Country Blast From The 70s
In 1974, Nashville production company Show Biz, Inc. launched this attempt to cash in on the powerful influence of Pop music, on the Country Music world (Hence, the title), as well as to extend it's success streak begun with another of its productions: The Porter Wagoner Show.
Originally hosted by famed Country DeeJay Ralph Emery, this weekly syndicated music series premiered on September 7th, 1974, and was an immediate hit. The half-hour presentation featured performances by popular, well-established names in Country Music, as well as many up-and-coming performers, whose careers received a well-deserved boost from their appearances. Such Nashville luminaries as George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell, Sonny James, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, and Chet Atkins appeared on the show, over the years (Some of them, numerous times), and many newcomers (At the time) such as Reba McEntire, Eddie Rabbitt, Crystal Gayle, and Jon Conlee got some early-career national TV exposure on the show. Each episode featured two or three musical performances by the guests, between which, Emery would conduct brief interviews of the Performers.
Emery left the show after its 6th season, and, in 1980, Tom T. Hall - 'The Old Storyteller' - took over the hosting duties. The show was then called Tom T. Hall's Pop! Goes The Country, and Hall, himself performed at least one number for each show, and chatted with his Guest Stars between performances.
The show underwent a major format change, for it's 9th, and final season, when it moved to Opryland U.S.A.'s Gaslight Theatre. It's title became Tom T.'s Pop! Goes The Country Club, and it took place in a nightclub-like setting, where, between Guests' performances, Hall played straight man to comedian Jim Varney, and his various characters, in brief comedy sketches that always involved the Guest Stars.
The show, itself, appears a bit dated, nowadays, but the performers who appeared, and the music they performed, are timeless, and any Country Music fan, young or old, would well enjoy it.moreless