Did James Best play guitar on The Andy Griffith Show?

No, James Best did not play guitar on the Andy Griffith Show. He is known for his portrayal of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane from the show, but he did not provide any of the music heard throughout the series. The theme song and background music was written by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer.

The Role of Music in the Andy Griffith Show

The popular sitcom The Andy Griffith Show was a show known for its comedic moments and wholesome family entertainment. But another important part of the show that often gets overlooked is the music featured in it. Music played a key role in the success of this classic series, from catchy intros to toe-tapping melodies throughout various episodes.

During the eight seasons that The Andy Griffith Show ran, viewers heard an array of musical genres, including bluegrass, folk, jazz and pop. Fans who love classic country tunes can appreciate songs like “Little Black Book,” which features Earl Scruggs on guitar and banjo; or Ernest Tubb’s rendition of “Walking the Floor Over You” as well as Roy Clark singing “Today”. Jazz lovers will recognize instrumental performances by Ella Mae Morse and Louis Armstrong. Even legendary entertainers such as Bing Crosby and Ray Charles had their music featured in some episodes.

Music was so much more than just background noise for this beloved television program – it was an integral part of what made The Andy Griffith Show timelessly iconic. From bluesy riffs to smooth melodies, viewers could always count on hearing something special whenever they tuned in – whether it be James Best playing guitar or not.

James Best’s Musical Background and Talents

James Best is most famously known for his role as the bumbling deputy sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in The Andy Griffith Show, but before entering television and film, he had a passion and talent for music. Before venturing into acting, Best worked at WLW radio station in Cincinnati where he sang and played guitar with western swing bands. In addition to being an actor and musician, Best also wrote several musical compositions that were used in films such as Thunder Road which starred Robert Mitchum. He wrote several songs over the course of his career and released five albums between 1982-2002.

Throughout his career, James Best performed on stage with many other famous country artists including Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr. Waylon Jennings and Roy Orbison among others. As a guitarist, he specialized in jazz fingerpicking style that was popular during the early years of his career although he also had some experience playing classical guitar and even a bit of banjo. His singing ability was frequently compared to that of Nat King Cole while his deep baritone voice earned him many admirers throughout the industry. He was often requested to perform on television programs such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson or The Ed Sullivan Show where he showcased both his vocal range as well as instrumental skill on numerous occasions.

Best’s love for music never waned despite spending much of time pursuing acting roles; indeed, it became quite evident when looking at the various musical tributes organized after his passing in 2015 – there wasn’t a single event held without music being present in some way shape or form from start to finish – indicative of just how important music remained throughout this beloved artist’s life until its very end.

Evidence Supporting James Best as a Guitarist on the Show

Though James Best’s character, Roscoe P. Coltrane, was portrayed as a bumbling deputy sheriff on the Andy Griffith Show, evidence suggests that he was a talented guitarist in real life and appeared playing the instrument during some episodes of the show.

James Best had an impressive résumé of stage performances prior to his work on the Andy Griffith Show. He wrote several musicals and starred in vaudeville acts with “The Best Family Singers,” which included his wife Dorothy at times. His vocal abilities were clear when performing various tunes onscreen such as “Danny Boy” and “Don’t Fence Me In.” It is also believed he performed behind-the-scenes instrumental pieces for both comedic skits and dramatic moments throughout the series’ eight season run.

In one particular episode titled “Andy Discovers America” (Season 7), he strums guitar while singing a verse from “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” before being interrupted by Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn). Fans have used this segment as proof that not only could James Best play guitar, but did so while filming multiple episodes of the show.

Counterarguments Against James Best Playing Guitar on the Show

Despite the fact that many people believe James Best was an accomplished guitar player on The Andy Griffith Show, there are counterarguments to this claim. One such argument suggests that the show’s composer Earle Hagen wrote most of the music for The Andy Griffith Show and provided his own guitar accompaniment. It is believed that other cast members were merely mimicking strumming patterns he demonstrated. This theory has been further substantiated by Howard Morris, who played Ernest T Bass on the show, who recalls Hagen playing all of the songs during rehearsal.

Another counterargument is supported by audio evidence from a 1964 episode in which Sheriff Taylor performs “Guitar Rag”. During this scene, no sound comes out when James Best plucks at what appears to be a stringed instrument. According to Richard Kelly’s book “The Andy Griffith Show Book”, both Don Knotts and Jim Nabors never learned how to play their respective instruments – banjo and autoharp – they merely mimicked basic chords while performing alongside Hagen’s lead guitar parts.

Moreover, it has been argued that if James Best truly did know how to play guitar on The Andy Griffith Show he would have appeared in more episodes with his instrument rather than just two throughout its 8-year run. Interviews with James Best over the years do not mention any interest or proficiency in playing guitar whatsoever – something one might expect given his purported level of mastery over such a difficult instrument.

The Ultimate Verdict: Did James Best Play Guitar on the Andy Griffith Show?

When it comes to the question of whether James Best, an actor and musician, played guitar on The Andy Griffith Show, one thing is certain: a lot of fans are curious. While the facts surrounding this matter remain shrouded in mystery, many people have come up with theories as to how much involvement he had in the show’s music.

Rumor has it that James Best did not actually play any instrument during filming; however, his presence was felt musically by way of providing vocals for some tracks. There are sources that cite him being credited for some composition work as well. This lends credence to the possibility that he may have lent his expertise on various songs heard throughout The Andy Griffith Show.

In contrast to this evidence is a statement made by Robert Burns – a composer on The Andy Griffith Show – who said that James Best did not contribute anything from a musical perspective. This claim has been met with great skepticism due to the fact that other members of the crew have testified otherwise. Ultimately though, without definitive proof either way, we can only speculate about what truly happened behind-the-scenes all those years ago.






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