Andy Griffith and Brad Paisley Had a Living Room Concert ‘Just Like The Darlings’ in Griffith’s Home As He Recovered From Pneumonia

by Joe Rutland

Being a fan of Andy Griffith doesn’t take anyone being a rich, country music superstar. Just ask Brad Paisley about his time with Griffith.

Their relationship started out with Paisley’s desire to have “The Andy Griffith Show” star in the video for a Paisley song, “Waitin’ on a Woman.” After corresponding via letter to Griffith, whose wife Cindy was all for it, the singer and his childhood favorite combined on the video.

Yet there was another intimate moment between both men that remains a fixed memory in the heart of Brad Paisley. He reflected on this moment in a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Griffith had been in poor health over the last few years and died on July 3, 2012. Paisley was interviewed hours after news broke of Griffith’s death.

Brad Paisley Took Wife, Son Out To Meet Andy Griffith

Before doing the music video with Griffith, Paisley took his wife and son out to meet with one of his heroes. He remembered that time as one very touching and tender.

There was one last time where Paisley and Griffith got together. This time, they managed to play music when they met up at Andy Griffith’s North Carolina home.

It was about a year and a half before Griffith’s death, Paisley recalls.

“I called Cindy and asked how he was doing,” he said, “because he’d been in the hospital with pneumonia and had just gotten home.”

Cindy Griffith said Andy Griffith was a little weak but doing better. Paisley said to her, “We’re playing not far away, in Virginia Beach, in a couple of weeks and we have a day off after. Would he like a free jam-session concert in the living room?”

Paisley And His Band Sing With Griffith At His Home

Well, Cindy Griffith couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She told Paisley, “That would be about the greatest thing you could ever offer.”

OK, “The Andy Griffith Show” fans, remember when the Darlings would show up in Mayberry? Usually, they’d get run into the jail by Deputy Barney Fife, played by Don Knotts, for some reason. Briscoe Darling, played by actor Denver Pyle, usually had to be the one chatting up Andy.

Besides Briscoe Darling, though, the Darlings were actually The Dillards, a real bluegrass group who was playing and singing on those “Griffith” episodes.

Jam Session With Griffith Felt Like It Was Being A Darling

Paisley said, “So we brought all the acoustic instruments and set them up in the living room — just like the Darlings.”

“We did all the songs he liked — ‘You Get a Line, I’ll Get a Pole,’ ‘Whoa Mule,’ and he sang and played with us,” Paisley said. “We spent the whole afternoon there, then we got back on the bus and went home.”

“I know what that meant to him,” Paisley said. “His favorite part of that show was the music. To be able to sit in his living room like that — there are not many things you can give Andy Griffith but, fortunately, we were able to do that for him.”

What a sweet story in which a fan of Griffith’s work got a chance to say “thank you” in a tender way. The power of music knows no bounds.