BULLS GAP — Archie Campbell’s grandson Chase Campbell wasn’t around when Archie Campbell was in his heyday, but he’s constantly getting to know his grandfather through stories and the experiences of others.

Chase, a pastor in Knoxville, was only 3 years old when the longtime singer, comedian and star of “Hee-Haw” passed away in 1987 at the age of 72.

“So many people had personal interactions with him,” Chase told the Times News Friday.

“He was the kind of guy who wanted to talk to everybody and be around people, and so many people have a personal story of something they did with him, and they get to come tell me those stories. I’ve learned him through other people’s experiences with him.”

On Friday morning the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development honored Archie Campbell by unveiling a new “Tennessee Music Pathways” marker in his home town of Bulls Gap that will help tell Campbell’s story as part of Tennessee’s rich musical history.

“It warms our heart to see his legacy honored so that more people can find out about that,” Chase Campbell said. “Our history is the history of all East Tennessee and we share that, so it’s a proud moment. It means a lot to us that we get to share this with everyone. This is a great way to honor the legacy of someone who gave his life to entertaining people, to inspiring people, and to making their lives a little better.”

Telling Archie Campbell’s story

Archie Campbell was born Bulls Gap in 1914. Mostly remembered for his roles on the long-running television series, “Hee Haw,” Campbell was a longtime comedian, singer, painter, television and radio host, and writer with a career that spanned five decades.

Following a long radio, TV and recording career, Campbell was hired in 1969 as an on-air comedian and one of two original writers for “Hee-Haw,” where he was a regular until he passed away in 1987.

His recurring characterizations included “The Barber” where he began the “That’s good, that’s bad” routine and popularized spoonerisms. He appeared as “Doctor Campbell” and “Justus O’Peace.” Campbell also began using “Pfft, You Were Gone” as one of the show’s recurring musical routines.

Several family members were among those in attendance Friday morning in Bulls Gap for the dedication ceremony, including Archie’s son Phil Campbell, grandson Chase, nieces Freida Sempkowski and Joyce Barnett, and great great grand nephew Elijah Carmack.

The new Tennessee Music Pathways marker was placed between the house where Campbell was born in 1914 and Bulls Gap City Hall, which is also the home to the Archie Campbell Museum.

The Tennessee Music Pathways is an online planning guide founded in 2018 that connects visitors to the state’s musical heritage at tnmusicpathways.com.

Tennessee Assistant Commissioner of Rural Tourism Melanie Beauchamp noted that the online tour guide identifies significant locations in Tennessee’s music history in all 95 counties, and features hundreds of landmarks from the seven genres of music that call Tennessee home (blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock’n’roll).

“These places help tell the story of the musical pioneers and legends, like the one we’re honoring today,” Beauchamp said. “Our goal is to not only connect the fans to music, but to inspire travel to destinations like Bulls Gap, so that the traveler will stay a little bit longer while they’re here and explore.”