The country boy America embraced
By Robert Bianco
He was the country boy a country came to love.
For eight years, from the relative calm of the early ’60s through the decade’s turbulent later years, Andy Griffith— who died today at 86 — sat at or near the top of the ratings with The Andy Griffith Show. One of the rare shows to actually end its run at No. 1, Andy and its star were a calming, home-spun refuge from the social and political struggles raging outside the fictional world of Mayberry.
Vietnam, the sexual revolution and the fight for civil rights would eventually invade TV in the form of All in the Family. But Mayberry was a place apart — a bucolic paradise where elderly aunts dispensed comfort and homemade jam; drunks let themselves in and out of the county jail; and a warm, loving father opened each half-hour by taking his son fishing.
Indeed, odds are for many of you, the very name “Andy Griffith” calls to mind that image of Andy and Opie (a young Ron Howard, one of the most adorable children ever to amble across a TV screen) with fishing poles over their shoulders. And not just the image; surely you’re also humming that theme song?
- TV Legend Andy Griffith Dies (radio.foxnews.com)
- RIP Andy Griffith (vivianpaige.com)
- Remembering Andy Griffith…With Lyrics (entertainment.time.com)
- Andy Griffith Dead at 86 (bilerico.com)
- Andy Griffith Dead At 86 (wirk.com)
- Andy Griffith dies at 86 (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Andy Griffith on How He Wants to Be Remembered (5min.com)
- Andy Griffith dead at 86 (celebrityfeast.com)
- Andy Griffith dies at 86 (wyff4.com)