The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/Episode 19: Mayberry On Record. February 13, 1961. 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS.
A classic Barney/ Andy opening. Barney complaining about the taxes taken out of his monthly pay check and talks about investing his money. Andy talks to Barney about coin collecting and cons Barney into buying a ‘rare nickle’ for $75 which turns out not to be so rare. Andy just showing Barney how easy it is to be taken. This sets the episode up- when Ellie walks in to the jail with a Mr. Maxwell who is carrying with him a big portable recorder. Mr. Maxwell is a folk music enthusiast who is interested in capturing the local talent on tape- and making an album. Andy is the first to perform with a band called The Country Boys. They play their guitars, banjo, mandolin and Andy sings. Barney tries to get Mr. Maxwell interested in his harmonica playing.
Barney and Floyd lead the charge in convincing Mr. Maxwell to let them invest in the album that is being made. Andy is the only one who doesn’t seem on board- he thinks Maxwell is running a con to take their money. Meanwhile Mr. Maxwell continues recording other Mayberry musicians for his album. When Mr. Maxwell approaches Andy and questions why he doesn’t want involved in the investment- Andy isn’t sold on it and seems quite smug in his belief that he is the only one not being taken by this con man.
It doesn’t take much for Barney, Floyd and the boys to turn on Mr. Maxwell. When Barney calls the hotel he finds that Mr. Maxwell left town earlier in the day. They all want him tracked down. The only believer in Mr. Maxwell left is Ellie. Then Mr. Maxwell shows up- he had been to Richmond and sold the album to a record company and came back with his first check for $5000 to show everyone. Andy thinks when he comes in that its just an extension of the con- until he reads the record contract and sees the check. Andy is stunned. Mr. Maxwell tells them he will be going to New York City to promote the album and that he would keep them posted and the checks coming.
In the add on at the end- Ellie and Andy walk into the jail/courthouse with the record album in their hands- it’s titled Music From Mayberry. The camera cuts to Barney sitting back in a chair with a big cigar in his mouth reading The Wall Street Journal.
A perfectly executed episode. Andy ends up being wrong and the fool- but in the end takes it all well.
- The Country Boys who were playing behind Andy in the recording would later become a famous blue grass band The Kentucky Colonels. Another episode featuring good music. Clarence White one of the members of the band- would later in the 60’s become a member of The Byrds. The County Boys would appear in one more episode- later in Season 1 called Quiet Sam.
- Andy and the Sheriff’s Department seems to have received the magnetic map that Captain Barker promised in The Manhunt episode.
- The two songs Andy and The Country Boys play in this episode are ‘Flop Eared Mule’ and ‘Crawdad Hole.’
- The album Mayberry On Record was actually released.
- No Aunt Bee in this episode and Opie plays only a minor role. Ellie continues to shine- although the youngest adult in season 1 she seems to be the brightest and most trusting of others. She is an outside- not from Mayberry. In season 1 there are moments when the Mayberry natives seem to have a complex- a fear they are going to be made fun of or taken advantage of. In this episode Elie didn’t have any doubts about Mr. Maxwell’s sincerity and she turned out to be correct.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Elinor Donahue- Ellie Walker
Howard McNear- Floyd Lawson
Eric White/ Roland White/ Billy Ray Latham/ Leroy Mack- The Country Boys
George Dunn- Pete
Directed by Gene Reynolds
Written by Benedict Freedman and John Fenton Murray