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Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ron Howard as his son, "Opie" Taylor sing together in 1962.
I'm so heartbroken to learn of Andy Griffith's passing. It's like a little part of my childhood has died. As a kid growing up in a small town in Kansas, I was addicted to reruns of the 1960s show that bore Griffith's name, and deeply connected with the people and themes he introduced.
Along with the comedy (and plenty of heart), Griffith also introduced a lot of wonderful music on the program. It may seem silly, but I owe much of my sense of humor, the way I see the world and the music I enjoy listening to today to Andy Griffith.
In fact, if you go through my music collection, you'll find an album called Andy Griffith Sings Favorite Old-Time Songs, which includes this cut, "The Flop-Eared Mule."
This clip is from an episode called "Mayberry On Record," where a fancy out-of-towner comes to Mayberry looking to record authentic folk singers for a new record, sort of in the spirit of Alan Lomax. I can't tell you how many times I've sung along to this song, going all the way back to when I was in elementary school.
I'll be listening to the full album this afternoon and thinking about the joy and innocence (and music) Andy Griffith gave the world. Share you own memories of the show in the comments section.
(By the way, I coincidentally make a reference to one of the characters from The Andy Griffith Show on the latest edition of All Songs Considered. See if you can catch it.)