‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Here’s Why Andy Won a Grammy Award in 1997

by Keeli Parkey
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Andy Griffith was one of the most beloved actors in the history of television. His role as Sheriff Andy Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show” was iconic and is still respected for the love, kindness, and wisdom he brought to the screen.

Given the love and respect Griffith received during his career and life, it may come as a surprise to know that he never received an Emmy Award for his television performances. In fact, according to CheatSheet.com, Andy Griffith was never even nominated for an Emmy. He did, however, win one major award – and that was a Grammy.

“The Andy Griffith Show” ran on television from 1960 until 1968. The North Carolina native’s next successful television show was “Matlock.” In this show, he played the hardworking and honorable lawyer Ben Matlock. It aired from 1986 until 1995.

A year after “Matlock” came to an end, Andy Griffith turned his attention to gospel music – a genre he had loved for many, many years. His gospel music singing career was moved along thanks to producer Steve Tyrell, according to the article.

Griffith Begins Working with Music Producer

“Steve Tyrell is a record producer,” Griffith reportedly told the Television Academy Foundation during 1998. “He was down in Wilmington pre-recording (country singer) Randy Travis. He came into my (Matlock) dressing room and I played him a cut of an old record I made 20, 30 years ago. I said, ‘I’d like to try that again sometime.’ Next thing you know, we’re in Nashville and picking hymns.”

It was during 1997 that Andy Griffith received his first major award. That year, he won a Grammy Award.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen, but I’ve got it on my mantelpiece. I never won anything before, but it’s nice,” Griffith said about his Grammy win.

While he never won an award for his acting, it cannot be denied that Andy Griffith made a mark on the history of television.

“Andy had never won an Emmy, and Oscar, or a Tony,” author Daniel de Visé has said. “Yet, he had attained a celebrity that transcended those honors. Like Lucille Ball or Johnny Carson, Andy had connected with American society to its core.”

Andy Griffith Didn’t Win an Emmy, But Don Knotts Won Five

While the man who was the leader of “The Andy Griffith Show” never won an Emmy, one of his co-stars had an award-winning role. That actor was Don Knotts. Knotts won five Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife. Of those five awards, Knotts won two of them for returning to the show to play Barney.

“Don’s Emmys were the one subject Andy would not broach with his old friend,” de Visé reportedly wrote in the book, Andy and Don. “In all their years together on the ‘Griffith Show,’ Don later recalled, Andy never acknowledged Don’s trophies or offered congratulations. It was too painful a topic.”

In contrast to de Visé’s book, Knotts’ daughter says there was no bad blood between the two. She said they were the best of friends and Andy was one of his biggest “fans.”

Andy Griffith died in 2012. You can listen to one of his gospel tracks below.

Outsider.com