An Online Newsletter of “The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Volume 12, Issue 2
Welcome to our second issue for 2012! A lot has already been happening around Mayberry this year, and even more is on the way.
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring Emmett Forrest’s amazing collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org/ or call (336) 786-1604. (And here’s a link to a recent story in the Charlotte Observer about the museum.)
*Mar. 31: Rodney Dillard and The Dillard Band perform at 7 p.m. (opening acts start at 6 p.m.) at Kosicuisko Junior High Auditorium in Koscuisko, Miss. Advance tickets are $12; $15 at the door. (Kids 10 and under get in free.) For more info, call 662-289-2981.
* Mar. 31: David Browning performs at the YMCA Annual Meeting Show in Bristol, Tenn. (Hope he can get a corner room!)
* Apr. 13-15: Julie Adams is a scream at Monsterpalooza in Burbank, Calif. For more info, visit www.monsterpalooza.com.
* Apr. 14: Dillards/Darlings mandolinist Dean Webb and his Missouri Boatride band perform at 7 p.m. the Star Theater in Willow Springs, Mo.
* Apr. 14: Neal Brower, author of Mayberry 101, makes the second of two special appearances this spring at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy. The “Fun Girls” episode will be shown today and will be followed by a detailed lecture and Q&A. The lecture takes place in the lower level of the Museum at 2 p.m. Admission is $10. Neal’s lectures are always fun, girls and boys!
* Apr. 20: Betty Lynn will greet fans at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8×10 photos available ($10) and would love to visit with you! For more info, visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org.
* Apr. 20 and 21: Second Annual Mayberry Comes to Westminster in Westminster, S.C. Maggie Peterson, LeRoy McNees, and Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band are confirmed guests. David Browning and assorted Mayberry tribute artists will also be on hand. For info, visit Facebook.com.
* May 3 and 4: Ronnie Schell (two episodes and Duke Slater on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”) headlines the Eagles’ Wings Fundraiser in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
There’s a golf tourney on Thursday the 3rd at the Indian Hills Country Club. The Silent Auction and Banquet (including The Ronnie Schell Show) are on Fri. the 4th at the Bryant Conference Center. (Doors open for the Auction preview at 5 p.m.) Reserved tables and individual tickets will be available soon; prices and Banquet time TBA. Mayberry Tribute Artists David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Allan “Floyd” Newsome, Kenneth “Otis” Junkin, Tim “Goober” Pettigrew, Phil “Ernest T.” Fox, Jeff “Howard” Branch, Bob “Briscoe” Mundy, and Eric “Mayor Pike” Lowry will also entertain. For more info, visit http//:eagleswingsoftuscaloosa.org.
9 16: (This date was incorrectly reported as May 9. The date should be May 16th and David will not be at this years Expo.) David Browning has fun in store for the Small Business Expo in Sanford, N.C. (He’s no dummy!)
* May 12: Using their ’41 Chevy flatbed truck as Darlings-style stage, Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride kick off the Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series Kimberling City Shopping Mall, outside of Hillbilly Bowl, from 7 to 9 p.m. The music is free, but bring your own lawn chair.
* May 12: David Browning gives the crowd pause at the Kentucky Black Bear Festival in Cumberland, Ky.
* May 19 and 20: Darlings boy Dean Webb and his Missouri Boatride bluegrass band perform at the Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo.
* May 26: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform at the Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series Kimberling City Shopping Mall, outside of Hillbilly Bowl, from 7 to 9 p.m. Listening is free, but bring something (or somebody) to sit (or lean) on.
* June 1 and 2: 25th Annual Mule Days in Gordo, Ala. (near Tuscaloosa). Mayberry Tribute Artists David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Allan “Floyd” Newsome, and Kenneth “Otis” Junkin will be among the entertainers. And “wellllllll doggies”…the headline guest star this year is Donna Douglas (Elly May Clampett on “The Beverly Hillbillies.) More details TBA.
* June 9 and 23: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform at the Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series Kimberling City Shopping Mall, outside of Hillbilly Bowl, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free but bring something to sit on (or else have some Miracle Salve handy for the next day).
* June 30: 12th Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals at Oak Mountain State Park, in Pelham, Ala. (just south of Birmingham). Note: This is a new location. Check back for more details and guest stars.
* July 7: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform at the Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series Kimberling City Shopping Mall, outside of Hillbilly Bowl, from 7 to 9 p.m. The music is free, but bring your own lawn chair.
* July 11-14: Julie Adams appears at the Western Film Fair in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Nancy Stafford of “Matlock” is also among the stars with an Andy Griffith connection attending.) For more info, visit http://westernfilmfair.tripod.com.
* July 21 and Aug. 4: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform at the Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series Kimberling City Shopping Mall, outside of Hillbilly Bowl, from 7 to 9 p.m. Got time to breathe, got time to music.
* Aug. 11 and 12: James Best appears at the Hazzard Homecoming in Sperryville, Va. For tickets and info visit http://www.cootersplace.com/hazzard-homecoming/.
* Aug. 18: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride–Ditto the details for Aug. 4.
* Aug. 24 and 25: Rodney Dillard and Maggie Peterson are joined by several of the Mayberry tribute artists (including David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Kenneth “Otis” Junkin and Jeff “Howard” Branch) for a Cruise-In on Fri. and then concert benefiting the Montgomery County DARE program on Sat. The evening concert will be at the James H. Garner Center in Troy, N.C. Details TBA. For more info, visit www.bluegrassintroy.com/.
* Sept. 1 and 15: “Surprise, surprise, I can see it in your eyes.” Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform at the Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series Kimberling City Shopping Mall, outside of Hillbilly Bowl, from 7 to 9 p.m. The music is still free, but bring your chair, blanket, cushion, bench, or tree stump to sit on.
* Sept. 27-30: 23rd Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Stars confirmed so far are Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Doug Dillard (Darling banjo player), James Best (Jim Lindsey), LeRoy McNees (of the Country Boys), and Karen Knotts (daughter of Don Knotts). Further details and more stars TBA. Tickets are now available to order for several parts of the festival, including popular shows by Doug, James and Karen. (And it’s already not at all too early to book a hotel room.) For tickets and updates, visit www.mayberrydays.org. It’s big!!!
* Sept. 29: James Best zooms from Mount Airy to be at an event with Henderson Auctions on Hwy. 190 West of Livingston, La., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (If you can’t find it, the gators might find you.)
* Oct. 1: James Best is featured at an All-Star Concert at the Marriott Baton Rouge Hotel in Baton Rouge, La., with country stars Clay Walker and Tracy Lawrence. Sonny Shroyer from “The Dukes of Hazzard” will also appear.
* Oct. 3: 52nd Anniversary of the airing of the first episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” on CBS. Just think on this here day in 1960…Shazam!
* Oct. 6: A Mayberry Afternoon in Salisbury, N.C., featuring Mayberry music and Mayberry tribute artists, including David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Allan “Floyd” Newsome, Jeff “Howard” Branch, Tim “Goober” Pettigrew, and Phil “Ernest T.” Fox. Details TBA.
* Oct. 12-14: Darlings boy Dean Webb and his Missouri Boatride band perform at the Wooley Creek Bluegrass Festival in Cape Fair, Mo.
* Oct. 29-Nov. 3: Halloween Cruise to Mayberry 7. Five Days aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Destiny, leaving from Miami with ports of call in Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Grand Turk, plus a fun day at sea. Seven Mayberry tribute artists, an Elvis tribute artist and those talented and crazy VW Boys are among the entertainment provided exclusive to Mayberry Cruise participants. For more info, visit the All About Cruises website at www.allaboutcruisesnc.net/
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Andy Griffith is happy to see spring blooming out around his coastal home in his beloved North Carolina.
Here’s a link to a March 23 TV news interview/story with Karen Knotts talking about her stage show, which she performed as a fundraiser that night in Morgantown, W.V., hometown of her father, Don Knotts: Karen Knotts–Tied Up in Knotts.
Ron Howard is now in England filming Rush, his film about 1970s Formula 1 rivals Niki Lauda and James Hunt. It’s expected for release in 2013.
Things are also reportedly looking promising for a deal with Warner Bros. for Ron’s dream project of producing and directing film and TV adaptations of Stephen King’s The Dark Towers. And plans by Ron’s Imagine Entertainment for bringing an Arrested Development feature film to Netflix and maybe theaters are also progressing well. Imagine is also developing an adaption or George Orwell’s 1984.
George Lindsey was on hand in March for the ribbon-cutting for the gorgeous new George Lindsey Theatre and Ernest Borgnine Performance Hall during the 15th Annual George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival at the University of North Alabama (George’s alma mater), in Florence, Ala.
George was back in the news back home in Nashville later in the month–this time for being a bit under the weather, but he is doing better now. You know he’s feeling better when, instead of saying “hey,” he greets you with the chorus from his favorite song by country star Joe Diffie: “If the devil danced in empty pockets, he’d have a ball in mine.”
James Best will be in Romania in May to film a movie for Hallmark. It’s being produced by his daughter Janeen and her husband, Michael Damian.
Meanwhile, look for James in Return of the Killer Shrews in theaters this summer. You can scream, but you can’t hide! Cringe for more info soon.
Here’s a link to a story and video of actress Peggy McCay rapping at an animal rescue fundraiser in Nashville in early March. Peggy (Andy’s high school sweetheart Sharon DeSpain in the “Class Reunion” episode) does a rap about Caroline Brady (her “Days of Our Lives” character for the last three decades). Ernest T. Bass ain’t got nuthin’ on the rhymin’ of this lady who left Mayberry to be a “big fish in a big pond.”
In our last issue, we speculated that Bernard Fox might be the first featured TAGS actor to have been in a 3D movie (the new version of Titanic coming to theaters in April). As Jim Longworth of our Miracle Salve chapter (Winston-Salem, N.C.) promptly pointed out, Julie Adams in fact has that distinction She starred in Creature of the Black Lagoon, which was released in 3D in 1954. (And she was even mentioned in the very next “News of Cast & Crew” item after Bernard’s in that issue!)
**** Chapter Update ****
We’re pleased to welcome two new chapters since the previous eBullet:
The Mayberry Posse Avondale/Goodyear, Ariz.
The Huckleberry Smash Club Valley City, N.D.
We now have had 1,389 chapters founded since TAGSRWC started nearly 33 years ago. If you’re interested in starting a chapter of TAGSRWC, all you need to do is choose a name that hasn’t already been picked, and submit it with a list of your founding members to TAGSRWC’s HQ in Nashville (see addresses below). The hardest part is simply finding a name that hasn’t already been chosen. There’s a searchable list of chapter names at www.tagsrwc.com.
Once you successfully choose a name that’s all yours and nobody else’s, you’ll receive your Official Chapter Charter, fancily inscribed (and “suitable for framing” by Sherry Hyatt, one of our Compelsion Nuts chapter in East Tennessee.
What you do as a chapter is entirely up to you. Your group can do as much or as little as you like. The idea is simply to have lots of Mayberry fun with whatever you do.
Or if you’re feeling more like a joiner than a starter, you can write to us about how to contact a chapter near you. Our mailing address is TAGSRWC, 9 Music Square South, PMB 146, Nashville TN 37203-3211. Our e-mail address is Goober@iMayberry.com.
Or you can join our online “Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board?” chapter. (It’s really quick and easy to do. Info is at tagsrwc.com.)
Either way, we hope you can enjoy the fun of being part of a TAGSRWC chapter!
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
New iMayberry Community
We’re really excited to announce the launch this year of a wonderful Web activity hosted by TAGSRWC and organized and overseen by webmaster Allan “Floyd” Newsome. It’s called iMayberry Community. You can check it out and sign up for free at: http://imayberrycommunity.com/.
Here’s what Allan says about it:
“Mayberry related websites, forums, podcasts, mailing lists, newsletters and more have been on the Internet for more than 20 years. I’m always amazed when folks say they never knew all this stuff about The Andy Griffith Show existed. Some knew of a few Mayberry things but didn’t realize the volume of material that is on the Web.
The iMayberry Community‘s goal is to help fans of The Andy Griffith Show connect with one another and to share their knowledge and love of Mayberry.
“We’re just beginning this community, but with your help we should see our Mayberry friendships grow and develop relationships that are stronger.
“Community, friends, relationships, family–those are the things that we love about Mayberry and those are the things we want to nurture here.”
The hope is that the iMayberry Community will complement our other online activities, including our main www.imayberry.com page, podcasts, Facebook page, online newsletters (such as The eBullet!), weaversdepartmentstore.com and chat rooms. Combined with TAGSRWC chapters and the various Mayberry events for all fans (from Mayberry Days to ocean cruises), not to mention enjoying the sites of Mount Airy year-round, the world of Mayberry fun keeps expanding.
And best of all, it’s all rooted in watching the show itself. Whether through DVDs, local stations or TV Land, loving to watch the show continues to be the energy that feeds all the other Mayberry fun and activities that we enjoy. What a wonderful thing Andy Griffith and his talented team of actors, musicians, writers and crew people created 52 years ago–for us and generations to come!
Two Chairs, No Waiting is our weekly podcast of TAGS has news, interviews and pretty much whatever happens to be going on in and around Mayberry. It’s hosted by our Allan Newsome. There’s a new episode every Tuesday (and you can watch and listen live during tapings on Monday evenings). Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to episodes you’ve missed. (There have been about 180 episodes since 2008!)
There’s a lot of info and discussions that you simply won’t find anywhere else, including rare interviews (vintage and new) with cast and crew members of TAGS. If you’ve got sound on your computer or have an iPod or similar device, you can easily tune in or download these podcasts.
And there’a Brother Figure podcast to Two Chairs, No Waiting. It’s hosted by longtime TAGSRWC member Kevin Burke, who does a great job of describing and discussing individual episodes. It’s called Burke on Mayberry. Check it out.
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook now has almost 9,000 friends! You can find us at www.facebook.com/tagsrwc. There’s a variety of comments about Mayberry, and a lively stream of fans’ favorite TAGS lines. And our Facebook page is also one of the first places we post announcements and breaking news about TAGS. If you haven’t already dropped by the page, we hope you’ll check it out sometime when you have the chance. We invite you to become a TAGSRWC Facebook Friend!
**** Chapter News ****
Carloads of TAGSRWC members from Mayberry chapter (Knoxville, Tenn.) and members from Nashville (Andy chapter) and as far away as Springfield, Ohio, came to a fundraiser in Nashville for Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue starring Peggy McCay.
There was also some sad news from Mayberry chapter, whose patriarch member John Hitch passed away in early March at age 77. Here’s a nice tribute in the Knoville News story about John, an East Tennessee radio legend and huge TAGS fans. This story has some wonderful photos of John and the Mayberry buildings he built on his property.
“Hearty Eatin’ Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) did what they do best at the Tuscaloosa Exchange Club Chili Cook-Off in February: FOOD! They manned the Eagles’ Wings booth and served up Barney’s Hot Plate Chili with all kinds of Mayberry decor. L-R: Deloris “Barney” Cummings, Sandra “Andy” Pike, Gloria “Mrs. Mendelbright” Kennedy and, all keyed up, Kenneth “Otis” Junkin.
Members of Barney chapter (Greensboro, N.C.) held their March meeting in Mount Airy. The occasion (other than getting a pork chop sandwich at the Snappy Lunch and dropping by to visit with Russell Hiatt next door at Floyd’s) was to attend a lecture by chapter member Neal Brower at the Andy Griffith Museum. All reports are that Neal’s lecture was outstanding, as always.
Shakedown! Shakedown! chapter (Laurinburg, N.C.) held their winter get-together in February. They say, “It consisted of a covered dish meal, trivia, watching episodes and, of course, good old chit-chat, southern style…slow and easy. We had several new people attend.” Jeff “Howard Sprague” Branch and a favorite friend also dropped by the meeting from out of town.
“Syrup and Biscuits”a new chapter this year based in Headland, Ala., held a very successful “Evening in Mayberry” event in their temporary base of Newnan, Ga. Exactly 201 folks attended the chapter event (Ernest T. counted). They had home cooking, local Mayberry tribute artists, memorabilia displays, a jail cell for photo ops, reruns and a trivia game. Best of all–the event was fundraiser the First Baptist Church’s Senior Choir Tour. All ‘n’ all, it was a mighty fine kick-off for the new chapter!
Editor’s Note: We encourage any readers with chapter or event news and photos that they want to share with eBullet readers to e-mail reports and photos to Goober@iMayberry.com.
**** Merchandise Update ****
Along with restocking our shelves with most of our usual items, we have added several brand new items, and also have new offerings of some rare vintage merchandise and memorabilia.
Here are three new officially licensed T-shirts that have come out this spring. These are the newest of more than 30 T-shirt designs you can find online at Weaver’s.
And here’s a sampling of some the vintage (20 years and older) memorabilia and licensed merchandise that we’ve added this month. (We have only one of most of these.)
Left to right are an original campaign poster prop from the 1986 Return to Mayberry movie, an Ernst & Co. ceramic mug from 1990, and a Limited Edition print from the Mayberry Cast Reunion at Opryland in 1991. They’re all in the Collectibles & Special Items section of Weaver’s.
**** Post Note ****
If you ever miss receiving an issue of The eBullet, you can always catch up by reading it in the eBullet Archives in the Newsletters section at iMayberry.com. Each issue is usually placed in the Archives within about a week or so of its being distributed to subscribers.
Between issues of The eBullet, keep up with the goings-on in Mayberry with the daily Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board? (aka WBMUTBB) Digest. It’sa free subscriber list that consists entirely of comments, newsflashes, and questions and answers from subscribers. You can sign up for that list by going to the Mailing Lists link at tagsrwc.com. WBMUTBB also has its own Archives where you can follow the ongoing stream of messages.
And TAGSRWC publishes Weaver’s Newsletter in more-or-less alternate months to The eBullet. Like The eBullet, the Weaver’s Newsletter is free. Its focus is mainly on new Mayberry merchandise and collectibles and quick newsflashes. To sign up, go to: Weaver’s Newsletter Sign-Up.
TAGSRWC’s other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our website at www.tagsrwc.com (and its sister site www.iMayberry.com). Both sites have extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.
The next issue of The eBullet is scheduled for May with the next Weaver’s Newsletter planned for late April. Till then, happy Mayberry watching!