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Doug Dillard Dead: Bluegrass Banjo Great Dies at 75
The Boot ^ | May 16, 2012 | Stephen L. Betts

Posted on 05/17/2012 9:05:24 AM PDT by beaversmom

Banjo player and TV performer Doug Dillard, who gained fame for his appearances on "The Andy Griffith Show" with musical group the Dillards (known on the TV series as the "Darlings") has died following a lengthy illness. A family spokesperson tells The Boot that Dillard was taken to a Nashville emergency room on Wednesday night (May 16) and died shortly thereafter.

Doug Dillard was born in Salem, Mo., in 1937 and was playing guitar by age 5. He received his first banjo as a teenager and soon began performing with various bands on radio and TV. He had been encouraged to pursue his instrument by banjo legend Earl Scruggs. According to his official bio, at 16, Dillard wrote a letter to Scruggs and received a positive reply. He then pestered his parents into driving him to Scruggs' home in Madison, Tenn., some five hundred miles away from Salem. Doug brazenly walked up to the front door and rang the bell, introducing himself and asking the iconic banjo picker to install Scruggs' tuners on his banjo.

Along with his brother Rodney, Doug soon formed the Dillards. Their folk-bluegrass blend became popular on college campuses and elsewhere, which led to their move to California and resulted in a recording contract and their stint on the hit CBS series starring Andy Griffith. After parting ways with the Dillards, Doug joined folk-rock group the Byrds on their first European tour. After the tour, Doug teamed up with former Byrds member Gene Clark, forming the influential Dillard & Clark, one of the first acts to popularize the country-rock sound that would include other artists such as Gram Parsons and the musicians who would later form the Eagles. Comedian and banjo player Steve Martin recently told The Boot that Doug Dillard was among the first influences on his banjo playing.

A Grammy-nominated instrumentalist, Doug's distinctive banjo can also be heard on albums by everyone from Hoyt Axton, Johnny Cash, Arlo Guthrie and Linda Ronstadt to Kay Starr, Glen Campbell, the Monkees and the Beach Boys. In 2009, the Dillards were inducted into the IBMA's Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

Funeral arrangements for Doug Dillard are pending.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: andygriffithshow; banjo; bluegrass; dougdillard

1 posted on 05/17/2012 9:05:31 AM PDT by beaversmom
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2 posted on 05/17/2012 9:08:17 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom
The Dillards were great -- a lot of us discovered them through their appearances as the Darling family on Andy Griffith. Dillard and Clark only released two albums, but had enormous influence on the emrging sound of "country rock." R.I.P. Doug.
3 posted on 05/17/2012 9:09:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: beaversmom

I can name 3 banjo players:

Earl Scruggs
Dave Dillard
Steve Martin

If I were Steve Martin, I’d be nervous.


4 posted on 05/17/2012 9:10:57 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin has become simply a stick with which to beat Whites.)
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To: beaversmom
Fond memories


5 posted on 05/17/2012 9:11:06 AM PDT by NRA1995 (I'll cling to my religion and guns till they're pried from my cold dead fingers!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Bela Fleck


6 posted on 05/17/2012 9:12:16 AM PDT by stormer
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To: ClearCase_guy
If I were Steve Martin, I’d be nervous.

"Oh death and grief and sorrow and murder...."

7 posted on 05/17/2012 9:12:21 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Cincinatus

That’s how I first heard about them: through Andy Griffith. In more recent times, my husband kept playing an old folk music/blues/bluegrass tape with a mixture of artists. After he kept playing it over and over in the car last summer, it dawned on me that one track sounded like the Darlings.

Reuben’s Train
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-MTmErL1Og


8 posted on 05/17/2012 9:15:49 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

Thanks for posting that.


9 posted on 05/17/2012 9:22:56 AM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Not Doug Dillard, but Earl and Steve et. al. playing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icMTVV5Lwaw


10 posted on 05/17/2012 9:23:57 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: kalee

You’re welcome :)


11 posted on 05/17/2012 9:24:42 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

Loved the “Darlings” episodes on Andy Griffith

Rest in Peace, Mr Dillard!


12 posted on 05/17/2012 9:31:47 AM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: beaversmom
One good link deserves another:

Dillard and Clark, Train Leaves Here This Morning

13 posted on 05/17/2012 9:35:21 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Cincinatus

Nice, hadn’t heard that before.


14 posted on 05/17/2012 9:38:25 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: NRA1995

Thanks for the pic...I remember those episodes.


15 posted on 05/17/2012 9:45:04 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Waiting for the new tagline to download)
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To: hattend

Me too! I still find myself quoting the funny things Charlene and Briscoe said on the show.....LOL. They were a hoot!


16 posted on 05/17/2012 9:55:08 AM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: beaversmom

RIP Mr. Dillard.....and thanks for the great memories. :(


17 posted on 05/17/2012 9:58:29 AM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: beaversmom

Why do I always learn about thes epeople through their obituaries? No chance to show my appreciation by buying an album, or attending a concert while they are alive.

I think that I saw this guy on Matlock just yesterday. Ben matlock and the prosecutor Julie were chasing down a witness in the back country and came upon a group of guys “picking”. Ben (Andy Griffith) grabbed a guitar and joined in. It was some pretty good banjo/guitar picking. The “pickers” later stole Matlock’s distribuutor cap and got Julie and him kidnapped, etc., etc. I’m pretty sure that the banjo player was this guy — may he RIP.


18 posted on 05/17/2012 10:07:22 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Dawgreg

I liked the part where they would talk about playing a song, and someone would say “Let’s play ‘Don’t Hit Your Grandma With A Great Big Stick,’”, and Charlene would always say, “No, that song always makes me cry.”

Classic.

Immediately hearing Ernest T. Bass singing “jumped in the pot, the pot too hot...”


19 posted on 05/17/2012 10:09:52 AM PDT by job
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To: beaversmom

I heard the Dillards at the Lewis Family homecoming back in 2005. Here was their closing song:

The Andy Griffith Show
written by David Bellamy
tabbed 8/13/05

That old evening news is sure depressing
This world is in a mess and it don’t get better
Terrorism’s in fashion and even love can kill you
Oh but I have found a better place to go

We’re all livin’ in the shadow of the bomb
Tuned in to the lifestyles of the rich and greedy
Oh but meanwhile back in Mayberry no one says the “F” word
Thank God for the reruns

CHORUS:

On the Andy Griffith Show, Angie’s letting Otis out of jail
Gomer’s helpin’ Goober drive the mail
Oh and Barney’s lookin’ for his bullet, you better watch out for your toes
I wish life was like the Andy Griffith Show

Now they’re dealing in souls on the airwaves
All them false profits tryin’ to make a buck
But old Floyd the barber, he just goes on trimmin’ hair
And we ain’t heard the last of Ernest T. Bass you know

CHORUS:

On the Andy Griffith Show, Aunt B’s cookin’ lamb and turnip greens
Now everyone dance while the Darlins pick and sing
Yeah that old kid’s diggin’ worms to go fishin’ don’t ya know
I wish life was like the Andy Griffith Show

Thelma Lou told Wanita to call Helen Crump
Then round up Clara and Emmett and Howard Spray
There’s a town meeting down at Andy’s office
Barney’s gonna try to take us all back in time

CHORUS:

To the Andy Griffith Show, the biggest hastle there was makin’ moonshine
They sat swingin’ on the porch with an easy mind
Oh and maybe it was unreal, but when this old world blows
I hope I end up on the Andy Griffith Show
I wish life was like the Andy Griffith Show


20 posted on 05/17/2012 10:17:59 AM PDT by Our man in washington
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To: Our man in washington
I wish life was like the Andy Griffith ShowBoy ain't that the truth. Great song. Hadn't heard that one!
21 posted on 05/17/2012 10:42:21 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: job

Enrest T.
http://ingunowners.com/forums/2249481-post41.html


22 posted on 05/17/2012 10:46:24 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: job

LOL! I STILL say whenever a song comes on “that makes me cry”. My grandkids get a kick out of that. So sad so many on that show are passed. I lost interest after they went to color. The old black and white shows were the best, imho. :)


23 posted on 05/17/2012 11:33:02 AM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: Dawgreg
I lost interest after they went to color. The old black and white shows were the best, imho. :)

Don Knotts left the show after their last season filmed in B&W. I suspect that is the main reason it went rapidly downhill.

24 posted on 05/17/2012 11:37:15 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: beaversmom

Doug’s Tune: http://bit.ly/JjsZtK


25 posted on 05/17/2012 12:19:37 PM PDT by Josh Painter ("The lesser of two evils is, by definition, evil." - Josh Painter)
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To: beaversmom

RIP.


26 posted on 05/17/2012 12:31:14 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: Cincinatus

You’re probably right. Even though I wanted to strangle that skinny little idiot, Barney did make the show what it was and Griffith made sure of it. He took a backseat to being the straight man for Knotts character and it worked. Yep, when it went to color all we had was Helen bytchier than ever and Andy groveling more than ever.......LOL


27 posted on 05/17/2012 2:12:16 PM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
"Earl Scruggs Dave Dillard Steve Martin If I were Steve Martin, I’d be nervous."

Jerry Van Dyke, Dick's brother, played banjo.

28 posted on 05/17/2012 5:51:04 PM PDT by redhead (Alaska: Step out of the bus and into the food chain.)
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To: onedoug

Ping


29 posted on 05/17/2012 9:26:28 PM PDT by windcliff
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To: Dawgreg

We say a lot of stuff from Barney Homer Floyd and Howard sprague. Citizens arrest, say hey to goober, and hootyhoot
to name a few.


30 posted on 05/18/2012 5:25:05 PM PDT by job
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To: job

We need an old Andy Griffith show fan room in here....LOL


31 posted on 05/18/2012 5:27:01 PM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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