Pop! Goes the Country is a weekly half-hour syndicated variety country music television series that originally aired from September 7, 1974 through January 1, 1982 for a total of 234 episodes. Originally hosted by Ralph Emery, the series was recorded at the Grand Ole Opry and featured comedy sketches, performances by and interviews with country music singers, both established celebrities and up and coming singers and musicians. In 1980, Tom T. Hall replaced Emery as the host. In the final year of the series, comedian Jim Varney became a member of the show, and the show moved from the Opry House to Opryland USA’s Gaslight Theater. It is also considered as a spin-off of The Porter Wagoner Show. The Statler Brothers sang the show’s original theme song.
The series’ title referenced the influence pop music was having on country music in the works of the era’s country music performers such as Barbara Mandrell, Lynn Anderson, Dolly Parton, and Anne Murray, all of whom appeared as guests on the program, although performers with more traditional styles such as Loretta Lynn and Mel Tillis were also featured during the show’s run.
Merle Haggard – It Makes No Difference Now
Leona Williams – Run On Molly Run
Merle Haggard – I’m Not That Good At Goodbyes
Ronnie Reno – My Music
The Strangers (Merle Haggard’s backing band) – Fat Boy Rag
Merle Haggard – Precious Memories’ (gospel)
Tiger Bell – Tennessee Wagoner (Tiger Bell looks about 12-years-old & is dressed in western wear)