Huell in Nashville, 1979

You spent a lot of time watching Huell Howser teach you about the state you live in, but did you ever stop and ask Huell to teach you about where he came from? It's okay: Huell already has you covered. In 1979, an episode of his CBS docu-series had Huell departing from his then-hometown of New York City and kicking around his native Tennessee. But just so you don't miss the out-of-water experience of Huell's accent among a bunch of Californians, this Nashville trip includes Huell's NYC friend, "Carnegie" Leo Steiner, owner the famed Carnegie Deli, apparently because no one seemed more humorously "New York" to plop into Nashville.

Click below to watch the full episode, which has Huell and Leo visiting the Grand Ole Opry, a gourmet Southern kitchen, the Jack Daniels distillery and finally the home of country singer Tom T. Hall.

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As always, there are some highlights;

At 0:38 -- Huell in a scarf! It's actually a little jarring to see him so not prepared for California sunshine. They really should have called this series "New York's Dingy Gray."

At 1:36 -- I liked the "LIFESTYLES!" graphic so much that I had to make a screengrab. It's just so amazingly off-the-era.

At 3:47 -- "Hello, Ernie. Where'd you get all them lips, Ernie?"

At 5:00 -- "Little Jimmy Dickens was the first Grand Ole Opry star to wear rhinestones onstage." THIS IS HISTORIC, PEOPLE!!!

At 10:28 -- The sentence "Whoa, whoa whoa, one minute -- WHAT'S GRITS?" spoken so much more accusingly than you could ever imagine. But rest assured that you will find out what grits is (are?).

At 11:50 -- I do wonder what would happen if you write in asking for the cheese grits recipe today.

At 16:34 -- "I tell them that's the reason a woman can drink our whiskey: We take all the meanness out of it."

At 17:20 -- On the real-life Jack Daniels: "There's a lady who asked me one time, 'You been a-bragging on this Jack Daniels whiskey so, how come Uncle Jack died so young?' I said, 'This whiskey didn't kill Uncle Jack.' She said, 'What did?' I said, 'Women.' And he's in the only man in Moore County that women killed, and he died a happy death, I reckon. He never has come back yet."

And finally at 21:07 -- A scene from next week's episode.

I'm kind of sad we don't get to find out how to win $5,000 or free groceries for a year.

Read previous "Retro Huell" posts:

See more on Huell's official YouTube page. And if you haven't yet, take a moment to sign Huell's memorial page.

About the Author

Drew Mackie, associate producer of new media, liked shows about old British people before it became fashionable. He also says silly things on Twitter.
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