Randy Travis: Andy Griffith "Most Likeable" Man I've Ever Met

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

(CBS News) Country music star Randy Travis is a big fan of Andy Griffith's. The musician, who met Griffith on the set of the hit show "Matlock," called Griffith "the most likeable" man he's ever met.

Griffith died Tuesday at the age of 86.

Travis said Griffith, who knew Travis hadn't acted much before his stint on "Matlock," came to his bus and gave him an acting lesson. Travis played Billy Wheeler, a man hired by Griffith to paint his house.

"That was pretty amazing," Travis said. "I almost laughed a couple of times, because it sounded like Sheriff Andy Taylor talking to Opie a couple of times."

Travis was a guest star "Matlock" from 1992 to 1993, but the friendship between the two men lasted two decades.

Travis said he and Griffith had an "automatic connection." They would even sing together on the TV show's set - to the point that the director intervened. Travis recalled, "A couple of different times, I can't remember the director's name, but a couple of times, he had to come over to Andy; some of the guys on the crew were there listening to us and he was playing and so was I. We were both singing. He'd sing a verse, I might sing a verse, chorus, whatever. Sometimes he'd sing harmony.

"The director would walk over, you know, (and say), 'I'm sorry. But we need to go to work. Can we do this a little later?"'

Travis called Griffith "a good singer ... and a wonderful musician."

"A lot of people don't know this," he continued, "but Andy was a music teacher at one point and played between 20 and 30 instruments, and I got a kick out of this. Imagine Andy Griffith, that accent, in an opera singing an aria like (a) Pavarotti kind of singer!"

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