'The Andy Griffith' theme song is titled 'Fishin' Hole'

By David Inman

The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal

Published: Sunday, June 12 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

Don Knotts, left, Ron Howard and Andy Griffith starred in "The Andy Griffith Show." The popular show's theme song, "The Fishin' Hole," actually has lyrics that were written by Everett Sloane, Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer.

Associated Press

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Q: I know that years ago I heard the words to the theme song from "The Andy Griffith Show," something like "down by the fishin' hole." Some folks think I'm all wet about this. Please throw me a line so they don't put me in the nervous hospital!

A: You are the opposite of "all wet" on this one.

The song is called "The Fishin' Hole," and the lyrics were written by Everett Sloane, Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer. You may remember Sloane as the bad guy Jubal Foster, the moonshine-making farmer who unjustly accuses Opie of burning down his barn, on one of my favorite episodes, "Keeper of the Flame."

Q: My cardiac rehab group at Rapides General Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana cannot remember who shot J.R. on "Dallas"! Can you help us?

A: J.R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman, was shot by Bing Crosby's daughter.

Mary Crosby played Kristin Shepherd, and she did the deed in the final episode of the 1979-80 season. She was revealed as the killer on the November 21, 1980 episode, one of the highest-rated programs in TV history.

Q: We have been watching (ugh!) "Mr. Ed" reruns before my kids go to school — they love it! Can you explain why the neighbors all of a sudden went from Addison and Kaye to The Colonel and Winnie?

A: In the hallowed history of "Mr. Ed," the cast change is explained very simply — Larry Keating, who played next-door neighbor Roger Addison, died in the summer of 1963 at age 67. Therefore Leon Ames was recruited to play Col. Gordon Kirkwood for the remainder of the episodes. Keating was on the show from 1961-63, and Ames from 1963-65.

Q: In the 1970s or '80s there was a movie (or TV movie) about a physically handicapped girl who developed a relationship with Elvis through the mail. Please tell me the name and if it's on DVD.

A: That's the 1980 film "Touched by Love," with Diane Lane as the girl, a cerebral palsy patient. The cast also includes Deborah Raffin, Michael Learned and John Amos.

It's not on DVD — it was on video, but is now out of print.

Q: I think the guy who played Red John on "The Mentalist" was also on a funny cop show on Fox last season. Who is this versatile guy? What else has he done?

A: That fellow is Bradley Whitford, and he was indeed a regular on "The Good Guys," which ran briefly on Fox last summer. Whitford was also regular on "The West Wing" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and he has appeared in films including "Billy Madison," "Scent of a Woman" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."

Q: I remember a show in the mid- to late 1970s that was a game show for kids and adults. It was like some of the shows that have recently been on Disney and Nick. The contests were on teams and would have to perform tasks to win. Often the teams would get extremely wet or dirty and a lot of the tasks were physical. Does this sound familiar?

A: That was "Junior Almost Anything Goes," and it ran Saturday mornings on ABC from 1976-77. It was the kids' version of "Almost Anything Goes," which ran on ABC from 1975-76. The Saturday morning version was hosted by good old Soupy Sales.

Q: There's a commercial for the Blackberry PlayBook that opens with footage from "Thor" and then there's a fast disco-y song with the word "Power" repeated. Can you tell me who performs it?

A: The original song is "Power" by the Temptations, remixed by Oliver Julian.

Write David Inman in care of The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, 525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, Ky. 40201-7431; or email him at incredibleinman@yahoo.com. Questions of general interest will be answered; personal replies are not possible.

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