An Online newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
**** Merchandise Update ****
Ol' Ben Weaver has stocked his shelves extra much for summertime with a full selection of books, apparel, DVDs, music, artwork, collectibles, items for your vehicle and much more at our online Weaver’s Department Store (www.weaversdepartmentstore.com). Lots of really hot items and deals!
We appreciate your shopping at Weaver’s, especially because Weaver’s sales are the main thing that helps TAGSRWC be able to offer financial support to Mayberry Days and other Mayberry-connected events and charitable efforts throughout the year. We appreciate it!
Well, actually, it's really not so much a Sneak Peek, as a chance to be able to order early. We're expecting the 2015 Andy Griffith Show Wall Calendar to reach the Weaver's warehouse (aka Ol' Man Clark's garage) around July 15. Given that that's just around the corner, we've gone ahead and listed it online at Weaver's, so you can purchase it now. Just be aware that it (and anything ordered with it) won't be available to ship until mid-July. Here's what it looks like:
We think the 2015 edition is an especially good edition. It features 11 different characters (a new record for 21st century Mayberry calendars). All photos are black and white, but there's a lot of nice color in the design around the photos.
Because of a smaller allotment this year, this edition may end up being somewhat harder to find later on than some previous editions have been, but we'll do our best to keep it in stock for as long as we can. There just may not be the discounts available to later shoppers later that some earlier editions have had.
Anyway, 2015 will be the 55th Anniversary of TAGS. What better way to keep Mayberry on your mind every day than with this cool calendar!
P.S. We still have a couple of the 2014 wall calendars for 20% off.
Featured This Month at Weaver’s:
The First Season of "Mayberry R.F.D." was released by Warner Bros. on DVD in April. This is the first time a season of Mayberry has been officially released for sale in any format!
If the first season (26 episodes) sells well, we expect the other two seasons (also 26 episodes each) will follow before long.
The list price of this Complete First Season DVD set for "Mayberry R.F.D." is $30, which is a nice deal, but we've worked to get our Weaver's Department Store price down even lower, to $26, or just $1 per episode.
A Great "R.F.D." Companion
If you like to read about Mayberry as you're watching, we highly recommend A Guide to Television's Mayberry R.F.D. by David Fernandes and Dale Robinson. The two late authors and great friends of Mayberry were actually too modest. Their book is not just "a guide," it's the only guide published about the show. And a mighty fine one, it is!
Weaver’s of course always has individual Season sets of "The Andy Griffith Show," The Entire Series (now only $109.00!) and a 50th Anniversary Collection of TAGS on DVD, as well as “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” and favorite movies and other features starring Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, George Lindsey and the Dillards.
The Complete Season 1 of "The Andy Griffith Show" on Blu-ray was released by CBS in May. The visual quality, as you would expect with Blu-ray, is eye-popping!
Among the features on the Blu-ray is a 1957 episode of the CBS show "Person to Person," featuring Andy and Barbara Griffith being interviewed by host Edward R. Murrow. But perhaps most special are some Howard family home movies shot on the "Andy Griffith Show" set! The 1960 "Danny Meets Andy Griffith" pilot for TAGS and the 1986 Return to Mayberry movie are other special features. There are also many of the original commercials (featuring members of the cast) from these episodes that haven't been available on previous DVD releases.
Our Weaver's Department Store is stocking the Blu-ray set now. The list price for the First Season is $130 ($21 more than our current price for the box set of the entire eight seasons of TAGS on regular DVDs!) We've been able to wheedle ol' Ben Weaver's price down to a remarkable $59...or 58% off! (We think Ben must've gotten into that jug of Christmas spirits really early this year! You may want to order before he wakes up!)
Did your thermometer break last winter? If so, here's your secure replacement This thermometer is designed for temperatures up to 120 degrees. Beyond that point, we refer you to Rafe Hollister for further temperature updates. ("I know how hot I am when I'm hot. Dang hot!") It can also be used as a rain gauge, or at least for measuring how deep the water is in your basement, which sadly is happening to too many folks this summer.
Are you ready to add a cool splash of Mayberry fun to your summer? Well, Weaver’s is ready to help you. We have nearly three dozen designs of licensed Mayberry T-shirts, most available in sizes Adult Medium to 2X, and several also in Small and a few in 3X. All are 100% cotton and preshrunk for a sizing that lasts. Most are priced at $18, with a couple at $20.
We have lots of Barney designs, some with Andy and Opie, a couple with Gomer and one with Floyd. And a few with just words. Something Mayberry to wear for everybody!
Just a few of our T-shirts
SPECIAL NOTE: because of their increased costs, the primary licensed manufacturer of "Andy Griffith Show" T-shirts raised the price they charge us for T-Shirts by 30% on June 1. (Happy Andy Griffith birthday to us!) We hope to hold the line on our Weaver's prices for the next month or so, but after that (and before the next Weaver's Newsletter), our prices will need to increase from $18 to $20.
We're absorbing as much of the extra cost as we can and not passing it all along to our customers. And even the higher $20 price will still be less than most retailers have already been charging for officially licensed shirts like these for a while. In any case, Bert Miller encourages summer T-shirt shoppers to shop early and save that extra 10% while you can.
Here’s a great book at a great price for summer reading. The Incredible Mr. Don Knotts is coffee-table book with interesting text and photos that all fans of Barney and Don Knotts will love. And we’ve got copies that are brand new and $11 off the cover price for just $16! (That’s a discount of more than 40%!) But only now till the end of July in celebration of the 90th anniversary of Don’s birth on July 21. After that, the book goes back to our usual discount of $5 off at $22, still a great deal….just not quite as great as it is during the next month!
This is our third July of running this special. It might be the final time, not because we don't love running the special, but because we're getting close to selling out our inventory of this book, and it has already been out of print for several years. But we're pleased to offer this keepsake book at this special price at least this one more time.
From Ben Weaver's Archives:
This popular Andy Griffith Show trivia game came out in 2002. It has been out of production for many years and is one of the rarest of the licensed Mayberry items, but we've got a couple left. The copies we have are still sealed and in mint condition.
It's a really fun trivia game for Mayberry fans of all ages and skill levels. That is, assuming you know at least the basics, like who is Andy Taylor's son. And there's plenty of challenges for those who consider themselves experts, too.
Find all of these items and much more at weaversdepartmentstore.com, or just click on the orange and blue Weaver’s button at the top left or top right of the page whenever you’re visiting www.imayberry.com.
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest’s amazing collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 2 and 3: David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning keeps everything in Mayberry-style slo-mo at the Summer Motion Festival in Ashland, Ky.
* July 3-5: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform at the Starvey Creek Bluegrass Festival in Conway, Mo.
* July 10-12: Second Annual Mayberry Meet-Up in Mount Airy, N.C. Allan "Floyd" Newsome is hosting an informal gathering of fans for the weekend. Kenneth "Otis" Junkin will also be on hand, but like Allan, he'll be incognito. There will be Friday and Saturday evening gatherings in the gazebo at the Mayberry Motor Inn for pizza, TAGS watching, and visiting. If you're really lucky (or just quick about deciding), you'll be able to book a room at the Mayberry Motor Inn (336-786-4109). If not, there are other fine places to stay nearby.
The only other scheduled group activity so far is attending Neal Brower's lecture at the Andy Griffith Museum on Saturday aftern0on (see the next calendar listing below). And it goes without saying that there will be hearty eatin' at least once at the Snappy Lunch (assuming that they're not closed for vacation that week). Other group activities TBD, or you can always just enjoy the bazaars of Mount Airy on your own. If you think you might be attending, e-mail Allan directly at Floyd@iMayberry.com, just so he'll know how many pizzas to plan for, etc. Y'all come!
* July 12: Neal Brower, author of Mayberry 101, presents a lecture on the “Back to Nature” episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum armband ($3 or $5) or is $5 without one. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 12: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride continue their free Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series outside of the Hillbilly Bowl at Kimberling City Shopping Mall. In true Darlings style, they'll be performing on the back of their '41 flatbed truck. From 7 to 9 p.m., more or less every third Sat. through Sept. Bring your own lawn chairs. Or find on old tree stump.
* July 18: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-1:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8×10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 19-20: Barbara Eden and Julie Adams are among the stars appearing at the Hollywood Show celebrity and memorabilia convention in Los Angeles. For more info, visit www.hollywoodshow.com.
* July 23-27: Ronnie Schell performs at the Improv at Harvey's Lake Tahoe (Nev.). For info visit www.harveystahoe.com.
* July 26: David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning patrols the Somernites Cruise in downtown Somerset, Ky.
* Aug. 1: There will be no aaarghuing about umpire calls when David “Mayberry Deputy”Browning is on deck at the Bristol (Va.) Pirates game.
* Aug. 2: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride continue their free Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series outside of the Hillbilly Bowl at Kimberling City Shopping Mall. In true Darlings style, they'll be performing on the back of their '41 Chevy truck. From 7 to 9 p.m., more or less every third Sat. through Sept. Bring your lawn chairs, but no overnight camping.
* Aug. 3: Roland White plays at the Bon Odori Dance Festival, New Paltz, N.Y.
* Aug. 8: David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning listens for off-key notes during the Bristol Sings Faith in Action fundraiser in Bristol, Tenn.
* Aug. 9: Neal Brower, author of Mayberry 101, presents a lecture on the “The Songfesters” episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum armband ($3 or $5) or is $5 without one. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Aug. 13: Karen Knotts unleashes her one-woman "Tied Up in Knotts" show on Hoover Auditorium at Lakeside Chautauqua in Lakeside Marblehead, Ohio, on the banks of Lake Erie. Show time is 8:15 p.m. For info, find a web-footed red-crested lake loon to follow, or visit www.lakesideohio.com.
* Aug. 15: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-1:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8×10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Aug. 15: You’ll be doubled over with laughter with David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning at the Elizabethton (Tenn.) Twins game.
* Aug. 16: Maggie Peterson and Ronnie Schell perform Love Letters at the Hiram High School Auditorium in Hiram, Ga. Show time is 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $25.00 For more info, visit www.touchofmayberry.com.
* Aug. 16: You can take David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning out of Salem, but you can’t take Salem out of his tour schedule for the Salem (Va.) Red Sox game.
* Aug. 20: David “Mayberry Depu-T. Bass” Browning casts about at the grand opening of the Bass Pro Shops store in Bristol, Tenn.
* Aug. 21: David Browning tracks speeders at the Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol Va.
* Aug. 22 and 23: Rodney Dillard and Maggie Peterson are joined by several of the Mayberry tribute artists (including David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Allan “Floyd” Newsome, Kenneth “Otis” Junkin, Phil “Ernest T.” Fox, and Jeff “Howard” Branch) for a Cruise-In in Oakboro, N.C., on Friday, and then a concert benefiting the Montgomery County DARE program on Saturday at the James H. Garner Center in Troy, N.C. Tickets for the Saturday show are $20 for reserved seats and $15 for general admission. Tickets for children 6 years-12 years old are $10. For more info, call Jeff Branch at (704) 985-6987, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.bluegrassintroy.com/.
* Aug. 23: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride continue their free Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series outside of the Hillbilly Bowl at Kimberling City Shopping Mall. In true Darlings style, they'll be performing on the back of their flatbed truck. From 7 to 9 p.m.
* Sept. 5 and 6: You're sure to spot a loon when David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning goes “Back to Nature” for the Tom Johnson Camping Center Fall Barbecue in Marion, N.C.
* Sept. 13: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride close out their free Kimberling City Summer Bluegrass Concert Series outside of the Hillbilly Bowl at Kimberling City Shopping Mall. In true Darlings style, they'll be performing on the back of their '41 Chevy flatbed truck. From 7 to 9 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs or whatever you like to sit on while listening to music under the stars.
* Sept. 19: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-1:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8×10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Sept. 19: There will be a lot of carrying on when David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning works security at the Carriage Travel Club Grand National Rally in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
* Sept. 21-24: Life Lessons From Mayberry: It's All There in Black and White in Ridgecrest, N.C. (outside Asheville) is a Bible study event drawing on the biblical truths and life applications found in "The Andy Griffith Show." The event is $295 per person (based on double occupancy), which includes three nights of on-campus lodging, eight meals, Bible study sessions based on favorite TAGS episodes, dynamic preaching, worship, an orchestra concert of TAGS tunes, and a lunch with favorite Mayberry tribute artists. To register, call Ridgecrest Conference Center at (800) 588-7222 or visit www.lifeway.com/mayberry.com.
* Sept. 25-28: 25th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. As always, numerous "Andy Griffith Show" stars will be on hand. Stars already confirmed are hometown favorite Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) and Darling Boy Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band, who will perform a matinee show on Friday. James Best also presents his popular "Best in Hollywood Show" on Friday afternoon, and Karen Knotts returns with her fun, wonderful "Tied Up in Knotts" show, at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
Other guests scheduled to return include Elizabeth MacRae (Lou Ann Poovie on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."); Morgan Brittany (Mary Alice Carter); George Spence (Frank the Boyfriend); and George Lindsey, Jr. Also, her work schedule permitting, Joy Ellison (Mary Wiggins, Effie, Iris and others) hopes to attend her first Mayberry Days this year! Other festival favorites include David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning and the merry Mayberry band of tribute artists, the VW Boys and their "Salute to Mayberry," and Michael Hoover's Elvis.
Also, there will be a hilarious comedy show on Friday night by the amazing James Gregory, "the Funniest Man in America." Also, the Embers warm the night with their music on Thursday, while the legendary Tams bring their soulful coastal music to the amphitheater on Friday evening. And much more TBA! There will be something for everybody at this special 25th Mayberry Days. Visit www.surryarts.org for more info.
* Oct. 3: 54th Anniversary of the premiere of "The Andy Griffith Show" on CBS.
* Oct. 3: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform for the The Old Brush Arbor, at Keystone Baptist Church in Reeds Spring, Mo.
* Oct. 5: Karen Knotts brings her "Tied Up in Knotts" show to the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, Calif., at 2 p.m. For tickets and info, call 209-338-5071 or visit www.galloarts.org.
* Oct. 23: "An Evening with Ron Howard," part of the Bryan Series, hosted by Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. In a moderated conversation, Ron Howard will offer the Bryan Series reflections on his 50 years in the motion picture and television industry. He will discuss his journey from his role as Opie to his achievements as one of the most accomplished filmmakers of our time. Expect him to talk about the creative process and the significance of his films including Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon and others. The presentation starts at 7:30 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Current Bryan Series subscribers have and new Series subscriptions (for a total of five lectures) are going on now. Sales of single event tickets to Ron's lecture (and the others) start Aug. 15. Single ticket prices are expected to be $57-$59 (including handling fees and taxes), plus $7 for parking per vehicle. For more info, visit www.guilford.edu/bryan-series.
* Nov. 1-6: Cruise to Mayberry 9 stars LeRoy "Mack" McNees, George Lindsey, Jr. , and a passel of Mayberry tribute artists for music, sights, sun, fun, and games...and hearty eatin' aboard Carnival's Victory cruise ship, departing Miami for Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. There are several important deadlines for making reservations, so tarry not. For more info, contact Sharon at All About Cruises (336) 538-4926 or by e-mail at email@example.com or visit the website at www.allaboutcruisesnc.net.
* Nov. 5-10: David Mayberry Deputy" Browning joins the VW Boys and a boatload of down-home comedy, bluegrass and country music performers on the Acoustic Cruise sailing from Charleston, S.C., to the Caribbean. Info is at www.ExclusiveCruiseTravel.com, call Kathy Kennedy at (877)288-7711.
* Mar. 5-7: The 18th Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala. Details TBA. For updates go to lindseyfilmfest.com.
* May 1 and 2: Fifth Annual Mayberry Comes to Westminster festival in Westminster, S.C. Details TBA. Photo highlights from 2014 are at www.mayberrywestminster.com.
* May 15-17: Mayberry in the Midwest returns to Danville, Ind. Among the festival's highlights are the parade, the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals and performances by the Mayberry Tribute Artists. Guest stars and other details TBA. For now, just mark your calendar.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
"The cage sure looks awful empty." Ron Howard and his wife, Cheryl, are selling the lakefront estate in Greenwich, Conn., where they have lived for two decades and raised their four children. The estate's 17,200-foot Victorian main house has 23 rooms, including six bedrooms, five full baths and four half baths ("Poor Horatio!"), a two-story library and office, 14-seat movie theater, gym, sauna, yoga studio, solarium, and indoor saltwater pool (similar to the one in Cocoon). The main home also has seven fireplaces and a wine cellar ("Any ol' tramps down there?").
The 32-acre property, which is part of the gated 1,500 Conyers Farm development and is also a working farm that spans the Connecticut-New York state line (and the city limits of Greenwich and Armonk), is offered by Sotheby's and other agents, possibly including Fife Realty, for $27.5 million.
The estate features a two-bedroom, 2,500-foot guest cottage, an indoor sports complex with a full tennis court and half a basketball court ("Poor LeBron!), an observatory silo with a professional Meade telescope, sauna, barns, paddocks, a pond (with ducks and a waterfall), heated outdoor swimming pool, greenhouses, an organic vegetable garden (possibly with spinach?), and formal boxwood and rose gardens (no football allowed!).
There are also riding and walking trails and a horse training area. Lots of the property's animals, including a 15-year-old tortoise named Ralph, will likely stay with the property when it sells. Oh, and a bird named Rover. (The best bird names, such as Dickie and Winken, Blinken and Nod, were already taken.)
Don't worry, though. When the house sells, Ron won't be having to move into the Corner Room at the Y in Raleigh. He and Cheryl will be keeping their homes in Los Angeles, Manhattan and Paris. "Don't the trees seem nice and full."
Amid his editing on In the Heart of the Sea, Ron recently made time in New York in April for some sightseeing, including the Statue of Liberty, and a gala fundraiser for the Art Production Fund. He was also a featured speaker at the Tribeca Film Festival (which brother Clint Howard also attended because a film he’s in was screened at the festival).
Ron was likewise a speaker for the Distinguished Speakers series in Pasadena, Redondo Beach and Thousand Oaks, Calif., in April, and for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014 in Tampa in early May.
Ron and business partner Brian Grazer have joined forces with Discovery Communications to form New Form, a digital studio that will specialize in creating content for devices and forums other than traditional TV channels and movie theaters.
The duo and their Imagine Entertainment are also set to produce a new adaptation of East of Eden for the big screen. Jennifer Lawrence has been announced as one of the stars. Ron is also in talks to direct a film version of Neil Graiman's best-selling The Graveyard Book and also possibly another best-selling book, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair for Warner Bros. And a couple of other projects, previously announced, are also still in the works.
As if he's not busy enough, Ron has hinted that he's interested in starting to act again. And he was on camera in May supporting the "Got Your Six" veterans assistance program (www.gotyour6.org) in some TV commercials for Macy's (and its promotion that raised funds through its sales) that ran from Armed Forces Day through Memorial Day.
Jim Nabors has announced that this year's Indy 500 was his final time singing “Back Home Again in Indiana,” a cherished tradition at the race for 42 years. Here's a link to a video of this 36th and final performance at the race. Jim also got to announce, "Lady and gentlemen, start your engines!" at the start of the race.
Jim, who turned 84 on June 12, is officially retiring from all performing and plans to enjoy spending even more time relaxing and cultivating a good life on his plantation in Maui. Here's a link to a May TV interview with Jim in Hawaii.
Ronnie Schell (two TAGS episodes and Duke Slater on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C") completed a stint at Harrah's Improv Comedy Club in Las Vegas in June. He'll be bringing laughs to Harvey's in Lake Tahoe in July. And he'll be performing Love Letters with Maggie Peterson in Georgia in August (see Floyd's calendar above).
Rodney Dillard has been on the go for much of the spring, appearing everywhere from Mayberry Comes to Westminster in South Carolina to the Tri-Cities in Tennessee and from Mayberry in the Midwest in Danville, Ind., with TV sister Maggie Peterson to the Star Theatre on his home stomping grounds of Branson, Mo., all in May.
In addition to her performance of Love Letters with Ronnie Schell in Mount Airy on Valentine's Day and Mayberry in the Midwest with Rodney in May, Maggie was at the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival with Morgan Brittany (Mary Alice Carter) in April. Their appearances included a panel discussion about their time on TAGS that was moderated by TAGSRWC's Paul Mulik ("Hear That, Boys? No Yellin' at the Table" chapter of Joplin, Mo.).
Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey) has been busy as usual with lots of Disney-related appearances. Keep up with Margaret (if you can!) on her website: www.tinkerbelltalks.com.
Jackie Joseph (Ramona Ankrum) has been active with show business gatherings (she’s very involved with SAG-AFTRA) and also events, fundraisers and advocacy for animals. She helped her dear friend Doris Day celebrate her 90th birthday in April.
And Jackie and husband David sailed on an exciting 17-day Doris Day cruise from L.A. to New York (via the Panama Canal!) in May. Jackie also continues to write a column once or twice a month for the Tolucan Times. In fact here's a link to Part One of her two-part report on the Doris Day cruise.
James Best has had an active year so far with performing and making personal appearances. And also painting (you can view--and buy!-- his work at www.jamesbestart.com). But, like Jackie Joseph, James also has been making time for some fascinating sightseeing and leisurely travel. We hope to have more to report about that in our next issue.
The 27th Annual Uncle Jesse's Big Bass Classic, honoring Denver Pyle, was held the first week of May in Paris, Tex. The event is always filled with fish tales about big- and small-mouth bass, but no reports so far about that most elusive creachster of all...Ernest T. Bass, aka, the lovable Loudmouth Bass!
LeRoy “Mack” McNees (Dobro player for Mayberry's Country Boys) has already had a bunch of bluegrass-gospel performances this year, mostly in the Southeast U.S., but also one with Almost Bluegrass at Festival Atitlan, near Santiago Atitlan, in Guatemala.
Karen Knotts has had several performances of her “Tied Up in Knotts” stage show so far this year, including at Mayberry Comes to Westminster in early May. And she has more shows coming up, including Mayberry Days (see Floyd’s bulletin board above).
We're sad to note the passing of three people with Mayberry connections since our last issue.
Nancy Malone, who played high-tech matchmaker Edith Gibson in "A Girl for Goober" (Episode 248 and the last episode filmed), died May 8 at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., from pneumonia, a complication from a recent battle with leukemia. She was 79.
Born Ann Maloney on March 19, 1935, on Long Island, N.Y., she began to work as a model at age 7 in ads for companies such as Kellogg and Ford Motors. In 1946, she was selected to represent "the typical American girl" on the cover of Life magazine's 10th Anniversary issue.
She soon made the transition to acting, first finding success in TV soap operas and then on the stage. She made her Broadway debut at age 15 as Ginger in Time Out for Ginger, with which she also toured the country for a year.
She continued to work on stage and television. Her most extended acting role on TV was as Libby Kingston in 51 episodes of the hit series "Naked City," on ABC, from 1958-63. She was nominated for an Emmy for the role in 1963.
Other TV work ranged from "Bonanza" and "The Rockford Files" to "The Twilight Zone" and "Hawaii 5-0." On the big screen, she appeared in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing with Burt Reynolds in 1973. That year, she also founded Women in Film, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping women advance in entertainment and media businesses.
In 1975, Nancy founded her own production company, Lilac Productions, which produced several movies for TV, including 1976's Sherlock Holmes in New York. During that era she was also hired as director of TV development at 20th Century Fox and then soon after was promoted to vice president for television production.
In 1986, she joined Aaron Spelling Productions as a director. Among the shows she directed for Spelling were "Dynasty," "Hotel," "Melrose Place" and "Beverly Hills 90210." She also directed episodes of "Cagney & Lacey," "Star Trek: Voyager," "Touched by an Angel" and "Dawson's Creek," among many others. She received Emmy nominations for her directing work on the series "Sisters" and for "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill." And she won an Emmy for producing the special "Bob Hope: The First 90 Years" in 1993.
Nancy also continued to direct stage productions. And she taught at UCLA, and New York University, as well in Ireland.
Nancy Malone's talents, hard work, and versatility took her to great heights in a fascinating and productive career, on the stage and both in front of and behind the camera. She was beloved by all who knew her and worked with her. And though her only appearance on TAGS was the last episode ever filmed, she was clearly a match made for Mayberry.
She is survived by her longtime collaborator and close friend Linda Hope (adopted daughter of Bob and Dolores Hope). Donations in Nancy's memory may be made to City of Hope, to Directing Workshop for Women or to Performing Animals Welfare Society.
We normally limit our coverage to only "The Andy Griffith Show" itself, but we want to mention a couple of recent deaths connected to the two TV shows most closely related to TAGS.
Med Flory, who played memorable Monroe Efford, Lou Ann Poovie's hometown boyfriend, in two episodes of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." died from a heart condition at his home in North Hollywood, Calif., on March 12. He was 87.
He was born Meredith Irwin Flory on August 27, 1926, in Logansport, Ind. He began playing clarinet at age 9, but eventually switched to alto sax, the instrument that would make him a jazz legend.
He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and then graduated from Indiana University. He moved to New York to play jazz, before settling in Los Angeles in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, he began to take acting roles, in part to support his interest in music. Many of his roles were uncredited in his early days of acting, but he eventually earned larger parts on his way to appearing in almost 100 TV episodes and a few films, most notably The Nutty Professor with Jerry Lewis.
But Med's passion was his music. He played in the big bands of Wood Herman, Ray Anthony and others. He later formed his own big band, Jazz Wave. Some members of the Jazz Wave also performed as a nine-piece ensemble called Supersax, which Med formed with Buddy Clark in 1972. Their album Supersax Plays Bird won a Grammy in 1974.
Med is survived by his son Rex, daughter Ava and two granddaughters. His wife of 47 years, Joan Barbara Fry, died of Alzheimer's disease in 2000.
Hal Cooper, the legendary director-producer who directed 38 episodes (almost half) of "Mayberry R.F.D." and about 500 installments for TV in a career spanning five decades, died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 11. He was 91.
Born Harold Cooper on February 23, 1923, in Bronx, N.Y., Hal began acting in radio at age 9. When a director once became ill shortly before a live broadcast, he designated Hal to direct the episode. He was just 13.
Hal enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1940 and also worked on episodes of "The Lone Ranger" radio show at WXYZ while there. After a three-year hiatus to serve as a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve during World War II, Hal finished his degree in 1946. He and his first wife, Pat Meikle, worked at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, S.C.
The couple then went to New York to be pioneers in the early days of television. In fact, their first TV venture, a show for y0ung children called "Your Television Babysitter," aired on the first full day of programming on the DuMont Television Network on Nov. 1, 1947. So would begin a 49-year career in TV.
After directing daytime TV in New York for much of the 1950s , Hal moved to Los Angeles and to prime-time shows, starting in the top ranks with "The Dick Van Dyke Show." He directed drama and comedy, but he became known for his touch with sitcoms. A list of the shows for which he directed at least 2 dozen episodes each could provide a nice résumé for at least a half dozen directors: "I Dream of Jeannie" (54), "That Girl" (23), "Mayberry R.F.D." (38), "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (27), "Maude" (126), "Gimme a Break!" (81) and "Dear John" (67). He was also executive producer for dozens of episodes of "Maude," "Empty Nest," "Dear John" and "Gimme a Break!"
And when Season 2 of the "Mayberry R.F.D." comes out on DVD, watch for Hal in a cameo role as the headwaiter at Morelli's in "Goober and the Telephone Girl." (We believe Hal is the only director of an episode of TAGS or R.F.D. to be seen or heard in that same episode, other than Howard Morris as the voice of Leonard Blush and as George the TV repairman.)
Hal Cooper enjoyed a prolific career as a respected director and producer. We're lucky that he was trusted to guide the story of Mayberry in its years after Andy Griffith turned the lead role over to Ken Berry. Mayberry was left in good hands.
Hal Cooper is survived by a son, two daughters and a grandson.
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
The iMayberry Community
This TAGSRWC online group is organized and overseen by webmaster Allan "Floyd" Newsome. You can check it out and sign up for free at: http://imayberrycommunity.com/.
The iMayberry Community complements our other online activities, including our main www.imayberry.com page, podcasts, Facebook page, online newsletters (such as The eBullet!), weaversdepartmentstore.com and chat rooms. Combined with TAGSRWC chapters and the various Mayberry events for all fans (from Mayberry Days to ocean cruises), not to mention enjoying the sites of Mount Airy year-round, the world of Mayberry fun keeps expanding.
And best of all, it's all rooted in watching the show itself. Whether through DVDs (and now Blu-ray), streaming video, local stations or TV Land, loving to watch the show continues to be the energy that feeds all the other Mayberry fun and activities that we enjoy. What a wonderful thing Andy Griffith and his talented team of actors, musicians, writers and crew people created 54 years ago--for us and generations to come!
Two Chairs, No Waiting is our weekly podcast of TAGS news, interviews and pretty much whatever happens to be going on in and around Mayberry. It's hosted by Allan Newsome. There's a new episode every Tuesday (and you can watch and listen live during tapings on Monday evenings). Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to or view episodes you've missed. (There have been 286 episodes since Allan started the podcasts in October 2008.)
There's a lot of info and discussions that you simply won't find anywhere else, including rare interviews (vintage and new) with cast and crew members of TAGS. If you've got sound on your computer or have an iPod or similar device, you can easily tune in live or download these podcasts.
Also, check out the podcast area of our www.imayberry.com site for info about a Mayberry Bible Study Podcast, also hosted by Allan, and a "brother figure" podcast called Burke on Mayberry, hosted by Kevin Burke.
TAGSRWC's official page on Facebook now has more than 61,000 friends! You can find us at www.facebook.com/tagsrwc. There's a variety of comments about Mayberry, and a lively stream of fans' favorite TAGS lines and photos. And our Facebook page is also one of the first places we post announcements and breaking news about TAGS. If you haven't already dropped by the page, we hope you'll check it out sometime when you have the chance. We invite you to become a TAGSRWC Facebook Friend!
**** Post Note ****
Between issues of Weaver’s Newsletter, keep up with the happenings in Mayberry with the 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 Weaver’s Newsletter. The eBullet is the online successor to our longtime printed newsletter, The Bullet. Like Weaver’s Newsletter,The eBullet is free. It includes some of the same news as 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 website at www.tagsrwc.com (and its sister site www.iMayberry.com). Both sites have 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 the next eBullet planned for July.Printer Friendly Version