Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Buck Owens, Rest in Peace

OK, time for a disturbing admission. When I was growing up, we regularly watched Hee Haw on Saturday nights at 7pm. I know this puts a giant gaping hole in any credibility I might have with anyone, well, anywhere, but allow me to put it in perspective.

In the late 70's, the ABC network had exclusive rights to show college football. ESPN did not exist yet, and the only highlights were on the local news. ABC would show one or two games on a Saturday afternoon, and that was it. Oh, and there was a rule that a team could only be shown 5 times in two seasons, which meant, for example, that on the day in 1977 when top-5 Oklahoma played at top-5 Ohio State (a game decided on a last second field goal), because Oklahoma would exceed it's "5 times" allotment, we in Orlando saw mediocre Florida vs. awful Mississippi State.

As I mentioned, ABC would, on a good day, show two games, one starting at noon and the other at 3:30. I would watch the games, whoever was playing, religiously. The 3:30 game would often run a little past 7, and when it was over, Hee Haw came on. This is where my mom comes in.

My mom was raised in the panhandle of Florida, in the little out-of-the-way burgh of Bonifay. My mom grew up in the Depression (I had older parents than most of my peers; my parents adopted myself and my sister when they were well into their 40's), and were rather poor. One of her fondest memories growing up was going over to a relative's house on Saturday night (they didn't have their own radio) to listen to the Grand Ole Opry from Nashville, TN. So when Hee Haw came on following the game, being a show that was extremely reminiscent of (and may have even had some of the same performers as) the Grand Ole Opry, there was no way that the station was going to get turned. Not if I wanted to eat anything that week, anyway.

The show was hosted by Roy Clark and Buck Owens, and consisted of country (long before the "Hats, Hunks, and Hardbodies" country music of today) and gospel music, and some really corny comedy skits. There was one bit that would get me and my sister to stop rolling our eyes at this "hillbilly" spectacle and listen in: the regular "Phhhtt, you were gone..." bit, in which one singer would sing the opening verse of a hard-luck love song, while another singer (usually the gust star) would stand beside him, facing away from the camera. After the verse, the other singer would turn around and they would sing the chorus together:

Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone.


On the "phhht" part, they would face each other, stick out their tongues and "Phhhtttt!"....you know what I mean. Funny stuff when you're 10.

So in honor of Buck Owens' passing, off to do his pickin' and a grinnin' in that great Opry in the sky, I present the full lyrics to Phhhht! You Was Gone. Phhhhttt away, everyone....


"Pfft You Were Gone"

by Archie Campbell and Buck Owens

Down here on the farm the weather gets messy
Laying around with nothin' to do
When you went away, you took my cow Bessie
I miss her darling, more than I miss you

You took off your leg, your wig and your eye glass
And you shoud've seen the look on my face
I wanted to kiss, I wanted to hug you
But you were scattered all over the place

Chorus:
Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone.

I know that you loved me, here's my way of knowing
The proofs hanging out right there on the line
When I see the snow and feel the wind blowing
Your nighties hugging them long johns of mine

The noises you made at our supper table
Your habits, my dear, were surely absurd
But how many times do I have to tell you
Soup is a dish to be seen and not heard

Chorus:
Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone.

Remember you phoned me a-sobbin' and cryin'
The dog bit your maw, and drug her around
You said she looked pale and thought she was dying
I said "Don't worry, I'll buy a new hound."

I had six kids and you had eleven
And we had a boy, and they grew like flowers
I wish you'd come back, without you ain't heaven
'Cause your kids and my kids are beatin' up ours

Chorus:
Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you was gone

I searched the world over, And thought I found true love.
You met another and Phht! you were gone...

1 Comments:

  • I love that song... I remember it from my childhood so I must be old. However my parents were more of the Lawrence Welk watching type. I loved the fancy dresses and the men in suits but honestly I don't remember any catchy tunes from the Lawrence Welk show.

    By Anonymous aggie, at Monday, March 27, 2006 10:21:00 PM  

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