When I was growing up there is hardly a Saturday at 7 that did not pass without our television being set to watch “Hee Haw.”
One of the most iconic members of that huge ensemble cast was the comedienne Lulu Roman.
With more that 20 years coming into America’s living rooms each week, her presence was as normal as any television legend that made us laugh.
Part of her list of talent that “Hee Haw” allowed her to share was her music.
“I didn’t really sing until I got to ‘Hee Haw,’” she told me in an interview Jan. 11. “I think God just gave me that and it was in there waiting to get out.
“I started with singing gospel, and because of ‘Hee Haw,’ they wanted me to do country music. I’ve always done Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris.”
She shared with me that it was Buck Owens that helped her, an orphan, get her job on Hee Haw.
“I came in as a funny girl that did go-go dancing,” she said.
Of course, many may not remember that the show was initially created as a country version of the series “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” which did include go-go dancers such as Goldie Hawn.
Last year the surviving cast gathered for a special reunion DVD series and she said they had a wonderful time together.
“We hadn’t seen each other in a little over 20 years,” she said. “We stopped production in 1991. So, it was great to see everybody.
“There was a little bit of an overtone of sadness that it might be the last time we see some people. But it was a very joyous occasion. Getting to see everyone, see how their families had grown. How life had changed them.”
She said “Hee Haw” was a remarkable opportunity for her.
“I never dreamed my life would turn out to be what it has and have the greatest fans on earth,” she said.
But even with the end of the show, Lulu’s dream continued as doors opened for her to become one of the most cherished singers sharing her talents in gospel and country music. She has recorded more than 20 albums and continues to perform at live concert venues across the nation. She is a Dove Award and TV Land Award recipient and is a member of the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She has also appeared in many acting roles including one on “Touched By An Angel” and “Love Boat.”
Lulu is excited with the release of her first-ever musical standards album titled, “At Last.”
“I have wanted to do this for a long, long time,” she said. “(The songs) were all my picks. I love “At Last,’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’ with Dolly turned out remarkably. ‘Summertime,’ I love them all.”
She is not alone, Dolly Parton loved joining her for their duet.
“I have always known she was a great singer; but I did not know how great until she did this album,” she said. “Hearing her sing my song “I Will Always Love You” gave me the chills. And being able to sing with her on it really got the goose bumps going. I am so proud of her. Hope you enjoy our version of the song.”
She shared that the CD highlights songs she remembers from throughout her life that she one day wanted to sing.
Other titles include “Get Here,” “Fever,” “You Needed Me” featuring Linda Davis, “In My Life,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “‘Til I Can Make It On My Own” featuring Georgette Jones, “Killing Me Softly (With His Song),” “You Are So Beautiful” featuring T. Graham Brown, and “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
“I have been really blessed,” she said “I got to sing country and gospel for 40 some odd years. I’ve been blessed to be able to move between both genres. Now to add something else to it is …. What a gift.”
Lulu said that the greatest experience came when the Lord changed my whole life.
“You spend your life trying to get what you want and do what you want. Being very selfish and then you’ve got to look around,” she said. “It changed my life, changed my attitude, and changed my opinion. I changed to the Lord at a last result.
“God has been gracious enough allowed me to get to move around the whole world and share my story and my music,” she said. “I just have been ridiculously blessed with it all.”
Lulu said that the new project encompasses from country music to opera.
“I hope the listeners will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed getting to do it,” she said. “I’m so incredibly thankful for everyone who joined in to help me sing on this project. And I also want to thank Larry Ferguson and Chris Barnes who produced the album. Larry and Chris have supported me in my ‘dream’ to sing the standards and classics, with great enthusiasm and great belief in my ability.”
“At Last” will be available for purchase January 15 in retail stores as well as online via iTunes, Amazon.com and homesickent.com.
For additional information about Lulu Roman, visit www.luluroman.net.