In honor of Doug Dillard who died earlier this year, there will be two tributes to him during this year’s Mayberry Days featuring members of the original Dillards band and Dillard’s longtime friends.
The Doug Dillard tributes will be held on Friday at the Andy Griffith Playhouse at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. According to Tanya Jones, executive director of the Surry Arts Council, seats for the night show are sold out, but there some seats left for the 2:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $25.
Dean Webb, who was one of the Darling boys on “The Andy Griffith Show,” played mandolin with Dillard from 1962 until roughly 1992. This will be his first trip to Mayberry Days, and he said he is looking forward to seeing everyone.
The Dillards band music and faces became familiar nationwide starting in 1963, when they began appearing on “The Andy Griffith Show” as a band called The Darlin’ Boys. Griffith encouraged them to use their original songs as often as possible on his show.
LeRoy McNees and Maggie Peterson, who were in the Darlings band on the show, will be a part of the tribute this year. Also, Richard Bailey, a banjo player and friend of Dillard, will be a part of the show as well. Jones said he played the banjo at Dillard’s funeral and was a pall bearer.
Buddy Griffin, a bass player from West Virginia, and Ginger Boatwright, who led the band, will be part of the tribute as well.
“This is a really special gathering of folks. They are converging here in tribute to Doug. This is an awesome group of musicians,” said Jones.
Doug Dillard died on May 16 in Nashville, Tenn., of a lung infection. He was 75.
Doug and his brother Rodney, known as the Dillards, departed from strict bluegrass tradition as one of the first acts to use amplified instruments.
Doug Dillard and the band helped popularize bluegrass in the 1960s through regular appearances on “The Andy Griffith Show,” and they were important figures in the creation of what would become known as country rock music.
The Dillards were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2009.
Doug Dillard attended every Mayberry Days since it began 23 years ago.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the show, call the Surry Arts Council at 786-7998.
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.