Sunday" Kids I Love 'Em
1968 " The Dark End of the Street" (with Lorene Mann) 24 Tell It Like It Is
" Tell It Like It Is" (with Lorene Mann) 31
"Warm and Tender Love" (with Lorene Mann) 57
1969 "My Special Prayer" (with Lorene Mann) 36
"Poor Daddy" single only
"Pfft You Were Gone" The Best of Archie Campbell
1970 "Walkin' on Fire" single only
"Sports Common Taters" (with Junior Samples) Bull Session at Bulls Gap
"It's So Wrong" singles only
1971 "Get It at the General Store"
"Didn't He Shine" Didn't He Shine
" As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone" singles only
1972 "Carry Me Back"
"People's Choice"
"Light in the Window"
1973 "Freedom Ain't the Same as Bein' Free" 87
1974 "As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone" (with Minnie Pearl)
1976 "More or Less"
"Washington Scandal"
1977 "I Just Found This Hat"
1982 "Put the World Back Together"

Guest singles

Year Single Artist US Country
1967 "Chet's Tune" Some of Chet's Friends 38


  1. ^ "Rindercella" peaked at number 32 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 136. ISBN  978-0-89820-188-8.


External links