Gone is the era of simplicity, innocence and the importance of family values found on television in the 1950s and ’60s.
Gone are the days when you could turn on one of the three or four UHS channels that were available back then on your black & white, 19-inch set and without thinking about it, know you were going to enjoy a quality, wholesome show.
And now gone is Andy Griffith, patriarch of the 1960-68 family sitcom, “The Andy Griffith Show,” one of the era’s most popular and endearing programs. The 86-year-old Griffith died of a heart attack on July 3.
When I first heard the news of Andy Griffith’s passing, I felt like some relative or neighbor from back home had died. Thinking of Andy, his honesty, his take on life and his way of dealing with the troubled or less fortunate, “The Andy Griffith Show” was a must-watch program for my family and me.
From 1960 to 1965, the show co-starred character actor and comedian, and Griffith’s longtime friend, Don Knotts in the role of Deputy Barney Fife, Taylor’s best friend and partner. He was also Taylor’s cousin in the show.
When it debuted, “The Andy Griffith Show” was an immediate hit. Although Griffith never received a writing credit for the show, he worked on the development of every script. While Knotts was frequently lauded and won multiple Emmy awards for his comedic performances, Griffith was never nominated for an Emmy award during the show’s run.
You may remember that Andy Griffith, “Mayberry’s Favorite Son,” portrayed a widowed sheriff in the fictional, small community of Mayberry, North Carolina. His life always seemed to be complicated by his inept, but well-meaning deputy, Barney Fife, a spinster aunt and housekeeper, Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) and his young son, Opie (Ron Howard). Local ne’er-do-wells, bumbling pals, and temperamental girlfriends always seemed to complicate his life.
You may recall the show’s other main characters — Goober Pyle (George Lindsey), the auto mechanic; Floyd Lawson (Howard McNear), the barber; Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), the dim-witted mechanic at Wally’s Filling Station; and Otis Campbell, the town drunk, who let himself into Andy’s jail cell to sleep it off.
You may also remember that in addition to starring in his self-titled television series, Andy Griffith later starred as Ben Matlock, a defense attorney in the legal drama, “Matlock,” and appeared in several feature films, many made-for-TV films and several Broadway shows.
What you may have more difficulty remembering is that the North Carolina-born Griffith had two single releases that made the Top 40 on music Billboard’s pop chart.
In 1954, Andy Griffith’s “What It Was, Was Football” peaked at No. 9 and his follow up, 1955 single “Make Yourself Comfortable,” with Jean Wilson, reached No. 29.
Andy Griffith was a man of many talents and a man of unquestionable character.
He will be missed.
This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the last line of “The Andy Griffith Show” theme song? Was the last line A) “Mayberry, that’s the life for me,” B) “Life is great in Mayberry,” C) “Fishin’ is where I’d rather be” or D) There were no words, it was whistled.
Be the fifth caller with the correct answer this week and you’ll win a $15 gift certificate to Mountain High Coffee Works, courtesy of owners Phil and Roxie Castle.
Located on the southern end of the Swiss Village, Mountain High features espresso drinks, lunches, out-of-this-world bakery items and weekly live music.
Last week’s music trivia question
This past week’s trivia question asked if you could pinpoint the year that Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou” (the B-side of “Mean Woman Blues”) hit Billboard’s pop chart. Was it A) 1956, B)1963, C) 1972, or D) 1989?
The correct answer was 1963.
Congratulations to this past week’s two-time music trivia winner, Susan Johnson, of Payson, who won a copy of John Carpino’s first (of four) CD, “Come So Far.” John, with his group The Hot Cappuccinos, performed at last Saturday evening’s concert at Green Valley Park.
DJ Craig — 468-1482