‘The Waltons’ Actor, Country Artist Mayf Nutter Once Compared His Two Careers to ‘Bananas’ and ‘French Fries’

by Taylor Cunningham

The Waltons star Mayf Nutter was both an accomplished actor and country artist. But he could never decide which career he enjoyed most.

According to MeTV, Before Mayf played The Waltons’ country crooner Bobby Bigelow on-screen, he was a professional singer off-screen. And he got his start when he was only six years old.

An entry in the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame shows that Mayf once strummed guitar for Del Shannon’s band. And he was also part of the New Christy Minstrels, which was a folk troupe that Kenny Rogers sang for as a youngster.

Mayf Nutter also dropped a few records in the 60s and 70s that earned him a few award nominations from the Academy of Country Music. However, Mayf is most famous for his acting chops.

Mayf Nutter First Tried his Hand at Acting in the Late 1960s

The star made his first small-screen debut with a guest appearance on Gunsmoke. In a 1967 episode titled Hard-Luck Henry, Mayf Nutter played Festus’s cousin Heathcliff “Henry” Haggen.

And because his character was such a hit, the actor earned a spot in the world of Westerns. Shortly after, he went on to appear in Bonanza, The High Chaparral, and How the West was Won. But of course, Mayf didn’t stick with that genre.

In 1974, he landed a recurring role in The Waltons. His character was the lead singer of Bobby Bigelow and the Haystack Gang, a popular band on Walton Mountain.

From there, Mayf went on to do stints on popular series like Knots Landing, Days of Our Lives, and Murder she Wrote.

So with a successful career in both the acting and singing industries, The Chicago Tribue once asked the versatile celebrity which he enjoyed most. His answer was hilarious. But to sum it up, Mayf Nutter just liked being an entertainer, no matter the outlet.

“Well, that choice is like being asked, if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose… bananas or french fries?” he said in 1974.

“If I can make [the audience] forget about their car payments for an hour,” he continued, “I think that’s what entertainment is all about.”

How ‘The Waltons’ Star Got his Unique Name

During the vintage interview with The Chicago Tribune, Mayf Nutter also explained how he ended up with such a unique name.

The singer’s full name is Mayfred Nutter Adamson. And the denotation is a combination of his great grandfather and great grandmother’s names—May and Fred.

And despite all the jokes that have been made at Mayf’s expense over the years, he’s always been a good sport.

“I think they was gonna call me May if I was a girl,” Nutter told the outlet. “But a litter of pups arrived [before me] and got all the good names.”