The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)
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The Guitar Player Returns 

Mayberry's own guitar celebrity Jim Lindsey returns, but he's not the conquering musical hero everyone thinks he is.


Bob Sweeney

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Episode cast overview:
Andy Griffith ... Andy Taylor
Ron Howard ... Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
Elinor Donahue ... Ellie Walker
Don Knotts ... Barney Fife
James Best ... Jim Lindsey
Frances Bavier ... Aunt Bee Taylor
Howard McNear ... Floyd Lawson
Dick Elliott ... Mayor Pike
Herbert Ellis Herbert Ellis ... Bobby Fleet (as Herb Ellis)
Phil Chambers ... Jason the Hotel Clerk
Thomas Browne Henry Thomas Browne Henry ... Man Who Repossesses Jim's Car (as Thomas B. Henry)


Jim Lindsey, the once-wayward guitar player whom Andy helped start his musical career, returns to Mayberry a success with a brand new sports car and a hit single "Rock n' Roll Rosie from Raleigh." Everyone is excited to see the hometown boy that made good, but Andy gets wind of something strange. Within a day, the car disappears, and Ellie, Floyd and Jason report that, despite his "success," he seems to be charging a lot of his bills, and even asking Barney for money. Plus, as successful as he claims to be, he isn't receiving any mail. Andy gets in touch with Bobby Fleet, the bandleader who hired Jim, and learns that Jim walked away from the band after Bobby wouldn't make him a partner. Unable to make it on his own, Jim is flat broke with his car repossessed. Andy tries to talk to him about reconnecting with Bobby and the band, but Jim won't hear of it; so, as is tradition, Andy arrests Jim as a ruse to reconnect him with Bobby so that Jim can get his career going again. Bobby is ... Written by Jerry Dean Roberts <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family








Release Date:

15 May 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mayberry Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Whenever Jim Lindsey is playing guitar you're actually hearing the legendary Barney Kessel playing those licks. See more »


Jim's acoustic guitar makes electric guitar sounds. See more »


Andy Taylor: Jim, you're under arrest.
Jim Lindsey: Arrest? For what?
Andy Taylor: Leavin' town without payin' your bills.
Jim Lindsey: Well... I left this watch, Andy. It'll... it'd cover all my bills - more than cover them.
Andy Taylor: Well, then you're under arrest for not leavin' town fast enough. Let's go.
Jim Lindsey: Well, now, wait a minute. Now, I-I would've been gone if ya hadn't kept me here yappin'.
Andy Taylor: No flimsy excuses, Jim. Let's go.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVDs released by Raintree Home Video replaces the classic Andy Griffith Show theme with a generic instrumental song. See more »


Midnight Special
Written by Leadbelly, aka Leadbelly
Performed by Andy Griffith and James Best
See more »

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User Reviews

A set of threads-it's a suit
29 July 2018 | by elbgaSee all my reviews

Jim Lindsey returns, having crashed into the brick wall that is the reality of the music industry. Good thing he didn't do it in his red Mercedes roadster, which perhaps beats out Miss Peggy's T-Bird and Keevey Hazelton's whatever-the-heck-it-is for coolest car honors on TAGS. As Andy says, look at all them knobs. Floyd's right: Jim has changed, and it's not just that he's running up tabs all over town that he can't afford, but that he's trying too hard to convince himself and others he's still a star. It's laughable the way the director and producer try to make viewers in 1960 believe that James Best is actually playing the guitar, especially an acoustic flattop that miraculously goes electric under his touch. They even include applause in the laugh track! What kid in the mid-60s wouldn't have loved to own the Fender Jazzmaster Jim is supposed to be playing in the Taylor's living room. Isn't it interesting that the role of Bobby Fleet is played here by Herb Ellis, who shares his name with one of the greats of jazz guitar and that, according to IMDB trivia, the actual musician playing on the recorded dubbed tracks is another jazz great, Barney Kessel. The best scene isn't about laughs when a repo man shows up to take Jim's car away. The look of bitter disillusionment and self-reproach on his face and the mournful chords on the soundtrack paint a picture of a cocky young man who thought he could leapfrog to the top of his profession without paying his dues on the way up. When Andy enters the courthouse with Jim under arrest, you can only imagine the crazy stories Barney has been feeding to Bobby Fleet as they stand there admiring the rifle rack. The Mt. Airy newspaper makes another appearance, lying there on a table, and you have to wonder if Andy Giffith had some uncanny insight into the future that allowed him to see not only that one day the series would be wildly popuplar in syndication but also that eventually it would be available in a format that allowed fans to spot the masthead of his hometown newspaper. Finally, we all could benefit from Andy's parting advice to Jim: Act like you've got some smart.

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