Do you recognize this song? It was Andy Griffith’s favorite song to play on set.
Everyone has a favorite song. Especially if you’re a musician – there’s always one song that you enjoy playing above the rest. And for Andy Griffith of The Andy Griffith Show, that song was “Whoa Mule.” Now, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, Andy Griffith was an actor, not a musician.” But he was actually both. No, he never released any records or finally joined a band, but he loved playing the guitar and singing. In fact, he made several appearances with his guitar and happily performed songs on The Andy Griffith Song. And “Whoa Mule” was always his go-to song. He even made his television debut as an actor performing the song on “No Time For Sergeants.” During an interview in 1996, Griffith talked about performing the song several different times throughout his career.
“I’ve sung ‘Whoa Mule’ all my life. I sang it on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’. I sang it on ‘Matlock.’ I sang it everywhere but in church,” joked Griffith.
In the video below, Griffith performs the song with The Country Boys. The Country Boys were a real-life band that appeared in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. They later became known as The Kentucky Colonels. Billy Ray Latham played banjo, Leroy Mack and Clarence White played guitar, Eric White played bass, and Roland White played mandolin.
The Guitar Player On ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Didn’t Know How To Play Guitar
When you’re an actor, you do whatever you have to do to land a role. And that was certainly what actor Jim Best did. “The Andy Griffith Show” episodes titled “The Guitar Player” and “The Guitar Player Returns” feature actor Jim Best as Jim Lindsey, a talented musician who visits Mayberry.
The episode features Best’s guitar picking skills several times. However, in real life, Best couldn’t play guitar to save his (or his character’s) life on the show. In fact, he lied to the show’s creators to get the part.
Reports say, producers of “The Andy Griffith Show” called Best and offered him a role on the show. But before officially casting Best, they asked him if he could play the guitar. Best answered, “Are you kidding? I have two guitars!”
However, after being handed a guitar on set Best admitted that he had no idea how to play. Obviously, producers weren’t happy but they improvised. Instead of spending time recasting the role, they decided to use Best as an actor but edit in the song of another guitar player. Well, that’s certainly one way to star on an iconic television show!