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November 6

Archie Campbell’s “Where Oh Where” – (“PFFT! You Was Gone”)

Archie Campbell was an American comedian, writer, and star of “Hee Haw”, a country-flavored network TV variety show.  In 1969, Campbell joined “Hee Haw” on CBS-TV as a chief writer and on-air talent.

Archie Campbell with Gordie Tapp

Archie Campbell with George Jones and Tammy Wynette

“Where Oh Where”, PFFT! You Was Gone

One of his most well-known segments was the “Where Oh Where” song (“PFFT! You Was Gone”). Here he would perform a short verse of original comedy followed by the standard “Where oh where / are you tonight”. At the end of the show, often with singing partner Gordie Tapp, they would blow a raspberry at one another or at the camera. One issue that Campbell had was he clearly neglected to mention producers that he was not the song’s composer. When Bix Reichner showed up at a taping claim, this oversight surfaced. Reichner settled with Campbell and continued to compose new verses for this endlessly flexible musical chunk in years to come.

Archie Campbell with Anne Randall and her opera version

Archie Campbell’s Rare Live performance on the Porter Wagoner TV show

 

Archie Campbell’s Life and Characters

His regular characterizations included the Barber, in which he performed his Spoonerism stories and his “That’s Bad/That’s Good” routines. He was The Doctor as “Doctor Campbell” with Gunilla Hutton as “Nurse Goodbody”. Another character that he made famous was “Justus O’Peace”, his version of the classic “Judge” routine of Pigmeat Markham.

During his “Hee Haw” years, Campbell also recorded several comedy-music albums. To name is his “Bull Session at Bull’s Creek” with Junior Samples and Archie Campbell (Elektra 1976). Apart from this, he and Lorene Mann frequently performed duets.

Campbell’s childhood home on Main Street in Bull’s Gap has been preserved as a memorial. It is easily visible on the left side of the highway from Morristown to Greeneville.

The home has been expanded into a “tourism complex and museum” hosting annual “Archie Campbell Days” each September.

Following Campbell’s death, the highway through Bulls Gap was renamed “Archie Campbell Highway” in his memory.

If still performing, he would probably hit his golf driver down US Highway 11 East. Also, he would provide a comedy routine for a few laughs. He would then blow the camera a raspberry, as he signed off.


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