If there are developments more astonishing than media reports of, gulp, “Hee Haw the Musical,” being, gulp again, Broadway-bound, it is that Harold Crump’s brain has not been picked for story lines.
After 24 years as a Hubbard Broadcasting exec, Crump has moved back to Nashville. It’s one of the cities where he made his mark in broadcasting by, among other accomplishments, persuading a reluctant college intern with an unusual first name, Oprah, to work in front of the camera. Oprah calls Harold her first boss.
Over lunch a long time ago when Crump was GM of KSTP-TV, he mentioned working on “Hee Haw,” the CBS country music variety show that ran for 20 years in local syndication.
This was back when there weren’t that many channels, kiddies.
When contacted last week, I asked Crump to recall some entertaining stories from his “Hee Haw” days. “It’s been in the papers here that they are doing” a musical, said Crump, who was station manager of WTVF-TV in Nashville when he also ran the station’s side business, a production company for “Hee Haw” and other national shows.
“The folks from ‘Hee Haw’ would come in twice a year and tape all these segments that we would edit and then package after they left that would turn into the different shows, putting them together with various music acts that came in and performed on the show. They would bring in some technical people from Los Angeles and of course, all the other folks they wanted outside the country music type folks we had in Nashville,” Crump said.
“Mainly this was all the young women, that you saw on there. You remember they had these girls dressed in next to nothing in all the skits and that sort of stuff?” he asked.
Didn’t remember that. I was young and not yet judgmental.
“The funny thing is that each time the girls came in I’d have to have a meeting with them on the second day and explain to them that we were having problems getting everything shot as it should be because our cameramen were so distracted by the apparel,” said Crump. “Maybe the lack of apparel,” he corrected himself.
“I explained that while they were in Nashville and while they were at the station, that on the air they had to wear panties. And they kept telling me that nobody in Los Angeles wore panties. I told them, ‘Well, I don’t care about that. In Nashville you have to wear them.’
“They’d be jumping up and down and putting their legs up on props and all sorts of stuff. It’s not that the cameramen had to be so low,” Crump said. “They were being exposed. I thought it was funny that we had to do this every time.”
Perhaps producers and writers of “Hee Haw the Musical” have heard something about Crump’s underwear decree. Michael Riedel, the New York Post theater columnist, wrote this: “Unlike the TV show, the Broadway version isn’t just music and skits but a story about a hayseed sexpot.”
There was never a problem with the underwear of “Hee Haw” hosts Buck Owens, now deceased, and Roy Clark. Owens and Clark were in fact helpful to Crump, performing to raise money for his other passion, muscular dystrophy, a charity he’s long been affiliated with through his pal Jerry Lewis.
Big step for Tom Barnard
Tom Barnard just signed with L.A.-based PodcastOne.
“It’s really a huge leap for the podcast because their distribution and influence in business is huge. The promotion they do is just tremendous,” said Barnard, who does an afternoon podcast while continuing his longtime morning show duties on KQ92-FM.
“Everything’s going well,” Barnard said. He is creating a network of podcasts that includes work from Tommy Mischke and Jeff Dubay. Barnard said he’s perplexed to see talented radio personalities struggle to find rewarding work and he likes helping create a home for them on his own network of podcasts.