[ Alvin Samples Jr. ]
(April 10, 1926 – November 13, 1983)
A sixth grade dropout, Samples was a stock car racing driver and carpenter by trade who went on the radio at the age of 40 and told a story about catching the largest fish ever seen in his hometown. The story was a humorous tall tale, and the recording of this radio story became a best-selling novelty record.
Hee Haw ..
He was asked to become part of the 1969 cast of Hee Haw, and created a bungling personality,
often slurring his way through delivery, messing up jokes and forgetting lines. ... https://www.youtube.com/v/qOy9t03WqWs
...Samples' most famous bit was as a used car salesman, inviting callers to call an older five-digit phone number, BR-549 (in the show's later years, the number was changed to BR-1Z1Z). When Hee Haw episodes were later sold to the public through a TV ad, the initial 800 number was a takeoff of Samples' comedy bit. In 1993 BR5-49 was also taken as a name by an American country music band.
In 1974, Samples announced that he was "seriously considering" running for lieutenant governor of Georgia on a Republican ticket with then-Macon mayor Ronnie Thompson, who was seeking the party's gubernatorial nomination. The media at first presented Samples' announcement as a political story. However, Samples was pulling a practical joke for publicity purposes. Thompson remained in the race and was defeated in the general election by the Democrat George D. Busbee.
Personal life and death ...
Samples was married to Grace Carrie Bolton (April 27, 1927 – July 9, 2015), and they had five children together. Grace sometimes used Bolden as her maiden name, and it was an official AKA in legal documents. Junior, whose weight sometimes neared four hundred pounds, was on Hee Haw for 14 years, until he died of a heart attack at the age of 57 in 1983. His funeral was officiated by close friend Rev. Douglas Collins, and was buried at Sawnee View Gardens and Mausoleum, in Cumming, GA. ...