Sixties Television – The Andy Griffith Show

Sixties Television – The Andy Griffith Show

AGriffithShowThe Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom televised on CBS between October 3, 1960 and April 1, 1968.

The show was produced by Sheldon Leonard, who was also the producer of The Danny Thomas Show.  He hired a writer to create a pilot show for Andy Griffith, featuring him as justice of the peace and newspaper editor in a small town. On February 15, 1960, The Danny Thomas Show episode “Danny Meets Andy Griffith” aired. In the episode, Griffith played fictional Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, North Carolina, who arrests Danny Williams (Thomas’s character) for running a stop sign.

The Cast:

    • Andy Griffith plays Sheriff Andy Taylor. Andy had made a huge impression on the public with his movies A Face in the Crowd and No Time For Sergeants (which he performed in the play version). He had also made monologues such as “What it Was, Was Football.”
    • Ron Howard as Opie Taylor.
    • Don Knotts portrayed Deputy Barney Fife.
    • Frances Bavier plays Aunt Bea.
    • Jim Nabors – Gomer Pyle
    • George Lindsey played Gomer’s cousin, Goober Pyle.
    • Howard McNear stars as Floyd the Barber (Floyd Lawson).
    • Hal Smith portrayed Otis Campbell, the lovable town drunk.
    • Barney’s sweetheart, Thelma Lou, was played by Betty Lynn and Andy’s schoolteacher sweetheart, Helen Crump, was played by Aneta Corsaut (who starred in The Blob with Steve McQueen).
    • Ernest T. Bass was a memorable character played by Howard Morris.
    • Other character actors included Hope Summers as Clara Edwards; Elinor Donahue as pharmacist Ellie Walker;  Jack Dodson as County Clerk Howard Sprague;  Paul Hartman as  handyman Emmett Clark; and Jack Burns as deputy Warren Ferguson.

Sixties Television – The Andy Griffith Show

andygriffithThe show’s theme music, “The Fishin’ Hole”, was composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer, with lyrics written by Everett Sloane, who also guest starred as Jubal Foster in the episode, “The Keeper of the Flame” (1962). Whistling in the opening sequence, as well as the closing credits sequence, was performed by Earle Hagen. One of the show’s tunes, “The Mayberry March”, was reworked a number of times in different tempo, styles and orchestrations as background music.

Sixties Television – The Andy Griffith Show

Some of my favorite episodes include Mountain Wedding that featured Denver Pyle and Maggie Mancuso as the Darlings; Andy’s English Valet (1963) Malcolm Merriweather Played by Bernard Fox who was also seen as Dr. Bombay on Bewitched; and Christmas Story (19 Dec. 1960) that featured Will Wright as crotchety(Scrooge-like) Ben Weaver.

Spin-offs from The Andy Griffith Show

  1. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.
  2. Mayberry R.F.D.

The Andy Griffith Show is still in syndication and available on DVD.

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