It might come as a surprise that actor-comedian Andy Griffith really was a solid musician. In fact, his gospel music received high marks.
Viewers of “The Andy Griffith Show” remember seeing Andy Taylor play guitar along with the Darling family. He also played by himself in a couple of episodes, too.
Griffith really was playing the guitar, though. His musical work was recognized in 2007 when he was inducted into The Christian Music Hall of Fame.
Andy Griffith Leaned on His Christian Faith Through Life
Griffith held tightly to his Christian faith throughout his life. He recorded four gospel albums in his career, including “I Love to Tell The Story: 25 Timeless Hymns,” which hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Christian albums chart in 1996.
Griffth, for that album, won a Grammy Award in the category of best Southern gospel, country gospel, or bluegrass gospel album.
In 1999, Andy Griffith happened to be inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Other gospel albums included “Just As I Am,” “The Christmas Guest: Stories And Songs Of Christmas,” and “Bound For The Promised Land: The Best Of Andy Griffith Hymns.” All of Griffith’s albums finished in the Top 10 on Billboard.
The veteran Broadway and TV actor talked about his Christian faith in a 2005 interview.
Griffith Considered Entering Seminary as Young Man
“I was baptized alongside my mother when I was 8 years old,” Griffith said. “Since then I have tried to walk a Christian life. And now that I’m getting older I realize that I’m walking even closer with my God.”
There was a point in Griffith’s life where he actually considered entering a Christian seminary. This was when he enrolled at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Yet he felt a tug toward acting and, mixed with his musical leanings, put him on the road to a music degree.
“Hymns connect us with the past and with each other in the present,” he said.
As for playing in those “The Andy Griffith Show” episodes, Griffith talked about it briefly.
“I still play that guitar,” Griffith said in the interview. “It’s a Martin D-18 with a clear pickguard. I’ve played this guitar on and off my TV shows for nearly 50 years.”
Needless to say, faith and music always held a sacred thread through the heart of Andy Griffith. He shared his love for those old hymns with the world, too.