|No Time For Sargents|
He starred in a 1955 teleplay called No Time For Sargents. This play was made into a movie in 1958, which featured Andy playing the lead. It was quickly followed up with Griffith playing a similar bumbling country boy in the military in the movie Onionhead.
|A Face In The Crowd - cheap guitar|
In 1957, producer-director Elia Kazan recruited Griffith to play the lead in his movie A Face In The Crowd as Larry (Lonesome) Rhodes, a hard drinking drifter plucked out of jail to sing on a local radio station. He is given his own television show and immediatly draws an audience based on his whit and simple country charm.
The film ends tragically. None-the-less it is a wonderful movie.
The Danny Thomas show, in which he played Sheriff Andy Taylor, who cited Thomas for speeding through the small North Carolina town of Mayberry.
Both shows were produced by Sheldon Leonard and Leonard recognized Griffith would be right for a spin off show.
The Andy Griffith Show lasted from 1960-1968.
Andy Griffith tribute model. What a beautiful guitar. The thing that puzzled me was the fact it looked nothing like the standard D-18 that Andy was known to play on the show. Aside from Mr. Griffith's signature on the neck, this guitar appeared not to have a pickguard.
The mystery was solved by Dick Boak, the historian for Martin Guitars, as well as an author. Boak states that he contacted Andy's management to see if he had an interest in endorsing a Martin signature guitar.
Griffith's management team said they would get back. Boak got a call from Griffith the very next day. It was then Andy gave Mr. Boak some history on the Martin guitars he owned.
cheap-looking one used by his character before he became famous, and a fancier one when he became the successful 'Lonesome Roads,'" Boak says. "The prop master solved the problem by taking a beautiful 1958 Martin D-18, and without consulting anyone, painted it black and gluing sequins on the guitars sound board. On the front of the guitar, the sequins spelled out Momma and Lonesome. Momma was a reference to the name Lonesome Rhodes gave to his guitar.
|Andy with 1958 Martin|
He took the guitar to a guitar builder in New York City's lower east side to have the instrument given a new coat of lacquer and touch up to the wood. Ironically the guitar builder was non-other than John D'Angelico.
Andy Griffith Signature D-18's and then discontinued the guitar. They are gorgeous instruments.
Manufacturers suggest price was $3700 However used models can be purchased for between $2300 to $2500 and sometimes pop up on eBay.
Martin guitar appears not to have a pickguard, there is a clear thin plastic guard plate below the sound hole. It is shaped in the old D-18 style. This is similar to the golpeadors used on Flamingo guitars.
The guitars top is made of solid bearclaw Sitka spruce. The back and sides are both fashioned from solid, quilted mahogany. The 14 fret low profile neck is made of select hardwood.
The neck is dovetailed into a mahongany block. On the interior of the block the name Lonesome Rhodes is burnt into the wood. The top inlay is multiple black/white. The braces are of course scalloped.
The fretboard is 1-11/18th inches at the nut, tapering to 2-1/8 inches at the 12th fret. The fretboard comes with old style 18 mother of pearl position markers. The belly bridge material varies.
Tuning machines are Grover Deluxe Nickel done in the Kluson style. Martin recommends using medium guage strings.
This is not your average Martin D-18.
In retrospect, Griffith did use the non-pickguard D-18 in several episodes.
Griffith recorded several country and gospel albums as well as storytelling albums, and was inducted into the Country Gospel Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2007 was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.
His greatest honor came on November 9, 2005, when President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, honoring his work and his timeless image, the way he came to personify a certain spirit of small town America.