My first memories of Hiney Wine go back to at least the mid 1970’s when WNUE Radio in Fort Walton Beach, Florida would continuously run with the spoof. The whole thing was hilarious. I don’t know how much time I spent running around searching for Hiney Wine in a can before I finally figured out the whole thing was a spoof.

I started reminiscing recently about those lazy days in the 1970’s. I was spending most of my days running my little surf shop in Destin Florida and listening to AM radio as I sat outside the shop in a beach chair drinking a beer and smiling at all the fake Hiney Wine ads. The local D.J.s must have had a blast putting one over on the public. I was always under the impression Hiney Wine was a local thing or at least a “Memphis” thing. In those days during the Summer, Memphis took over Destin. Just about every tag you saw was from Memphis. Destin was still a sleepy little fishing village. Outside of the deep South, not many people knew about the place.

I wish my memory was better and I could recall all the jokes and ad-libs the D.J.s would recite on the subject. You would think they’d eventually run out of material on what was essentially a one joke theme. They never did. It went on for years, and it never ceased to be funny, at least to me.  In fact, after starting my quest for more information on what I now call the Hiney phenomena, as it turns out, it never got old. In many cases, DJ’s across the country went with this for 10 years or more. I do remember Big Red Hiney and Thor, and of course Ophelia Hiney.

I also recall he company was always on the cutting edge of technology and way ahead of their time as demonstrated in a recalled ad that went something like this:

“The Hiney wine can with ice hole, so you can put ice and fruit in your Hiney. They increased the size of the hole so you can get more ice in your Hiney. So look for the Hiney with the bigger icehole! “

“Hiney Wine has been one of the greatest comedy features that I have EVER used at KIIS” – Rick Dees, Los Angeles

“When I moved from Q105 in Tampa to Z100 in New York, I made sure that I took my Hiney with me!” – Scott Shannon, New York

There was definitely a Memphis connection as I first suspected, One post I found said :

“This was done as a comedy sketch on Rock 103 Memphis back about 20 years ago. Tim Spencer and Bad Dog placed the winery in beautiful downtown Iuka, Mississippi, and did bits on it for a week or two. They had people calling for the address and phone number of the place before it finally dawned on them that they’d been had.”  (I’m sure he had the decade wrong)

In truth, depending on what part of the country you live, there must be at least 20 or more towns across the country who have been the legendary “Home of Hiney Wine”. At least one of them, Peterson, Iowa,  now hosts  a yearly Hiney Wine Festival every year.

2nd Annual Hiney Wine & Arts Festival
October 1st 2011 was the 2nd Annual Hiney Wine & Arts Festival in Peterson, IA.  Over 2,500 people attended the festival!!  It was a gorgeous day with good food, wine and great friends all in one.  Thanks to all our vendors and workers whomade the day so enjoyable…and to all of you who came out to enjoy!  See many of our photos from the event...
 If you lived in Norfolk, VA, you probably believe what local station (FM99) told you. According to them,the headquarters for the Hiney Winery was in Chesapeake, VA on Butts Station Road, which really exists”In my quest for truth about Hiney, it’s proven pretty hard to pin down. Most anything you hear is contradicted somewhere else, but this much I can say. Someone in Texas must have bought the rights a few years ago to actually produce and distribute Hiney Wine. From what I can tell, the venture either failed or they sold out the rights to another company. Today, there’s a company, AmericanWinery,  selling Hiney Wine in Washington State. I just placed my first order today so I will report back and give you my review after I receive it. It’s received some pretty good reviews from a few others who unlike me, sound as though they might actually know something about wine. The labels we use on the home page are their actual labels. Don’t ask me why, but they seem to keep theit Hiney hidden. Here is a link to order it for yourself:http://americanwinery.com/search?query=hineyHere’s what else I learned.

Hiney Wine is the comedy creation of Terry Dorsey and Donnelly, and was first syndicated in the early ’80’s. They became successful selling commercials about an imaginary winery operated by Big Red and Thor Hiney.Dorsey got the idea of the Hiney Winery as a Dayton, Ohio DJ and in September, 1981 developed it into “commercials” at KPLX, Dallas, where Donnelly was GM. They pooled $2,000 initially and eventually sold their Hiney to hundreds of radio stations, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars in Hiney merchandise.Interviewed by AdWeek in 1984, Donnelly said “People seldom get angry when they find out there really isn’t a winery. If anything, they are a little put out with themselves for going along with it so far.”

My problem with the above paragraph is, as I said, I was listening to these in Destin, Florida in the Mid 1970’s. As far as I’m concerned, the mystery goes on…

One last thing. If you goto this link http://www.reelradio.com/gifts/hineydees.html for $20 you can order a reel or cd composite, produced by REELRADIO, featurring selections from The Best of Rick Dees, Volume I and Hiney Wine Jingles, Volume I. The Dees segments were recorded at WHBQ and include sidekick and newsman Terrence McKeever. There are some classic and very funny bits here, including a confused and hilarious announcement forCornhuskers lotion.

Contributor T. J. Donnelly writes that “the Dees show delivered a 17 share and was really the salvation of an AM rocker that was slowly dying as 3 FM rockers ate into our audience and eventually devoured us.”

I haven’t ordered the above yet because I don’t know if I want to spend $20 on it but if I do I’ll tell you if it’s worth it. It’s pretty much a classic so it probably is. If you order it before me let me know what you  think.

– Gary Workman, Admin



2 Responses to Discussions

  1. cmchristie says:

    I have a bottle of hiney brothers wine that says California on the front. can anyone tell me where I can learn more about this bottle..

  2. robert yuhasz says:

    Does anyone know of any tapes of these commercials? I used to listen in the 80’s on a radio station in Bristol TN/VA area. Would love to have copies of those hilarious commercials for my adult children.

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