Friday, April 10, 2015

Celebrity Rock: New River Train (1960)

We lost one of the most unsung performers in Hollywood earlier this week with the passing of James Best at 88. Best remembered, for better or worse, as Sheriff Rosco Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard and its animated spin-off, Best had logged a pretty healthy resume in movies and television before signing on for Dukes.

In his memory, we present a clip from his first appearance as aspiring guitarist Jim Lindsey on The Andy Griffith Show. When we first meet Jim, it seems he's been in Mayberry before, and is already well acquainted with sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith), who arrests him for disturbing the peace. However, the two have a shared interest in music, and, at jail, Andy pulls out his guitar for an impromptu jam on "New River Train". However, Best really isn't playing. The sound of an electric guitar was dubbed in. As you'll see, Barney (Don Knotts) joins Andy on the second round of the chorus.

Jim Lindsey would return just once more, also in Season 1, but after that, was forgotten. James Best, however, isn't.


magicdog said...

I don't remember this episode, although it's easy to forget Best had a career as a character actor before and after "Dukes".

Is it so bad to be remembered as Roscoe P. Coltrane?

hobbyfan said...

Because of how campy Dukes got toward the end, some people might look at this as something that would've typecast Best for the rest of his career, if he didn't have anything to fall back on, and he did. He took up painting.