Newsletter June 2008
Welcome to our third Weaver’s Newsletter for 2008!
Note: If you’re also a subscriber to TAGSRWC’s other online newsletter, The eBullet, and didn’t receive some of the recent issues, you can read them in our Newsletter Archives at https://www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet/archive/index.htm. We had some technical glitches getting our online newsletters distributed back in the Spring. If you haven’t received an eBullet recently, you might need to re-subscribe. It takes just a second at https://www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet/joinebullet.htm
**** Merchandise Update ****
Along with Visa and MasterCard, Weaver’s Dept. Store now is set up to accept DiscoverCard! Brace yourself…we’re flying head over heels into the 21st Century! Unfortunately, we don’t see the American Express Card in our future, so you can still leave that one at home for now.
We’re well-stocked for Summer with an extensive assortment of T-shirts, books, DVDs, Barney Fife thermometers (for watching that mercury rise to 92 degrees and beyond), music, tins signs, wooden building fronts, deputy and sheriff badges, and all kinds of other favorite Mayberry goodies, including a few remaining Grab-Bags You’ll find it all at Weaver’s at http://www.mayberry.com. Here are some highlights:
Barney Fife's Guide to Life Love and Self-Defense $15.00
This fun 1993 book (hardback, 166 pages) by brothers Len and John Oszustowicz imagines worldly advice coming from the mind of Barney Fife. Nuff said.
The popular book has been out of print for over 10 years and is now a sought-after collectible. We have a few copies that are still in brand new condition. And best of all, we're offering the book for just a few dollars more than the cover price (and less than the annual inflation rate has been.) Get 'em while you can before we change our minds about the price.
* 2008 “Andy Griffith Show” Wall Calendar--Was $14.00; Now $10.00!
We’re now halfway through this year, and we’ve knocked $4 off the price of this 2008 wall calendar. We expect this will be our only price reduction on this item because we don’t have very many left. And these TAGS wall calendars have a history of going up in price again as collectibles as the years pass.
This fifth straight year of a TAGS Wall Calendar celebrates that milestone with all color photos for 2008. Now, don’t panic. “All color” doesn’t mean photos only from the color seasons. Several photos are from the black-and-white era. The photos are in color only because they’re publicity stills. Some haven’t been published since the first set of trading cards in 1990.
P.S. There’s also going to be a 2009 TAGS Wall Calendar. We’ll of course be carrying that one, too!
* All New Box Set
of All Eight Seasons of “The Andy Griffith Show,”
Plus the “Danny Thomas” Pilot and Return to Mayberry $192.00
retail price for this Box Set of every episode of “The Andy Griffith
Show” (plus the “Danny Thomas” pilot episode and the
1986 Return to Mayberry movie)
is over $240.00. The previous 8-season box-set release
(without the pilot and the movie and now also discontinued) carried a
suggested retail price of $320.00. We think our $192.00 price
is an exceptional value.
We also sell individual Complete Seasons on DVD at nice discounts.
Fiddler’s Ghost by Mitch Jayne
Darling boy Mitch Jayne’s fascinating 2007 novel, Fiddler’s Ghost, is getting fantastic review and racking up awards. It’s absorbing reading for anybody who loves a good ghost story, music, skillful writing, or just plain great storytelling from a true master. Few people have as much of a command and appreciation of language (especially the Ozark variety) as Mitch. We don’t want to give away the plot, but we will say that it’s a charming, entertaining and engrossing tale. Mitch also has a new Web page (mostly info about his books so far):
The Complete Fourth Season of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” https://www.weaversdepartmentstore.com/index.php?category=91 is coming out on May 20. We’re taking pre-orders now. The list price is $39.00, but we’ve got
**** Floyd’s Barbershop Bulletin Board & Event Calendar ****
* June 25-29:
Ronnie Schell performs at
Pechanga Resort & Casino in
* June 28 & 29: James Best appears at DukesFest at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. David Browning will be on hand for crowd un-control on the 28th as well. Visit http://www.dukesfest.com for more info.
* July 5: Doug and Rodney Dillard
and their band perform at the 22nd Annual Sally
Mountain Park Bluegrass Festival in
* July 9: Jim Nabors is in concert at the American Music Theatre in
* July 11-13: LeRoy
at the Ernest T. Bass-approved Athy Bluegrass Festival in
* July 12: Rodney Dillard
is confirmed as guest star for the 8th
Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals in
conjunction with the 4th Annual
Mayberry Comes to Graysville festival at
the Community Center in
In addition to the Mayberry Squad Car racing (free and probably starting around 11:00 a.m.) and Rodney’s evening concert, other confirmed activities include a parade down
A ticket (price to be determined but usually about $20 for adults and about $10 for kids 12 and under) is required for the rest of the day's festivities inside the air-conditioned Community Center. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance at the
Among the tribute artists confirmed are David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Allan “Floyd” Newsome, Kenneth “Big Maude” Junkin, Jeff “
The Mayberry Squad Car Nationals is organized by TAGSRWC's “Hearty Eatin' Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” chapter (
Check the Event Calendar online at mayberry.com for updates or visit www.graysvillecity.com.
* July 18 and 19: Don Knotts Hometown Celebration in
* July 25: David Browning slides into
* July 26: David “Mayberry Deputy”
Browning is on the path for fun (and how!) for the
* July 30: Everyone hopes his socks aren’t
too porous and the tightly-knit crowd doesn’t unravel when David
Browning tells yarns at the
* Aug. 1: David Browning’s back to rock
the stadium at the
* Aug. 2: David Browning is a sight to see at the Asheville (N.C.) Tourists game.
* Aug. 5: David Browning is on patrol for
National Night Out in
* Aug. 9: Doug and Rodney
Dillard and their band and their TV sister Maggie Peterson Mancuso perform at
the Second Annual Mayberry in Troy, a fundraiser for the
Montgomery County DARE program in
Aug. 21-23: David Browning makes the
circuit, first for Food City Family Race Night on Thurs. and then for the NASCAR
scene on Fri. and Sat. at the
Aug. 30: David Browning makes the
rounds on the diamond for the Mississippi Braves game in
* Sept. 16-21: Ronnie Schell headlines in the Comedy Improv Room at Harrah's in Las Vegs, N.V.
* Sept. 25-28: 19th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Stars confirmed so far include Doug Dillard, Rodney Dillard, Betty Lynn, Maggie Peterson Mancuso, James Best, Jackie Joseph, Elizabeth MacRae, LeRoy McNees and George Spence. For more info, visit: http://www.surryarts.org.* Nov. 1-6: A Cruise to Mayberry (click here for more info and photos of past cruises) to the
Mayberry Mourns Loss of Music Legend
He Hooked Our Hearts with Beloved Tunes
Earle Hagen 1919-2008
BEHIND THE SCENES—Though this photo is not the
clearest, it does have
some interesting Mayberry history. It was taken on location
in Los Olivos, Calif., during the filming of Return to Mayberry in
That’s Earle Hagen sitting in the center and looking at the
Also pictured are Jack Dodson (in wardrobe as Howard Sprague) and Cindi
Andy Griffith), seated next to Earle. The big Goober standing
at the right is fan and journalist Ken Beck. Notice Otis’ ice
cream truck with Fife for Sheriff posters on it. Barney’s
campaign rally is being staged in the background. This
project was Earle’s last before officially retiring from film scoring.
|NOTED STARS—Andy Griffith and Earle were delighted to be together again on the red carpet at the 2004 TV Land Awards in Hollywood. They later did a number onstage that included lots of whistling and fishin’ poles.|
|Some 500 people were on hand April 20 when Earle Hagen was honored in Indian Wells. Calif., by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a Gold Circle Award for 50 years of service to the industry. The award was presented by Robert Culp and Stacy Keach. (Earle wrote the themes for hit TV series of both stars, “I Spy” and “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer,” respectively.) Earle (second from right) is pictured here with others at the April ceremony, including fellow honorees (beginning far left) Robert Loggia, James McArthur and Ann-Margret.|
By now, news has reached all corners of Mayberry,
Camp Pendleton, New Rochelle, N.Y., and beyond about the passing of
amazing musician and wonderful human being Earle Hagen.
He died at his home in Rancho Mirage,
There was never any doubt that Earle Harry Hagen was all about heart. He had a welcoming personality and was generous with his talents and time. He was respected as a brilliant musician (including stints as a trombonist and arranger for top bands of the Big Band era) and was considered the respected dean of TV composers. His approach to scoring TV shows transformed a craft that, until he came along, had been fairly cookie-cutter in approach. Earle worked hard to carefully tailor his music to the particular shows, characters and scenes he was working on.
Earle’s work for TAGS would by itself have been
career enough for many a talented person.
Not only did he compose (in about 15 minutes!) and whistle
the TAGS theme, but he also wrote most of the background music
performed in the episodes. Among
the themes he wrote were “The Man Hunt” (basically Barney’s theme) and
themes for Aunt Bee, Opie, Ellie and others.
He wrote ”Mayberry March,” which was used in many TAGS
episodes and later became the theme for “Mayberry R.F.D.”
Earle was not only a composer, but also music director for many of these shows and others. He received multiple Emmy nominations and won for an episode of “I Spy.” He was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1960 for his work on Let’s Make Love, starring Marilyn Monroe.
Another tune of Earle’s that is recognized and beloved the world over is “Harlem Nocturne,” which he composed in 1939 and which 45 years later became the theme for “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.”
It’s impossible to capture the full scope of Earle’s life and career in the paragraphs in this story. Not even a book could do his life justice (and Earle wrote three, two acclaimed books on scoring films and his 2002 memoirs). Here are a few links to good stories about Earle that have appeared since his death:
|A RECORD CUT?—It was an easy session for barber Russell Hiatt when Earle and Laura Hagen visited Floyd’s City Barbershop during Mayberry Days in 2003.|
An outstanding Web site operated by admirers of Earle’s is at http://www.earlehagen.net. The site has lots of photos and info and links to many other worthwhile sites and stories with detailed information about Earle’s fascinating life and career.
There’s also an interview with Earle that appeared in the July 1993 issue of our old printed newsletter, The Bullet. For those who are longtime TAGSRWC members or maybe have ordered that issue from TAGSRWC at some point, the story might provide some additional insights about Earle.
Earle Hagen was preceded in death by Lou, his wife
of 59 years, in 2002. He
is survived by his second wife, Laura; two sons, Deane and James; three
stepchildren and four grandchildren.
A memorial service was planned for June 1 in
For those interested, the family has suggested Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation at http://www.mhopus.org for memorial donations.
Editor’s Note: On behalf of our fan club as a group, TAGSRWC is making a donation to the Surry Arts Council in Mount Airy, N.C. Earle always spoke fondly of his visit to Mount Airy for Mayberry Days in 2003, and he was impressed by the efforts to develop the arts in Surry County, including Mayberry Days and programs in the schools. We feel sure Earle would approve of this Mayberry variation of supporting the arts, including music. Instead of Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, it’s more like Mr. Hagen’s Opie fund.Donations to the Surry Arts Council can be made online at http://www.surryarts.org. There is a variety of options for memorial donations, ranging from straight donations to inscribed tiles at the amphitheater or seat plaques at the Downtown Cinema or Andy Griffith Playhouse.
Andy Griffith recently filmed a
music video for the song “Waitin’ on a Woman” for country superstar
(and certifiable Mayberry nut) Brad Paisley.
It’s a real hoot (let’s just say that Andy gets in touch
with his inner Mr. Schwamp), so keep an eye out for it.
The video was filmed near Andy’s home in
Andy was also featured in a political TV spot for
Bev Perdue, a Democratic candidate for governor in
Andy also called into Illinois radio station Y103.9 and talked with DJ Jim Shea about first one thing and then another, but mostly about the appalling treatment of TAGS closing credits on TVLand (not to mention the regrettable editing out of special moments). You can hear Andy’s conversation and sign an online petition by going here: http://y1039.com/Andy-Griffith-joins-Jim-Shea-on-the-Morning-Drive-/2187480
No release date has been announced yet for
Play the Game, the movie Andy filmed last fall.
The film also features Rance
Howard and Clint Howard.
COVER BOY—George Lindsey made the cover (twice) of the Summer issue of the alumni magazine of his alma mater, the University of North Alabama. The photo was taken at thededication of the George Lindsey Archives at the University
|GOT BISCUITS?—Brook Alexander, one of TAGSRWC’s four founders in 1979, poses with George Lindsey after a hearty meal at Nashville’ s Loveless Café in April.|
Ron Howard has wrapped production of the film version of Frost/Nixon, based on the hit play about David Frost’s interviews with Richard Nixon after he resigned. It’s currently scheduled for Oscar-qualifying release on Dec. 5.
Also, Ron is currently directing Angels & Demons, the sequel to The Da Vinci Code that stars Tom Hanks. The release date for that film, originally set for release this Christmas, has been pushed back until May 2009 because of the writers strike.
Ron is also producer for several other projects, including an Arrested Development movie, based on the comedy series he produced and narrated, and The Changeling, which is being directed by Clint Eastwood.
Daughter Bryce is currently filming Terminator
Salvation: The Future Begins in
Another interesting Mayberry connection to this Terminator film is that Joy
Ellison (Opie’s girlfriend Mary Wiggins and other characters)
is the dialect coach on the film.
Joy also ran into Mayberry’s Finest spokes-group The
Grascals while working on a film called Peacock
Jim Nabors was back again at
the Indy 500 to sing “Back Home Again in
**** Update on Mayberry’s Finest Line of Packaged Foods ****
The full line of canned goods and baking mixes is now available in 1,500 to 2,000 stores and also online (with the additional offering of mail-order gift baskets) at the Mayberry’s Finest Web site at http://www.mayberrysfinest.com. The Web site currently has a partial list of stores and precise locations (organized by state) in its Foley’s Market section.
Keep an eye out for Mayberry’s Finest at your favorite store. If you don’t find the products in the store where you shop, ask the store manager if the store can stock the items for you and others.
There’s no word at the moment about when the Mayberry’s Finest Recipe Contest will resume, but there will be plenty of notice for everybody to get entered.
**** POST NOTE ****
Between issues of the Weaver's Newsletter,
keep up with the goings-on in Mayberry with the more-or-less daily
"Who's Been Messin' Up the Bulletin Board?" Digest. It's a
free subscriber list that consists entirely of comments, news flashes,
and questions and answers from subscribers. You can sign up
for that list by going to the "Mailing Lists" link at https://www.tagsrwc.com/.
TAGSRWC also publishes The eBullet in more or less alternate months to the Weaver's Newsletter. The eBullet is the online successor to our longtime printed newsletter, The Bullet. Like the Weaver's Newsletter, The eBullet is free. It includes some of the same news as the Weaver's Newsletter, but with more features and depth and a little less emphasis on merchandise news. To sign up, go to https://www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet/joinebullet.htm.
TAGSRWC's other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our Web site at http://www.tagsrwc.com. It has extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.
The next issue of Weaver's Newsletter is scheduled for August (with an eBullet coming out in July).
That's all for now. We hope you have fun browsing at Weaver's and visiting http://www.mayberry.com.
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