james best

Two Chairs No Waiting

Two Chairs No Waiting

Host: Allan Newsome
Running time: 0:34:02

It was with a heavy heart that I found out about the passing of James Best.  He passed away the evening of April 6, 2015 and he will be greatly missed by his fans all over the world.  James Best is known to Mayberry fans as guitar player Jim Lindsey from two episodes in season one of The Andy Griffith Show but he is loved the world over as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from The Dukes of Hazzard.  But those are just two of the hundreds of characters James Best has played during his amazing life.

I thought a nice tribute to him would be to recall an interview he did with Jim Clark from March 31, 1998 issue of The Bullet.  The story was written by Jim Clark and I think it will give you a different look into James Best’s life and career.

I did an interview with Mr. Best way back in episode #38 of this podcast that you might also enjoy.  It’s fairly short so drop by and give it a listen.

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Executive Producer of Two Chairs No Waiting Episode #326: Jim Clark

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Two Chairs No WaitingHost: Allan Newsome
Running time: 0:24:23

In the last episode of the podcast we talked about the 3rd episode of The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS), “The Guitar Player.”  James Best played “Jim Lindsey” and Henry Slate played  “Bobby Fleet.  Now we move on to the character Bobby Fleet’s second appearance on the series in “The Guitar Player Returns.”

“The Guitar Player Returns” is only 7 months and 28 episodes later and the 31st episode of season 1 of TAGS (Oct 17, 1960 – May 16, 1961) and when “Bobby Fleet” appears, he’s a different man.  No longer is Henry Slate playing the character but instead Fleet is played by Herb Ellis.

I mentioned the name Herb Ellis last episode and asked that you remember his name.  There has been discussion about who played the guitar on close-ups of “Jim Lindsey.”  James Best has stated at reunion events that he thought Herb Ellis was the one doing the actual playing of the guitar but he said he wasn’t certain. The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watcher’s Club member Paul Mulik asked Earle Hagen (the music director for TAGS) who was playing for Jim and he answered he was pretty sure was Barney Kessel.

Barney Kessel as a jazz guitarist from Oklahoma and is considered to be one of the greatest jazz guitarist of the 20th century.  He was a member of many prominent jazz groups as well as a “first call” guitarist for studio, film, and television recording sessions.

Back to Herb Ellis.  Turns out Herb Ellis is also the name of a jazz guitarist but this is a different Herb Ellis from the one who plays “Bobby Fleet” in this episode.  That’s right, there are two “Herb Ellis'” just like there are two “Bobby Fleet’s.”   Let’s leave the guitarist, his name is Mitchell Herbert Ellis (Aug 4, 1921 – Mar 28, 2010), here and move long to the actor.

Herb Ellis the actor was born in Cleveland, OH on Jan 17, 1921 ( 91 years ago the day this podcast is released) and his birth name was Herbert Siegel.  Herb Ellis the actor is best known for work with Jack Webb.  He played Officer Frank Smith on the TV version Dragnet (1952) and many other characters on the radio version of Dragnet.  He appeared on many other series Peter Gunn and Perry Mason.

Follow me on Twitter if you use twitter. I’ve been posting Mayberry things there as another way to let folks know about The Andy Griffith Show.

Don’t forget to leave comments or ask questions on the TwoChairsNoWaiting.com website or using the contact information given in the podcast. We’d love to have you be a part of our next feedback episode. Call the Two Chairs No Waiting Hot-line at (888) 684-8415 and leave a voice mail to be part of the show.

If you use iTunes, please visit the Two Chairs No Waiting page of the iTunes store and leave a review and rating.

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Executive Producer of Two Chairs No Waiting Episode #171: Rebecca Spears

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Two Chairs No Waiting 170: The Fleets Come to Mayberry Part 1

January 10, 2012

We’re going to enjoy meeting Bobby Fleet and the other characters that join us in “The Guitar Player.” As I was going through this episode, I just kept finding great quotes that brought a smile to my face and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you.

Host: Allan Newsome
http://TwoChairsNoWaiting.com

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Two Chairs No Waiting 138: Return of the Killer Shrews

May 31, 2011

I’m sure that means Goober watched “The Killer Shrews” (1959) at least a few times while it was playing at the Mayberry Grand. That can only mean that James’ newest production is going to be high up on Goob’s must see list. It’s name, “Return of the Killer Shrews.” That’s right, tshooting on the sequel begins in June 2011! Host: Allan Newsome Running time: 0:14:53

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