Newsletter May 2010
**** Merchandise Update ****
A lot of exciting, newly licensed "Andy Griffith Show" items are in the works for this year. Several have already come out (see below). Some of the ones being released later this year will be in conjunction with the "Andy Griffith Show" Sprint Cup stock car that will make its debut in the Banking 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 16.
Most of the new products are tying into this
year's 50th Anniversary celebration of
TAGS. Here's a sampling of what's available so far:
* 50th Anniversary T-shirt: $17.00
This shirt has a classic image of Andy, Barney, Opie and Gomer on a heavyweight 100% preshrunk cotton shirt. The color of the shirt? Why, Courthouse Coffee, of course!
* No Time for Sergeants DVD:
This hilarious 1957 movie stars Andy Griffith as earnest bumpkin Will Stockdale and follows his adventures as an Air Force recruit. It's based on the best-selling novel and hit Broadway show, also starring Andy. The movie also features Don Knotts as a quirky Air Force psychologist.
the Game DVD:
on DVD in May 2010, this award-winning 2008 release stars Andy
Griffith as a retirement home resident whose grandson is
trying to get him back into the dating game. Jerry Seinfeld's
TV mom (Liz Sheridan) and "Everybody Love Raymond" mom, Doris Roberts,
are among his new love interests. Also starring Marla
Sokoloff and Paul Campbell. Bonuses for Mayberry fans are the
appearances of Rance Howard and Clint
Howard (Ron's father and brother). The DVD features
include deleted scenes and outtakes.
Note: Rated PG-13 for language and sexual situations.
* Limited Edition "The Andy Griffith Show"
50th Anniversary Portrait:
What a great way to start off the celebration for the 50th Anniversary of TAGS! This beautiful print is sure to be a cherished lifetime keepsake marking this special year in the history of TAGS. But more than a keepsake, it's a superb work of art whose many smiling faces will bring an instant grin to the face of everyone who sees it.
Printed with premium inks on archival paper, this outstanding 12 in. x 16 in. collage pencil portrait is signed and numbered by talented Wilmington (N.C.) artist George Murray and officially licensed by CBS Consumer Products. It's limited to a maximum of 10,000 prints.
The suggested gallery price for this commemorative print is $60, but our Early Bird Special gets the nod at just $40. (Don't tell Ben Weaver!) And if you spend too long blinkin', you just might miss out on this price!
Mayberry Law Tin Sign: $13.00
This keen tin is brand new in '10! It measures 16 in. x 12.5 in. Get tough in your neighborhood with a tin that'll really make folks grin! (And of course, no law office or law enforcement or security location is complete without one!)
And remember what Barney says, "Don't be square, be rectangular!"
Note: There's also a set of all seven of the licensed Mayberry tin signs at a super-duper price!
Goober's Golf Gear
Floyd's "Goin' to
Nashville" Flood Relief Grab-Bag of Assorted Mayberry Stuff
This is the same Grab-Bag of items as our 50th Andy-versary Grab-Bag. The only difference is that we're designating sales of this one for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's Flood Relief Fund instead of the Surry Arts Council and Mayberry Days. Both are worthy efforts, but Flood Relief for Tennessee is obviously an urgent situation, so we want to offer this opportunity for Grab-Bag Purchasers to designate funds to help our neighbors.
We think they've come up with another outstanding Grab-Bag of interesting Mayberry items. All of the items are no longer in production and are therefore now in the category of "collectible."
At a minimum, each Grab-Bag has the following items:
* 1 Officially Licensed T-Shirt with Barney Fife on
it (The shirt design included is our choice according to availability,
but you'll need to specify in the Comments section
of the online order form whether you want Small, Medium, or
Large. (Sorry, but larger sizes not available for
this offer.) The default choice if you don't indicate
a size is Large.
If the items were sold separately, their suggested retail prices would easily total over $120. But Floyd is not the best at arithmetic and Ernest T. wasn't around to help us count by stomping his feet, so our price is only $50 for the whole Grab-Bag. We have only a handful to offer with this configuration of items because most of the items are in extremely short supply. Get 'em while you can.
All proceeds (not just the profits, but 100% of the $50 price) are going toward our support of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's Flood Relief Fund. So with a Grab-Bag purchase, you get a good deal while also helping folks in dire need!
We also have added a lot of vintage, unique and rare items to our online Weaver's Dept. Store at mayberry.com this year. You'll find them throughout the site, but the greatest concentration is in the Collectibles & Special Items section. Most of these items are designated as fundraisers for Haiti Earthquake Relief, Tennessee Flood Relief, Mayberry Days and other charitable efforts. And there's just one or two of most of these items, so check them out while you still can.
In addition to accepting orders online or by mail, our Weaver's Dept. Store has a phone number FOR ORDERS ONLY (615) 604-1298. The phone number is generally in operation from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Saturday.
Please call this number only
for ordering or for inquiring about orders placed by phone.
All inquiries about online orders and mail orders should be
made online and by mail, respectively.
* May 29 and 30: James Best is featured at AdventureCon at the Pigeon Forge Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. For more info, visit http://www.adventurecon.com.
* May 30: Jim Nabors is back again at the Indy 500 to sing "Back Home Again in Indiana." If Ernest T.'s math is right, this will be Jim's 32nd time singing the welcoming tune at the big race since his first time in 1972.
* June 2: David Browning helps salute goals reached at DARE Graduation in Rocky Mount, N.C.
* June 4 and 5: Mule Day/Chickenfest in Gordo, Ala., starring Maggie Peterson, and featuring Mayberry tribute artists, including Allan "Floyd" Newsome, Tim "Goober" Pettigrew, Jeff "Howard Sprague" Branch, Bob "Briscoe" Mundy, Phil "Ernest T." Fox and Kenneth "Otis" Junkin. There will also be a carnival in town in conjunction with Mule Days, as well as National Guard race cars, assorted military displays and much more. (No doubt including mules and chickens!) Details to come. For more info, visit http://www.gordochamber.com.
* June 4 and 5: James Best is guest of honor for Jimmie's Coming Home in his hometown of Corydon, Ind. He will present two performances of his one-man show, "In His Own Words" at Hayswood Theatre at 8:00 p.m. on both Fri. and Sat. tickets are $30 each and include a reception with snacks to give attendees an opportunity to meet James. Tickets are on sale at the Blaine Wiseman Visitor Center in Corydon. Cash money or good check accepted. Tickets are expected to sell quickly as the theater seats only 70.
In addition, a brief ceremony to honor James will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sat., followed by a book signing at the Gerdon Youth Center in downtown Corydon.
For more info, contact Karen Schwartz, president of the Historical Society of Harrison County, at (812) 736-2373 or (812) 738-2828.
* June 5: Neal Brower gives the final installment in his series of five lectures at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, N.C. The topic of this lecture is "The Influence of Southern Culture and Mount Airy on 'The Andy Griffith Show.'" The lecture starts at 2 p.m. and costs $10, which includes admission the Andy Griffith Museum. To register for the lecture, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* June 5: David Browning's jaw muscles work at the Clinch River Festival in St. Paul, Va.
* June 12: David Browning races the bases at the Lexington (Ky.) Legends baseball game.
* June 19: We'll be darned if David Browning isn't at the Salem (Va.) Red Sox game.
* June 26: Roland White and his band perform at the ROMP Festival in Owensboro, Ky.
* July 10-11: 10th Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals and 6th Annual "Mayberry Comes to Graysville" Festival in Graysville, Ala. Rodney Dillard and Maggie Peterson are the first guests announced. Other guests and details TBA.
* July 16 and 17: James Best appears at the Johnny Lightning Fest in Dyersville, Iowa.
* July 22: James Best runs with the Wisconsin Rafters for their baseball game at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. For more info, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.
* July 23: James Best enjoys the quack of the bats at Warner Park for the Madison Mallards baseball game in Madison, Wis. For more info, visit their web-footed Website at www.mallardsbaseball.com
* July 25: Jim Nabors has a rare concert performance after his official retirement in 2008. He'll be at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Penn., for a show at 3 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are on sale now. For more info, visit http://www.amtshows.com.
* July 29: James Best is the
big lure for the Brainerd Lake Area Lunkers baseball
game at Stewart C. Mills Field in Brainerd, Minn. For more
info, visit www.lunkersbaseball.com
* Aug. 7: Rodney Dillard is joined by Maggie Peterson and several of the Mayberry Tribute Artists (including David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning, Kenneth "Otis" Junkin, and Jeff "Howard" Branch) for a concert benefiting the Montgomery County DARE program. The evening concert will be at the James H. Garner Center in Troy, N.C. Tickets are $20 reserved and $15 general admission. For tickets and more info, visit www.bluegrassintroy.com.
* Aug. 22: Maggie Peterson and Rodney Dillard and The Dillard Band perform in the Mayberry Celebration at the Fountain of Life Bible Church in Johnson City, Tenn.
* Sept. 5: Rodney Dillard and The Dillard Band perform at the Boone Plantation BBQ Festival in Charleston, S.C.
* Sept. 16: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform in Fort Payne, Ala. Details TBA.
* Oct. 2: Long Branch Baptist Church in
Autryville, N.C., will celebrate the 50th Anniversary
of TAGS with a day of music, memories, and down-home fun.
Scheduled to appear: Maggie Peterson,
Rodney Dillard and The Dillard Band,
David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning, Jeff "Howard Sprague" Branch and
Allan "Floyd" Newsome. Other special guests TBA.
The day will feature two shows by the performers listed above as well as a meet-and-greet lunch. There will also be a pickle making contest, a whistling contest, trivia contests and other activities throughout the day. More events still TBA. There will be a Facebook page and Web site up in the coming weeks.
Autryville is located approximately 60 miles south of Raleigh, 15 miles east of Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg and 80 miles northwest from Wilmington.
* Oct. 3: 50th Anniversary of the airing of the first episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" on CBS.
* Oct. 7: Andy Griffith is among the second group of inductees into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in Kannapolis, N.C. For more info, visit www.northcarolinamusichalloffame.org.
* Oct. 16: The "Andy Griffith Show" stock car, driven by Travis Kvapil (#34), has its maiden race at the Banking 500, part of the NASCAR Spring Cup Series, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast on ABC-TV.
* Oct 16-21: A Cruise to Mayberry 5 to the Bahamas aboard Carnival's Fascination with the VW Boys and Mayberry tribute artists and others TBA. For more info, call (336) 538-4926 or toll-free (800) 832-7993, or visit www.allaboutcruisesnc.net
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame announced in April that Andy Griffith will be among the group of inductees on October 7. Andy's most recent movie, Play the Game, is out on DVD this month. And his second movie, No Time for Sergeants, also has been released on DVD for the first time. (Both are available at our Weaver's Dept. Store at mayberry.com.)
Ron Howard's next film as director is currently scheduled to be Cheaters with Vince Vaughn. It's slated to be in theaters in 2011.
George Lindsey shares a grin with young fans Alexandra and Forrest Pace during a break at his March film festival. Photo courtesy of Terry Pace.
George Lindsey had a very successful 13th Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival at the University of North Alabama, his alma mater, in Florence, Ala., in early March. The festival had large and enthusiastic crowds. Several members of the cast and crew of the Back to the Future films participated. Read, see and hear more about the festival at www.lindseyfilmfest.com. George fared well during the recent severe flooding in Nashville. His house on a hill was high and dry. But neighbors a block away at the bottom of that hill next to a river bend were among the many who suffered significant damage.
Betty Lynn recently made a quick trip to northern South Carolina for a TV appearance promoting Mount Airy. She also helped Mount Airy welcome a large group of travel writers and other news media for a Media Day in late April. The journalists toured the Andy Griffith Museum and saw other highlights of the area.
On May 18, Betty was the featured guest at the Mocksville (N.C.) campus of the Davidson County Community College for "An Evening with Actress Betty Lynn."
Betty made national news for less fortunate reasons in early April. She was outside a Mount Airy grocery store when her wallet was snatched from her hands by an interloping thug from out of state. Though it was a traumatic experience, Betty thankfully wasn't injured. The contemptible suspect was apprehended in a short time by the top-notch Mount Airy police. Betty got her wallet back with all critical items and some of the stolen money still in it. At last report, the despicable suspect was coiled up in the Mount Airy jail, where he awaits trial. Shame on you, suspected monster from out of town!
Maggie Peterson says she's doing well and has several irons in the fire, including recent and upcoming Mayberry-oriented appearances. And she has been doing occasional jazzy singing performances, accompanied on piano by sister Phyllis Eaton.
Doug Dillard, Rodney Dillard, Mitch Jayne and Dean Webb (the four original Dillards, Mayberry's Darling boys) were individually honored by the Missouri House of Representatives with the Outstanding Missourian Award. Rodney was the only one of the four able to be on hand to accept his award in late April.
Meanwhile, Doug and Rodney have gone their separate musical ways again. Doug is getting the Doug Dillard Band together again (with Ginger Boatwright, Roger Rasnake and friends) for Mayberry Days in Mount Airy in September. Doug's house was safely on high ground during Nashville's recent flooding. Keep up with Doug at www.dougdillard.net. Rodney's current band is called Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band. (Rodney won't be at Mayberry Days in September, but he will be at some other Mayberry events this year.)
Dean Webb is getting ready for another touring season with the Missouri Boatride Bluegrass Band. Most of their dates are near the band's home base in Missouri. You can see their complete schedule at www.missouriboatride.com.
Mitch Jayne continues to write his outstanding "Driftwood" column that is syndicated weekly in newspapers in his area. And Mitch always has several other interesting writing projects in the hopper, including a book!
Ronnie Schell hosted another (the 10th!) highly successful Veterans of Comedy Wars fundraiser for San Francisco State University, his alma mater. Tim Conway and a star-studded lineup wowed the capacity crowd at the university's McKenna Theater.
James Best was able to mix fishing with personal appearances and some book signings for his Best in Hollywood autobiography while making a swing through Tennessee in April and May. He has some fishing spots picked out for continued touring this summer, too.
Associate producer and longtime personal manager Richard O. "Dick" Linke reports that he and wife Bettina are in the process of doing another major addition for their home in Hawaii. This time they're adding a couple of guest rooms and other features to make sure there's plenty of room for visiting kids and grandkids.
Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey) has recuperated well from recent emergency gall-bladder surgery. She's back at work on her autobiography and looking forward to her Mayberry Days debut in September.
Claude Johnson (far right) in a 1964 episode of "Gunsmoke."
Marc London on “Get Smart.”
Eddie Carroll as Jack Benny.
We only recently heard the news of the passing of actor Claude Johnson, who played the Romeo-esque Josh Wakefield in "A Feud Is a Feud" (Episode #9). He passed away a year ago, on May 18, 2009, one day after his 71st birthday. Details are extremely sketchy about his life before TAGS, which is his first film appearance that we know of. He made a lot of one-episode guest appearances on TV shows throughout the 1960s and 1970s.His longest recurring role was for about 15 episodes as Officer Brinkman (and other officers) in "Adam-12" during the 1970s. After the ‘70s. details about his life become sketchy once again.
Claude Johnson will always have a place in the heart of Mayberry.
Actor and Emmy Award-winning writer Marc London died in Vero Beach, Fla., on February 9, after a long battle with cancer. He was 82. He was born in Boston on Sept. 30, 1927. He graduated from Harvard University and served in the Office of Naval Intelligence before pursuing a career in show business.
He did standup comedy in places such as Green Mansions in the Adirondacks (with pal George Lindsey and others). His Mayberry connection is a bit part as film crew member Bob Saunders in "The Foster Lady" (Episode #186). He won an Emmy for writing "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" and was nominated a total of 5 times for work on that show, "The Muppet Show" and the 1983 "Kennedy Center Honors" special.We were sad to hear the news that actor Eddie Carroll, passed away after a battle with brain cancer on April 6. He was 77. He had a small part in TAGS as the airport clerk in "A Trip to Mexico" (Episode # 222).
Eddie Carroll was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sept.5, 1933. He played lots of parts similar to the airport clerk, including two episodes as a sergeant on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." He also was a regular on "The Don Knotts Show" in 1970.
He is probably remembered best for his more than 30 years as the primary voice of Jiminy Cricket for all manner of Disney productions.
And he was renowned for his professional impersonation of Jack Benny. He also wrote with fellow TAGS one-timer Jamie Farr for some Hanna-Barbera Productions. Among his survivors is Carolyn, his wife of 47 years.
Robert Brubaker passed away on April 15 at the age of 93. Born in Robinson, Ill., in 1916, he had an extensive career on the stage before shifting his focus to TV and the occasional film role from the 1950s through the '70s. He performed in countless westerns.
He was in two episodes of TAGS, most memorably as Roger Milton, the badgering state's attorney in "Andy on Trial" (Episode #61), and as F.B.I. agent Frank Brewster in "If I Had a Quarter-Million" (Episode #149). He was also in two episodes of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
For the past year and a half, www.mayberry.com/podcasts has been the home of the Two Chairs, No Waiting Internet Radio Show (a podcast) hosted by Allan Newsome.
As most of our readers likely know, Allan is our Webmaster at mayberry.com and has been very active in TAGSRWC since 1992. If you've attended various Mayberry events through the years, you've probably seen Allan as a tribute artist for Floyd the Barber.
Two Chairs, No Waiting has TAGS news, interviews and pretty much whatever happens to be going on in and around Mayberry. Allan is really doing a bang-up job on these podcasts. There's a new episode every Tuesday and also an Archives in case you want to listen to episodes you've missed. (There have been about seven dozen episodes so far!) We think you'll find these podcasts creative, fun and informative. There's a lot of info and discussions that you simply won't find anywhere else.
If you've got sound on your computer or have an iPod or similar device, you can easily tune in or download these podcasts. There are all sorts of ways to interact with the podcasts, including several options for giving your feedback. So pull up a chair and enjoy the fun of bringing what is basically Radio Free Mayberry to you wherever you are!
And TAGSRWC now has an official page on Facebook, too! It's www.facebook.com/tagsrwc. We've just launched our page during the last few months, but already more than 4,000 folks have joined the fun. We hope you'll check out our Facebook page and be a part of helping it grow and spreading the word about Mayberry news and activities by becoming a fan with TAGSRWC. Drop by when you have a chance and say, "Hey!"
**** POST NOTE ****
Between issues of the Weaver's Newsletter, keep up with the goin's-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 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 www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet/joinebullet.htm.
TAGSRWC's other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our Web site at 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 July with an eBullet coming out in early to mid-June.That's all for now. We hope you have fun browsing at Weaver's and visiting mayberry.com. To unsubscribe from Weaver's Newsletter enter your subscription email address: