Two Chairs No Waiting 129: Where Opie Got His Name

by Floyd on March 29, 2011

Host: Allan Newsome
Running time: 0:15:20

Two Chairs No Waiting

Two Chairs No Waiting

In episode 128, Tim Hollis mentioned that the namesake of Opie Taylor was from a fellow that appeared on the old time radio program “Lum and Abner” following having his very own radio program called “The Opie Cates Show.”

As you may have picked up on, Opie Taylor got his name from band leader and radio actor Opie Cates.  On “The Opie Cates Show” (1947-1948), he played a naive unsophisticated person from the country (a.k.a. a rube or hick) getting adjusted to big city life. Cates started each show by saying, “The doggonedest thing happened to me th’ other day,” and then he’d go on to introduce the story for the week. The show never found a sponsor and lasted only 13 weeks.

He then basically moved right over to “Lum and Abner” with the same character in 1949 where he’d tell stories about his hometown of Clinton, Arkansas.  Cates  appeared on a pilot episode of Lum and Abner that same year but the show wasn’t picked up by the network.

Andy Griffith named Sheriff Taylor’s son after Cates.  Both Andy and producer Sheldon Leonard liked Opie Cates so the name was a natural fit.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

DAD March 31, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I was listening to the Opie name podcast . Then the name Andy Devine came up you said he played in some old westerns- I remember him as Jingles the sidekick of Wild Bill Hickok a weekly TV series that was sponsored by Kellogg’s Sugar Pops . This was probably in the late 1950’s . Guess that tells my age. It was neat hearing his voice and remembering . Love you keep it up

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Jimbo April 6, 2011 at 3:36 am

Enjoyed the videocast and the other stuff you do here!

As far as Andy Devine, I was just talking to the President of the National Lum and Abner Society, “Uncle” Donald Pitchford yesterday about Andy Devine and his connection with Lum and Abner…

I had heard of Opie Cates before this last week but knew little about him. Interesting stuff!

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Tim Bradshaw February 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Interesting. I had only learned of Lum and Abner while reading Tim Hollis’ books a couple of years ago. I did not know about Opie Cates until the previous podcast. This is interesting and enjoyed learning this tie in with Opie getting his name!

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Tim Bradshaw February 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

After reading DAD’s comments about Andy Devine, I also remember him best as Jingles on Wild Bill Hickcock, those were some great westerns to watch when I was a kid

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