Volume 8, Issue 3
June 1, 2008
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An Online newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Volume 8, Issue 3
June 1, 2008
Welcome to our third issue of The eBullet for 2008! As many of you know, we’ve been having some technical difficulties with the distribution of our online newsletters during the last couple of months. Most of the problems had to do with the server we use for sending the newsletters and also with spam filters and other things that can cause mass mailings to bounce back.
If you ever miss receiving an issue of The eBullet, you can always catch up by reading it in the eBullet Archives in the Newsletters section at iMayberry.com. Each issue is usually placed in the Archives within about a week of its being distributed. If you’re signed up for our daily Digest of messages from members, it also has its own password-protected Archives where you can follow the ongoing stream of messages.
We think we’ve now gotten all the technical glitches worked out. (Hooray for Webmaster Allan Newsome for solving this really complex computer problem! We’re lucky to have his know-how at our disposal.)
This was scheduled to be the May issue, but we’re sending it in early June because we re-sent the April issue (originally scheduled for March) in May. We’re planning the next issue for late July, which will put us back on our intended schedule.
But enough housekeeping…let’s get on to all the happenings in Mayberry! We unfortunately start on a very sad note.
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.
**** Floyd’s Barbershop Bulletin Board & Event Calendar ****
* Now until Aug.
Missouri Boatride, a bluegrass group featuring Darling Boy Dean
Webb on mandolin, is performing a Summer Concert Series off
the back of Larry Sifford's '49 Chevy flatbed truck, every
other Saturday night starting May 3rd at 8:00
p.m. in the
* June 12, 14 & 15: Karen Knotts performs her one-woman show "Tied Up in Knotts" about her father, Don Knotts, at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Show times are 8 p.m. Thurs., 2 p.m. Sat, and 7 p.m. Sun. For tickets, call 1-800-838-3006.
* June 15: LeRoy and Jan McNees lead the chapel service for the
33rd Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in
* June 21: David
Browning shines at the
* 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 Graysville, Ala. (just northwest of Birmingham). Rodney often
brings special guests with him, so stay tuned for more details about
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 Nationals is organized by TAGSRWC's “Hearty Eatin' Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” chapter (
Check the Event Calendar online at iMayberry.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 Vegas, 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
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Happy 82nd Birthday to Andy Griffith!
Andy Griffith recently filmed a music video for the song “Waitin’ for a Woman” for country superstar (and certifiable Mayberry nut) Brad Paisley. It’s going to be a real hoot (let’s just say that Andy gets in touch with his inner Mr. Schwamp), so keep an eye out for it.
Andy was also featured in a political TV spot for
Bev Perdue, a Democratic candidate for governor in
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.
Ron Howard is currently in post-production for the film version of Frost/Nixon, based on the hit play about David Frost’s interviews with Richard Nixon after he resigned.
The film’s release has recently been rescheduled for Dec. 5. Also, Ron is still in pre-production as director for 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.
Jim Nabors was back again at
the Indy 500 to sing “Back Home Again in
|Maggie Peterson Mancuso joined Darling brothers Dean Webb (left) and Mitch Jayne for the induction of the Darlings into the Missouri Walk of Fame during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield on April 25. (Doug Dillard and Rodney Dillard were unable to attend the presentation.) Maggie and Dean were featured speakers for a luncheon, and Mitch gave a talk and did a book-signing the next day.|
Maggie Peterson Mancuso
is recovering well from recent knee surgery…on both knees! (We bet she’ll be carrying
buckeyes in her pockets from now on!)
She’s already back performing, including some Vegas dates
with a group called the Cat Pack.
She and husband Gus also did a show in her hometown of
A hearty congratulations to Mitch
Jayne, whose Fiddler’s Ghost
novel was awarded the Gold Medal in the Midwest Best Regional Fiction
category at the 12th Annual Independent
Publisher Book Awards (the IPPYs) in
The award-winning family film Moondance Alexander, featuring James Best (and written and produced by his daughter, Janeen Damian, and her husband, Michael Damian), is now out on DVD.
O. “Dick” Linke checked in with
**** Chapter Update ****
We have one new chapter since the last eBullet:
That brings our total number of chapters founded to 1,325. If you’re interested in starting a chapter of TAGSRWC, all you need to do is pick a name that has not already been chosen, and submit it with a list of your founding members by postal mail.
What you do as a chapter is entirely up to you. Your group can do as much or
as little as you like. Or
write to us also if you would like to contact a chapter near you. Our address is TAGSRWC,
**** Merchandise Update ****
Widening Our Scope
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.
* Goober’s Great
2008 Grab-Bag of Mayberry Stuff $60.00
We have just a handful left of
this Grab-Bag. 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 Medium, Large, or 2XL. Size XL is not
available for this offer. The default choice if you don’t
indicate a size is Large.)
* 1 110-card Set of “Andy Griffith Show” Trading Cards (either a Set of Series 2 or Series 3 cards—Ben Weaver’s choice, depending on current availability
* 1 Mayberry-related book with an original price of at least $10
* 1 “Andy Griffith Show” ornament
* 2 Different newspapers with coverage of major Mayberry events
* 1 Officially-licensed Mayberry license plate
* 1 Mayberry mouse pad
* 2 Vintage (that is, not 2008) Mayberry wall calendars (still in their original shrink wrap)
* 3 Different wooden Mayberry building fronts (Mrs. Mendelbright’s Boardinghouse, Mayberry Hotel, and All Souls Church)
* 3 Different Mayberry bumper stickers
* 1 Mayberry-related audio tape (still sealed)
* 5 Different Mayberry photos (8x10)
* 2 Pairs of 2 different Mayberry birthday balloons (a total of 4 balloons)
* Assorted Mayberry event and news publications and materials (fliers, newsletters, fans, magnets, buttons, etc.)
If the items were sold separately, their suggested retail prices would total over $120. But Goober 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 $60 for the whole Grab-Bag.
All proceeds (not just the profits, but 100% of the $60 price) are going toward our annual support of the Surry Arts Council and its Mayberry Days festival in September in
* 2008 “Andy Griffith Show” Wall Calendar--Was $14.00; Now $10.00!
Now that we’re four months into this year, we’re knocking $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.
DVD (widescreen version) featuring Andy Griffith On
This hit independent film of 2007
features Andy Griffith as Old Joe, a crusty diner owner. It
also stars Keri Russell.
There’s a lot of wholesome pie-making in this romantic comedy, but there are also some mature themes that give it a PG-13 rating. The suggested price is $30.00, but we’ve got it for just $22.00
* All New Box Set
of All Eight Seasons of “The Andy Griffith Show,” Plus the “Danny
Thomas” Pilot and Return to Mayberry
The suggested 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.
* Complete First Season of “Matlock” on DVD $39.00
After years of anticipation, “Matlock” is finally available on DVD! The first season has 23 episodes plus the movie pilot on seven discs. “Matlock” always had great guest stars, and the first season certainly set the pace with Dick Van Dyke, Roddy McDowall, Billy Bob Thornton, Pipe Laurie, Desi Arnaz Jr., Norman Fell, Billy Zane, Jose Ferrer and lots of other familiar faces. The list price for this set is $50, but we’ve got it in stock now for just $39.00!
Board Game $30.00
This board game,
new in 2007, is a dream come true for “Barney Fife, Realtor” and anyone
who has ever wished to own a little piece of that paradise we know and
love as Mayberry!
If you love Monopoly and Mayberry or you know somebody who does, then you’ll really love Mayberry-opoly.
At just $30.00 per game, Mayberry-opoly is worth the price just to have the cool design of the box and the board to look at or display. We think it’s the most fun opoly game ever created.
Ghost by Mitch Jayne $15.00
Darling boy Mitch Jayne’s fascinating 2007 novel, Fiddler’s Ghost, is getting fantastic reviews. 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):
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 from the First Printing that are still in brand new condition. And best of all, we're offering the book for just a couple of 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.
And we also have several other classic, out-of-print Mayberry books, including Inside Mayberry, Mayberry My Hometown and The Official Andy Griffith Show Scrapbook.
* Complete Third Season of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” on DVD $32.00 http://www.weaversdepartmentstore.com/index.php?category=91
The Complete Third Season of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (the first season featuring Elizabeth MacRae as Lou Ann Poovie) is now available at Weaver’s, along with the First and Second Seasons.
* The Complete Fourth Season of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” http://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 it for just $32.00.
**** Chapter News ****
|LOCAL BARBER MAKES BODY A WEAPON— David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning and Allan “Floyd” Newsome cut up during festivities at the Eagles’ Wings fundraiser in April. Photo by Alan Thornton.|
|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.|
|HERE’S THEIR SIGN—Members of Mayberry chapter pose at April’s Dogwood Arts Festival parade in Knoxville.|
Several chapters, including “Hearty
Eatin’ Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” (
“Some of Us Got It, Some
of Us Ain’t” (
Barney chapter (
**** Miss Crump’s Mayberry Quizzes ****
Because of the hitches in the get-long of our original newsletter distribution of the April eBullet, the quiz below found its way to only a very few subscribers, which meant that most readers didn’t even have a chance to know about the contest, much less enter it. (“A decoy…Shazam!”) So we’re rerunning the quiz this time to give everybody a fair shot.
Now, there was a handful of eager pupils who did get their newsletter and were able to get their entries in on time. We don’t want to penalize those folks for their good fortune in getting their newsletter or for their skill in getting their answers in before the deadline. So, they will be entered in a separate drawing for the same prize as entrants for this edition of the same quiz. That’s right—Miss Crump will be awarding two prizes. It’s a win-win for everybody. (Just don’t tell ol’ Ben Weaver that we’re raiding his shelves twice!)
We won’t announce the early-bird winner until the next issue in order to protect him or her from folks seeking the correct answers in this second heat. (Consulting with others would technically be fair because this is an open-source test, but it just wouldn’t be very sporting to encourage folks to ask somebody whose quiz has already been graded.)
Anyway, here’s the quiz again for everybody who didn’t get it in time the first time, or for those who could use a little more time.
Miss Crump’s Mayberry Quiz # 76
Even more than usual, this quiz from Miss Crump is a true Mayberry history test. (If you can’t guess why, we’ll explain in the next issue.) Because this is sort of a mid-term exam, the questions are sort of middle of the road in difficulty. (Well, O.K., there are some pretty tough ones, but there’s a couple of fairly easy ones, too.) Good luck!
1. Name two times that Andy is seen in his home repairing a lamp.
2. Name a happening in Mayberry that is described as “a bolt from the blue.” (“A bolt out of the blue” is also acceptable, but that’s not the one we’re looking for. In a tie-breaker situation, an entry that has both references might get a special prize!)
3. Who in Mayberry is once said to have dropped a bacon and tomato sandwich on the ground?
4. Who once gummed a cookie with Andy Taylor?
5. Name two people who have been seen driving the Darling family’s truck.
BONUS: What proposed action would save Mayberry an estimated $3,628?
Submit your answers by e-mail to OldLadyCrump@iMayberry.com
or, if you just don’t trust a machine with your entry, mail your
answers to TAGSRWC,
The person whose quiz has the required correct answers will receive his or her choice of any single item offered online at Weaver’s. (Neither a box set of TAGS DVDs nor a set of Wooden Mayberry Building Fronts is considered a single item. Neither are sets of tin signs, grab-bags or combos.)
If there is more than one person with the most correct answers (as is usually the case), we’ll draw a winner from all the top entries.
**** Postnote ****
Between issues of The eBullet, keep up with the goings-on 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, newsflashes, and questions and answers from subscribers. You can sign up for that list by going to the “Mailing Lists” link at http://tagsrwc.com.
TAGSRWC also publishes Weaver’s Newsletter in more-or-less alternate months to The eBullet. Like The eBullet, the Weaver’s Newsletter is free. Its focus is mainly on new Mayberry merchandise and collectibles and quick newsflashes. To sign up, go to: http://mail.weaversdepartmentstore.com/mailman/listinfo/newsletter_weaversdepartmentstore.com
TAGSRWC’s other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our Web site at http://www.tagsrwc.com (and its sister site http://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 The eBullet is scheduled for late July, with a Weaver’s Newsletter planned for late June.