November 14

“There is a Time” for The Dillards and The Darlings


“There is a Time” is a song by Rodney Dillard and Mitch Jayne. On The Andy Griffith Show episodes ‘The Darling Baby’ and ‘The Darling Fortune’, The Dillards performed “There is a Time”.  This was a recurring role. Veteran character actor Denver Pyle played the role of their father. Briscoe Darling was the jug player. Pyle and Darling led The Dillards. Maggie Peterson played Charlene Darling, their sister. The focus for the attention of the character Ernest T. Bass was played by Howard Morris. Andy Griffith sings a song or plays guitar with the in Guest in the House.

In 1963, rising bluegrass band The Dillards made their first appearance on a television show, The Andy Griffith Show. It was the best exposure a band could ask for and the roles were not exactly a stretch. Playing members of a family band, brothers Doug and Rodney Dillard performed hillbilly music. They were called The Darlings, but the picking and harmonies were all The Dillards’. As a result, America adored them.

During the program’s eight-year run, The Darlings made just six appearances on The Andy Griffith Show. Yet, the family made a lasting impression on viewers. Along with Floyd the barber and lovable, rock-throwing backwoods scamp Ernest T. Bass, The Darlings were fan favorites. Joined by their jug playing patriarch Briscoe Darling and angel-voiced sister, Charlene, the Darling boys brought mountain music into homes. These were the places where it would not otherwise be heard.

By way of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”, Bluegrass music was already making its mark on television viewers. People from across the country could hear the songs blasting from television sets as the theme to The Beverly Hillbillies. Surprisingly, in the early 1960s, The Darlings were the only bluegrass band making regular appearances on screen. The family was part of Mayberry’s story making mountain music part of the story too.

Appearances on The Andy Griffith Show

Over various appearances on The Andy Griffith Show, The Dillards performed original songs such as “Ebo Walker”. Apart from that, they also showcased traditional American folk songs such as “Boil Them Cabbage Down” and “Shady Grove”.  Bluegrass musician, The Dillards, introduced the songs to a whole new audience.


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