Mid-Week Ho-Ho-Hoedown: Seven Mood-Enhancing Country Novelty Tunes

by Matthew Norman

There may be no surer way to hoist sagging spirits than to relax with a little lighthearted country music. Just in time to cure the mid-week blues, we’ve assembled this collection of feel-good videos featuring hi-larious hayseeds doin’ their thing. Enjoy!

01. Let’s start with the late, great David “Stringbean” Akeman. I challenge the sourest-puss among you to find a way to fail to enjoy this toe-tapping gut-pluck-a-picker of a number, “Herding Cattle.”

02. Here’s a whole lot of sartorial silliness in one video. The ultra-low-rise britches Stringbean’s wearing here were a sight gag—but Porter Wagoner’s outrageous Nudie Suit was somehow intended to be completely serious.

03. There was a time—long since past—when no one would dream of getting up in front of a crowd to play music without first becoming proficient on an instrument. Just because Homer & Jethro’s songs were goofy, that didn’t mean the boys didn’t have serious chops.

04. Who knew Grandpa Jones was a straightedge artist? Here he updates the Tex Williams’s talking blues classic “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” for the burgeoning post-tobacco ethos.

05. Goober & the Peas might have been my favorite group in high school. If I were you, I would listen to “Hunt for Grandpa (Let’s Go)” after watching the video for “Hot Women, Cold Beer.”

06. Fast-forward to roughly the present day! Here are the Nashville-based Cleverlys, reinterpreting “Walk Like an Egyptian” in their old-timey Americana style.

07. The Cleverlys’ countrification process works equally well on hits from all genres. Check out their surprisingly catchy rendition of “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It):”

There you have it, seven goofball country performances from a span of several decades. By now you’re probably feeling jim-dandy, eh? You’re welcome.

If gloomy moods persist, pick up HEE-HAW on DVD; it’s super-cheap now. And if you enjoyed this video collection, you may be just the kind of weirdo who would also like these six song-and-dance numbers!