Monday, October 3, 2005
SHERIFF ANDY DAY
Imagine a TV sitcom centering around a sheriff, with plots that contained no crime! No crime, you say? How can that work? Well, CBS-TV figured it out on this night in 1960 when The Andy Griffith Show premiered.
Maybe you remember the small town of Mayberry, North Carolina with its sheriff, Andy Taylor, played gently and philosophically by Andy Griffith. Andy was a widower with a young son, Opie, played by the now, award-winning, movie director Ron Howard. Other members of the cast of The Andy Griffith Show went on to become celebrated show biz stars, too: Don Knotts who played Andy’s deputy, Barney Fife; and Jim Nabors, the lovable, extremely naive gas station attendant, Gomer Pyle, come to mind.
Since there was very little crime in Mayberry, the stories centered around the personal lives of the citizens, mainly that of Sheriff Andy Taylor. The sheriff was so beloved that, although the last show aired in September of 1968, millions of viewers continue to see The Andy Griffith Show in reruns. There’s even a worldwide organization, The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC), 12,000 members strong.
It seems that Sheriff Andy may live forever.
1893 - The motor-driven vacuum cleaner was patented by J.S. Thurman of St. Louis, MO. Remember his advertising slogan? “You can be sure if it’s Thurman!”
1901 - The Victor Talking Machine Company was incorporated on this day. After a merger with Radio Corporation of America, RCA-Victor became the leader in phonographs and many of the records played on them. The famous Victrola phonograph logo, with Nipper the dog, and the words “His Master’s Voice”, appeared on all RCA-Victor phonographs and record labels.
1906 - One of the nation’s pioneer retailers, W.T. Grant, opened a 25-cent department store on this day.
1945 - Stan Kenton and his orchestra recorded Painted Rhythm for Capitol Records.
1946 - Dennis Day started his own radio show on NBC. Dennis, a popular tenor featured on The Jack Benny Show, played the same naive young bachelor he played on the Benny show. A Day in the Life of Dennis Day aired for five years.
1951 - “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants are the champs of the National League!” Listeners were hearing the voice of New York Giants play-by-play legend Russ Hodges on the ninth-inning heroics of Bobby Thomson. Thomson’s dramatic home run (off Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca) gave the Giants the pennant as they beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-4.
1951 - CBS-TV presented the first coast-to-coast telecast of a prize fight. The telecast saw Dave Sands kick Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson’s butt for the middleweight boxing crown at Soldier Field, Chicago.
1954 - One of the favorite TV shows of our time was first seen on this day. Father Knows Best began its long run on CBS, then made the move to NBC in 1956. For Jim Anderson (Robert Young) and family, it was a made-for-TV marriage of over eight wonderful years.
1955 - “Good Morning, Captain!” It was Bob Keeshan’s first day at work in what became a TV institution via CBS: Captain Kangaroo. The children’s television milestone featured Mr. Green Jeans, Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather Clock, Mr. Moose and other characters.
1955 - LIFE magazine’s cover displayed Hollywood’s most handsome bachelor, Rock Hudson.
1955 - Walt Disney premiered The Mickey Mouse Club on ABC-TV.
1961 - Rob (Dick Van Dyke), Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), Sally (Rose Marie) and Buddy (Morey Amsterdam) debuted in The Dick Van Dyke Show on CBS-TV. Created by Carl Reiner, the show ran for five years (if you don’t include cable reruns).
1962 - The play, Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!, opened. Broadway welcomed Anthony Newley to the stage with many standing ovations.
1980 - ‘The Boss’, Bruce Springsteen, forgot some of the words to Born to Run before an enthusiastic opening night crowd in Ann Arbor, MI.
1986 - Two cinema greats, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, joined for their first comedic collaboration. Their seventh film together, Tough Guys, was released. The film is best described as a modern Rip Van Winkle story.
1990 - On this day, just four days away from the 41st anniversary of the forming of the East German state, East and West Germany came together again. The reunification, originally scheduled to take place during the December parliamentary elections, occurred earlier because East Germany’s economy was in serious shape.
1995 - In a Los Angeles courtroom, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the June 12, 1994 stabbing deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and waiter, Ronald Goldman. Simpson smiled and nodded toward the jury, saying “Thank you, thank you.”
1900 - Thomas Wolfe
author: Look Homeward Angel, You Can’t Go Home Again; died Sep 15, 1938
1916 - James Herriot (James Alfred Wight)
veterinarian, author: All Creatures Great and Small; died Feb 23, 1995
1924 - Harvey Kurtzman
cartoonist; founder of Mad magazine; died Feb 21, 1993
1925 - Gore Vidal
writer: Myra Breckenridge, Burr; actor: Bob Roberts
1928 - Erik Bruhn
ballet dancer, choreographer; died Apr 1, 1986
1929 - Andy Hebenton
hockey: NHL: NY Rangers, Boston Bruins
1931 - Glenn Hall
Hockey Hall of Famer: goalie: Detroit Red Wings: Calder Trophy [1955-1956]; Chicago Black Hawks: Stanley Cup winner , Vezina Trophy ; St. Louis: Vezina Trophy: 1967, 1969]
1933 - Neale Fraser
tennis champion: Wimbledon , U.S. Open [1959, 1960]
1934 - Harold Henning
golf: turned pro: 1953, joined PGA Tour: 1955, champ: Texas Open , PGA Tour career earnings: $217,047; joined Senior Tour: 1984, champ: Seiko/Tucson Match Play , GTE Classic , 1991 First of America Classic , Senior PGA Tour career earnings: $2,942,073; died Jan 1, 2004
1934 - Madlyn Rhue
actress: A Majority of One, Executive Suite, Days of Our Lives, Bracken’s World, Houston Knights; died Dec 16, 2003
1938 - Eddie (Ray Edward) Cochran
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer : singer: Summertime Blues, Sittin’ in the Balcony, Teenage Heaven, C’mon Everybody, Three Stars; films: The Girl Can’t Help It, Untamed Youth, Go Johnny Go; killed in car crash Apr 17, 1960
1940 - Alan O’Day
songwriter: Angie Baby, Rock and Roll Heaven; singer: Undercover Angel
1941 - Mike Gallagher
skier: Olympic Men’s Skiing/Cross Country [1968, 1972], 4x10-Kilometer Relay [1968 w/Michael Elliott, Robert Gray, John Bower, 1972 w/Timothy Caldwell, Larry Martin, Michael Elliott]
1941 - Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans)
singer: The Twist, Pony Time, Let’s Twist Again, The Fly, Limbo Rock, Slow Twistin’ [w/Dee Dee Sharp]
1944 - Jack Gregory
football: Cleveland Browns, NY Giants
1944 - Roy (Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn)
illusionist: Siegfried & Roy
1949 - Lindsey Buckingham
musician: guitar: group: Fleetwood Mac: Big Love; LP: Rumours; solo: Trouble, Go Insane
1950 - Pamela Hensley
actress: Double Exposure, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Kingston: Confidential, Marcus Welby, M.D., Matt Houston, 240-Robert
1951 - Dave (David Mark) Winfield
Baseball Hall of Famer: SD Padres [all-star: 1977-1980], NY Yankees [World Series: 1981/all-star: 1981-1988], California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays [World Series: 1992], Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians
1954 - Dennis (Lee) Eckersley
baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Indians [all-star: 1977], Boston Red Sox [all-star: 1982], Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics [World Series: 1988, 1989, 1990/all-star: 1988-1992/Cy Young Award: 1992/Baseball Writers’ Award: 1992], SL Cardinals
1954 - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist [w/brother Jimmie]: Family Style, D/FW ; solo: LP: Couldn’t Stand the Weather; killed in helicopter crash Aug 27, 1990
1959 - Fred Couples
golf champion: Masters 
1959 - Jack Wagner
actor: General Hospital, Melrose Place, Trapped in Space, Play Murder for Me; singer: All I Need
1962 - Tommy Lee (Bass)
musician: drums: group: Motley Crue: LPs: Too Fast for Love, Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain