Photo 2003 Copyright Grand Ole Opry
Photo By: Chris Hollo, Hollo Photographics, Inc.
Andy Griffith was the high point of the 6:30 p.m. Grand Ole Opry show on Saturday, January 18, 2003. One avid group of about 50 fans met before the show at The Old Spaghetti Factory on Nashville's historic Market Street before heading over to catch the Opry. The members of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC) came from all over Tennessee and surrounding states, braving cold and snowy conditions to see the well-loved actor who would warm them up soon enough!
Performing with such well-known Opry staples as Jeannie Seely, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Clint Black, Porter Wagoner, Jim Ed Brown, Holly Dunn and Hal Ketchum, it was noteworthy that when Griffith's name was mentioned as coming up soon, the Ryman erupted into laud applause complete with cheers and squeals of delight. Apparently the TAGSRWC members were not the only ones in the Ryman who came primarily to see "America's Sheriff" perform.
The other performers were well received and lots of photo flashes were seen throughout the night, but Griffith took the stage and left the stage to thundering standing ovations. He began by telling a couple of humorous stories and then broke into some good folksy bluegrass including a medley of some of his popular recorded ditties like "You Get a Line and I'll Get a Pole," and "Flop Eared Mule."
After his very brief performance was over, Marty Stuart announced that a new line of Griffith guitars is being made in honor of Andy by Martin Guitar. More details to follow.
Best known for his roles on television as Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry and Matlock, Griffith is also a Grammy-winning recording artist. Griffith was in Nashville all week recording his third gospel album for Sparrow Records, a Christmas album produced by Marty Stuart. His first gospel album for Sparrow earned Griffith a 1996 Gospel Grammy.
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