Archives for category: The Dillards

Atlanta, GA (July 3, 2012)  Rodney Dillard and Maggie Peterson have both issued statements regarding the death of actor Andy Griffith who died today in Dare County, North Carolina.  Both appeared as part of the Darling family on The Andy Griffith Show in the ‘60s.

Rodney Dillard on guitar with The Dillards, 1962 – Andy Griffith Show

 “Andy Griffith became more than an icon.  He represented American family values and has given comfort and hope in these uncertain times.  He gave The Dillards (The Darlings) an opportunity to be part of this.  Andy was kind, generous and patient with an inexperienced group of pickers from the Ozark Mountains.  Andy Griffith’s impact on the world will last forever,” said Rodney Dillard.  Rodney appeared in six episodes of The Andy Griffith Show (1963-1966), Return to Mayberry TV movie (1986) and composer of the Andy Griffith Show Reunion TV special (1993). 

 Maggie Peterson, who played the role of Charlene Darling on The Andy Griffith Show (1963-1968), kept in contact with Andy throughout the years.  Today in a tearful statement, she said “The passing of Andy leaves me so saddened.  It feels like the presence that kept us steady in life is now gone.   The Darling family was treated with such respect on the show.  These could have been ridiculous characters without Andy’s respectful reaction to us.  Everyone will truly miss him.  Thank God we have those beautiful episodes to keep us company.   He enhanced my life and I will miss him so.”

 In 1962, The Dillards, who had a new recording contract with Elektra Records, were asked by the producers of The Andy Griffith Show to play a bluegrass-playing family (The Darlings), whose patriarch was to played by popular Hollywood actor Denver Pyle… and to this day The Dillards are seen nearly every day somewhere in the world thanks to the still enormous popularity of The Andy Griffith Show re-runs.  Rodney Dillard wrote and collaborated with others to write such classic songs as “There Is A Time”, “The Darlin’ Boys”, “Ebo Walker”, and “Dooley.”

Rodney & Beverly Dillard at IBMA 2011

Rodney Dillard is still active in the Bluegrass Community and attends the IBMA Conference in Nashville every year. In 2010, Rodney released the album entitled, I Wish Life Was Like Mayberry.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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Town Mountain on Mainstage

On the second night of World of Bluegrass, the boundaries were being stretched from groups influenced by Bluegrass music growing up, but, showing hardly a hint of a Bluegrass foundation to neo-modern traditionalists Town Mountain, the future of Bluegrass lies in a cross section of those that would hold high the Monroe flame at this celebration of the 100th Anniversary of his birth to seeing if Pat Benatar can go well with a side of Mandolin.

The Farewell Drifters

The Farewell Drifters, with a fairly current Americana meets Pop Music took the stage, with two releases debuting in the top 10 of the Billboard Bluegrass charts, Zach Bevill and the crew were a push forward with varied influences. The fact that they have progressed this far shows that a younger generation is carrying acoustic music across the universe.

Nu-Blu backstage

Nu-Blu, featuring the beautiful voice of Carolyn Routh, premiered a great video for a strong number, “Other Woman’s Blues,” before playing live to the full house. The real strength of Nu-Blu is their songwriting, even though they finished the set with Dolly’s “Jolene” and a Pat Benatar rave-up of “Shadows of the Night,” they have some interesting stories of their own to tell.

Crystal Shipley, Joe Zauner and Jed Clark

If there was a particular theme, it seemed to be that just about any acoustic music was welcome. Even in the after hours, showcases, which featured the Gypsy Jazz / Old time Texas style swing of Casey Driscoll, Taylor Baker and Brennen Ernst playing “Blue Skies”, was really a bridge to the Americana Conference and Folk Alliance.

Backstage with Randy Kohrs

Jim Lauderdale had one of the strongest sets, playing songs from Reason and Rhyme, with Producer and Dobro shredder, Randy Kohrs and a hot band hitting all the right spots. Jim is a neo-traditionalist chameleon that works in tall bluegrass and with Grateful Dead songwriters in the same breath. Jim has such a volume of output; he wears me out just thinking about it.

Jim Lauderdale with WSM 650 staff

Town Mountain was a fitting finish, with great musicianship and a strong nod to Bluegrass.  They were drawing in the lines and at the same time fresh faced.

Rodney & Beverly Dillard

Rodney Dillard of the generational Dillards (The Darlings, Andy Griffith Show) was taking a breather this year while his band was all about mixing it up.

Casey Driscoll, Taylor Baker and Brennen Ernst Showcase

The jams go late into the night. Some of the impromptu meet ups are what makes this fun. You could catch anybody from Crystal Shipley (The Dixie Bee-Liners), Joe Zauner on banjo and Jed Clark (The Roys) on guitar, just hanging on a cluster of couches talking instruments to see what happens.

Harry Fontana at Robert's

After hours, one could hang and catch the late night showcases or go grab a bite to eat down on Lower Broad in a couple of minutes at Robert’s listening to the three piece straight up Rock and Roll of Harry Fontana on “Rockabilly Boogie.”

Martin McDaniel at The Stage

A couple more doors down and the soulful country of Southern Alabama’s Martin McDaniel, with some of the most fluid guitar lines in town was at The Stage. Martin has been building a local audience ever since he arrived a few years ago, doing it the hard way, honky tonks and opening sets.

WAMU's Bluegrass Country Showcase

Music City; where music never sleeps.  

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com