The Darlings had this feedback after their first appearance on The Andy Griffith Show
Plus: The story behind the Dillards' audition is as funny as an episode of the show.
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"That's mighty fine juggin', Mr. Darling," Andy tells Briscoe Darling in The Andy Griffith Show episode "The Darlings Are Coming."
"Thank you," Briscoe says. "I can get banjo sounds, guitar sounds, whatever I want out of it."
Canned laughter erupts.
"I mean, you're a mighty fine jug player, but I doubt there's a pair of lips around with that much versatility," Andy quips.
The character of Briscoe Darling is played by Denver Pyle, who does have a musical past as a drummer, but who may not actually have been much of a jug player. In an interview with Wide Open Country, Rodney Dillard (Rodney Darling) said he told Andy Griffith that the jug playing was too loud in that first episode, and Andy took the note to heart, never letting the jug playing overpower the bluegrass picking.
When you watch "The Darlings Are Coming," the jug barely factors into the music you hear, even though you see Briscoe puffing on the jug continually.
It must've been some feeling, as newcomers in Hollywood, for the Dillards to be telling veterans like Andy and Denver Pyle how things should be, but it's a credit to how big a music fan Griffith was that he listened. Dillard once told retro pop culture fan Jeremy Roberts about the Dillards audition for The Andy Griffith Show. He said Griffith was looking for "weird-looking guys from the mountains who played bluegrass music."
Nobody fit the bill, until Andy found the Dillards. He called them down to Desilu Studios. They arrived in the middle of the production shooting "Barney and the Choir."
"As we walked into the soundstage, we saw all these people gathering around to meet us," Dillard said. "They had heard the hillbillies were coming."
Their arrival was so distracting, Andy and Don stopped filming immediately.
The Andy Griffith Show director Bob Sweeney and Andy pulled up a couple chairs. "Show us what you've got," they said.
"So we started playing, and then Andy slapped his knees and got up, exclaiming, 'That’s it!'" Dillard said.
The band figured they were getting tossed out and started putting up their instruments, but Dillard said Andy put an end to that right away.
"Where are you going?" Andy said. "You've got the job."
The Dillards weren't going anywhere, except maybe going down in Mayberry history as one of the best bluegrass bands to ever come to town.
Dillard said he was always pleased with how respectful Andy was throughout the band’s recurring appearances, saying not every invitation they got to appear on TV really understood the heart and soul of mountain folk the way the Dillards and Andy Griffith did.
"There's dignity in rural folks," Dillard told Wide Open Country.