Monday, May 9, 2016

Lois from "Hi and Lois" was Beetle Bailey's kid sister

Peggy spotted the Hi and Lois comic the other morning....

and that's funny, not for the bumper snicker gag, but look at the license tag on the lady's car!

If you only know BR-549 as the name of a country music band, then let me tell you the story of a man named Junior.

Actually, his name was Alvin Samples, Jr, and he was with us on this earth from 1926 until he died of a heart attack at age 57 in 1983.  As "Junior Samples," he was one of the stars of the TV show "Hee Haw," spinning tales of his rural life and doing fake commercials for a used car lot with the phone number BR-549.

Junior was a carpenter back home in Cumming, GA, and was in his 40s when his brother Monroe came up with the head of a grouper fish left behind from someone's deep-sea fishing trip. Junior started fooling around, weaving a yarn about this head being the head of a giant black bass that he himself had caught in a lake, one that set the world record for bass. 

Well, the next thing you know, Junior's on the local radio station telling his stories, and someone decides to turn on a tape recorder, and a record company puts out a record called "The World's Biggest Whopper."  It's a conversation between Junior and one Jim Morrison.  

No, not THAT Jim Morrison.

But in the kind of story that used to take place in America, his record was played on the radio, and soon enough, Junior came to the attention of the people who had come up with the idea of having a country-ham-flavored version of the manic "Laugh-In" show, to be called "Hee Haw."  Junior joined the cast of that show, and even after it was dropped from CBS, it stayed popular in syndication for years, and Mr Samples was right there with his stories and used-car skits.

Eleven years after his death, that country band took BR-549 as their name.

And the Hee Haw connection to major league baseball is interesting to me.  The producer of the show, Sam Lovullo, is father to Torey Lovullo, a one-time major league infielder who now is the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox.

It certainly doesn't take much to interest me, does it?

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