Friday, September 6, 2013

"Nobody's Darling But Mine" - Andy Griffith w/ Randy Travis (199 )

One of the hallmarks of the “Matlock” television series was its attention to grass roots country music. This was really just a continuation of what Andy Griffith had been doing on his earlier series “The Andy Griffith Show” in which he appeared several times with the fictional Darling family, who were in real life known as The Dillards.

A remarkable thing about Mr. Griffith was his willingness to lend exposure to other artists and share the limelight. It takes a very secure person to that in the competitive world of acting. Throughout the “Matlock” series, which ran 7 seasons, he managed to have musicians on several times each season, usually picking with him acoustically. Next to the episode called “The Blues Singer”, with Joe Seneca, this one with Randy Travis is my favorite.

Randy had come to town and almost immediately became accused of a murder he did not commit; which is the standard plot of every “Matlock” episode. He has no money to speak of, but manages to secure the services of Andy; I mean Ben; and even stay at his house, which is badly in need of a paint job. As part of their deal, Randy is supposed to paint it.

When Ben arrives home early the next day he catches Randy singing and playing guitar, and is transfixed by his pure and mellow voice. It’s what he calls “old school.” But by the 4th day he manages to express his disappointment with his “client” about the lack of progress on the paint job. They end up sitting in his kitchen, where Andy; I mean Ben; just happens to have a mandolin waiting. (He had been waiting for a chance to play with his guest.) And this short version of the old standard by Jimmy Davis was the song that they chose to play.

The episode was called “The Big Payoff” and aired in 1992. With Mr. Travis currently recovering from some health issues I thought it would be kind of nice to remember the contribution which both of these men made towards keeping Country Music alive.

For more about both of these artists from North Carolina, visit the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in Kannapolis, or on line at;

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