Wednesday, December 19, 2012


My Hometown, How Would you Sing it?

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I really like the Andy Griffith Show. I watch it frequently with my children and I’ll admit, Barney Fife still cracks me up.

But aside from the laughter, there are also lessons to be learned from Andy Griffith episodes. One that got me to thinking recently was “A Singer in Town,” Episode 30 from Season 6, which first aired on April 11, 1966.

All of Mayberry is aflutter when television and singing star Keevee Hazelton comes to town. He's there for a quiet rest and just wants to go fishing but Aunt Bee and her friend Clara decide they will try to get him to record a song they wrote years before for a town celebration.

Keevee isn't too interested at first but his manager thinks it is a potential hit so they agree. They also invite the ladies to the studio to watch the show. However, in rehearsal, they see Keevee has turned their ballad about Mayberry into a rock and roll song complete with electric guitars and go-go dancers.

With only a half hour to air time, they tell him he has to change the arrangement. Everything ends well when Keevee slows the song down and sings a soft melody for the cameras.

“My hometown is the greatest place I know, where the neighbors I find are gentle and kind and the living easy and slow. My hometown is the only place to be here the worries are small and the kids grow tall, and strong, and healthy and free. It’s my hometown, my hometown, Mayberry, Mayberry.”

Some folks have used examples in the Andy Griffith Show as part of a Bible study. In this case, I think the show could be used to teach community development.

Healthy communities need inspired volunteers like Bee and Clara. Healthy communities need people willing to take action and sing as opposed to just talking (or texting) about it. Healthy communities can be measured by the quality of life and the things that add to that in an area. Healthy communities also deal with problems head on, find solutions, and nurture their children. Those types of actions make for a great hometown.

If we were going to write a song about Republic, what would it say? Don’t worry about whether it is a rock, pop, metal or country. It is the words that matter.

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