There are times when I am writing an article I have so many
things that I want to put into the story, that I sometimes miss important parts
and I need to be reminded of that so that I do not miss people, places, and
news.  In this case, I am writing an article on the process by which the
Country Music Hall of Fame Nominating Committee forget those who are deserving
of being members of the Hall of Fame.  In my past article I listed names
that I felt were being forgotten, or maybe the voting committee might be too
young to know who some of these legendary names are and what they have meant to
country music.  One name that comes to my mind is Sam Lovullo, the man
who opened the doors to making country music a worldwide name, when he
introduced Hee Haw to the world. 
The TV Show Hee Haw was like a medicine needed to cure the
ailments of country music.  It gave many artists the opportunity to
restart their career with television being a major stepping stone.  Many
artists were not all that successful at the time.  Sam’s vision was
his passion and he knew that Hee Haw would be successful for many, but no one
realized at the time that it would be the huge success that it became
worldwide.  It was as if the country music industry had finally found a
cure that would make the music a household name by giving it a shot in the arm
which was needed at the time.  People called us hillbilly’s, country
bumpkins from the backwoods, wearing bib overalls and cowboy hats, but never
getting the recognition that it deserved.  Then along came Sam Lovullo and
his vision was one of making the music known worldwide by giving it major
television exposure, and that happened when Sam’s ingenuity and knowledge
introduced Hee Haw to country music and the world.  He knew that many
artists careers were stuck in the idle position and they needed to find
something that would enhance their careers, and major television exposure was
just what was needed.  It gave legends and veterans artists a new lease on
their careers, opened the doors for young and aspiring artists, and also for
the already successful artists.  It helped television ratings soar because
now the country music fans could see and hear their favorite’s by sitting
in their living room each week to watch Sam Lovullo’s dream come
alive-Hee Haw.
And so when it comes to who should be nominated and inducted
into the Country Music Hall of Fame, let us not forget the man that changed the
direction of country music forever by producing a show that was destined to be
the lifeline to a music that was moving in slow motion.  Sam Lovullo
realized that television was the main artery that opened the doors for new
artists, older artists, veterans artists, and it gave country music a chance to
bring our music to the world through the medium of television, and Sam Lovullo
was the man who made this possible.  He was the director, the producer and
the magic wand that he waved was probably the most important and most needed
direction finder that pushed country music from a standstill to a much needed
change in the music.
Sam realized that television was the one way to get
immediate attention to the music and that it gave artists the chance to be seen
and heard, gave them more personal appearances, and he was the one person who
made this a reality.  The input that Hee Haw had to the music industry,
the fans, television ratings, and to an artist career can never be measured
with the success that came with being on a major network every week.  The
music industry moved forward immediately as if it had found a cure for its
ailments, and now had found a new road to bring country music full force to the
world.  Sam probably never visualized the success it would have.  He
knew that if everyone thought we were hillbilly’s then that would be the
best way to make the show successful, but the show was for all ages and it gave
the country music industry the much needed medicine to cure its ailments.
Sam Lovullo has never been one to pat himself on the
back.  He is a genuine human being that loves country music and in his
heart he knew that Hee Haw would be what the industry needed to let the world
see how great the music was, and through his efforts country music found a new
road to introduce the artists and their music to a new group of fans, young,
old, and those from other music genre’s who were just getting to know
about country music.  All of these changes can be attributed to Sam
Lovullo for knowing that there was a special place in music for country music,
and as we all know, country music is no doubt the highest rated music today in
all genres of music.  Just think of all of the artists who were never in country
music, and then when their careers were going down the tube, they realized the
opportunity to jump on the country music bandwagon to keep their careers from
dying.  Many artists found a home in country music, and no doubt took
places of other country music artists by recording country songs and calling
themselves country, which was not good for many artists who could not compete
with artists who had name value in the pop or rock field, but their careers
were floundering and they needed to find a way to keep their success moving
forward, so they came over to country music, recorded some country songs,
changed their music to country, and there was nothing that anyone could do, but
it did hurt many artists who could not find a spot on radio because of the many
artists from other music genres who took a slot that was meant for real country
artists.  I do not agree with this, never have and never will, but I guess
it is a business and country music saved the careers of many artists who were
on the brink of losing their success in their field of music, so they changed
their music values and called themselves country.  It hurt many artists,
but record labels, talent agents, and venues could see the light in the tunnel
and knew that there was a change that was getting ready to take place and that
they had better jump on the bandwagon.  There were many artists who paid
the price of these changes.
Sam Lovullo was the main ingredient of this new recipe that
would eventually be very successful.  He never asked for any honors of
what he done, he just wanted to see the music flourish, and because of Sam it
has, and is now enjoying great success.  I wonder where country music
would be if it were not for the direction of Sam Lovullo and Hee Haw.  It
gave artists move visibility, more personal appearances, more financial
stability, and careers were lengthened that otherwise might have ended without
Hee Haw.
Sam gave the country music industry a prescription that
would make it stand on its own feet, and he gave a new start to so many artists
that otherwise might have never had a career without the opportunity that Sam
Lovullo gave to them.  He knew that the music needed a jumpstart and Hee
Haw was the way to push the music to new heights of success.  Sam was one
of the most influential ambassadors for Country Music and still is the mentor
of advice to so many others in the industry that respect his knowledge and love
of the music.
The name Sam Lovullo should be given the title of Country
Music Hall of Famer Sam Lovullo
.  I cannot take the credit for all of
this article, because there is an umpire friend of mine who felt that I should
write something about Sam, and I agreed with him, and I hope that when they
call the names of next year’s new inductees, the name Sam Lovullo will
ring out louder than Big Ben.  Sam is one of the kindest and most
respected human beings that I have ever know, and when he is inducted into the
Country Music Hall of Fame, it will be something that he will cherish and enjoy
for the rest of his life.  I support Sam Lovullo and I hope that I will
hear his name called in 2015.

Marty Martel©

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