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Monday, March 19, 2012

Remembering "Speck" Rhodes, Clown Prince of Country Comedy

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 6:02 AM

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Wagoner's show cultivated the careers of other mega-famous country artists, most notably Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. And Wagoner himself cemented his own legacy as one of the more popular country music stars of all time, topping off his career with an induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In many ways the "Speck" character was a polite country bumpkin, which admittedly was not the most original comedic decision. He was often adorned in a plaid suit, a bowler hat and blacked-out teeth. And he had a long-running routine where he had humorous telephone conversations with a girlfriend named Sadie:

But Rhodes' musical streak came through between the guffaws, as seen in this very special rendition of "Hound Dog." Eat your heart out, Elvis.

Besides Wagoner and Rhodes, West Plains was at some point the home of Dick Van Dyke, Jan Howard and several members of the band Ha Ha Tonka.

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