Publisher's note: We believe the subject of history makes people (i.e., American people) smarter, so in our quest to educate others, we will provide excerpts from the North Carolina History Project, an online publication of the John Locke Foundation. This fifteenth installment, by Jonathan Martin, is provided courtesy of the North Carolina History Project.
Andrew S. Griffith was
Andy Griffith, in 1954 at the iconic Kenan Stadium at UNC-Chapel Hill, performing "What it Was Was Football."
Andy Griffith started his career as a comedian in the early 1950s. However, before his acting career, Griffith taught high school music. After teaching for three years, Griffith and his wife Barbara Edwards started traveling and performing throughout North Carolina. On November 14, 1953, a Chapel Hill record company released Griffith's "What It Was, Was Football," a discourse about the game of football as witnessed by a young country boy who didn't understand the game. Eventually, Capitol Records obtains rights to the record and the Griffith's comedic monologue sells a million copies.
Griffith's first acting
There may well have never been as perfect of a dramatic comedy team as Don Knotts (left) and Andy Griffith (right) in the history of televison.
On February 15, 1960, Sheriff Andy Griffith makes his first television debut on the The Danny Thomas Show. During his appearance on the show, Griffith arrested Danny Thomas who was caught speeding through Mayberry, a fictional town that resembled Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy. Griffith's debut marked the beginning of The Andy Griffith Show.
CBS Television started
The greatest running gag in television history was that Barney Fife, Don Knotts (left), for obvious reasons, could only keep one bullet ... kept in his shirt pocket.
The show's finale was aired in September 1968, and a total of 249 episodes marked the legacy of The Andy Griffith Show. Several spin off shows were created to regain the success of The Andy Griffith Show, and in 1972 Griffith started his own production company, Andy Griffith Enterprises. Griffith's company produced several television movies including Murder in Texas (1981), earning the North Carolinian an Emmy nomination.
Griffith suffered from
Christmas picture of the first cast of the Andy Griffith Show in 1960. Opie, Ron Howard as a child, is in the middle.
After divorcing his Barbara Edwards in 1972, Griffith remarried Cindi Knight in 1983 and they both retired to Griffith's ranch in Dare County. At his home on Roanoke Island, Andy Griffith passed away from heart complications on July 3, 2012. He was eighty-six years old.
On This Day in North Carolina. Lew Powell. (John F. Blair: Winston-Salem, NC 1996).
"Andy Griffith Show; Recording Industry." Jo Ann Wiliford. William S. Powell, ed. Encyclopedia of North Carolina (University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, NC 2006).
"Andy Griffith Biography." Bio - True Story Website. A & E Networks. http://www.biography.com/people/andy-griffith-9542091, (accessed July 10, 2012).
This post appears courtesy of our sister site, Beaufort County NOW, with their expressed permission.