home / stories / The farmer Rafe Hollister pass on a possibility to be among Mayberry"s greatest breakout stars
The farmer Rafe Hollister happen on a chance to be one of Mayberry"s greatest breakout stars

Jack Prince turned down a possibility to it is in a collection regular yet said he was proud to it is in a small part of The Andy Griffith Show.

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We"ve already told friend the story of exactly how Rafe Hollister actor Jack Prince met Andy Griffith ~ above Broadway.

They came to be fast girlfriend behind the scene of the Broadway present Destry Rides Again, bonding over their considerable talents because that singing, and soon Andy was asking Jack to come by his dressing room come pal around. "He"d invite me because that coffee, yet he didn"t have any kind of cream or sugar," Prince said, according to The Andy Griffith Show fan podcast Two Chairs No Waiting. "The an initial time I claimed I"d go obtain some from mine dressing room, yet Andy said, "Not for any coffee to it is in drunk in my dressing room.""

"So, ns learned to prefer my coffee black, similar to Andy Griffith."

This damage over coffee was the start of a beautiful friendship, but once the Broadway present ended, the two guys parted ways, Andy to his then-brand-new sitcom, and Jack to to sing gigs the booked in las Vegas.

Andy would certainly make a suggest to go check out Jack perform, due to the fact that once he preferred an actor, Andy Griffith truly came to be a fan. It was on one of those trips to see Jack sing that Andy floated the idea that Jack doing an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

Jack said, "Sure!" As long as it functioned with his singing gig schedule.

Andy to be amenable to that. In 1961, Jack showed up as the moonshiner Ben Sewell in the first season illustration "Alcohol and Old Lace."

By this point, Jack and also Andy had come to be the type of friends that repaid every other"s visits, therefore it to be Jack"s revolve to autumn in ~ above Andy. Coming by the collection unannounced, Jack surprised Andy, and also then Andy surprised Jack by asking if he want to guest star in the week"s episode, resulting in Prince"s 2nd appearance ~ above the show, as Luke Rainier in "The Inspector."

That second episode that Jack go led to an additional on-set friendship, this time with The Andy Griffith Show director Bob Sweeney.

Curious around Prince"s ras Vegas shows, Sweeney decided to do a trip and also see Jack on his own turf. Afterwards, Sweeney uncovered Jack and gushed, "Jack! I had no idea you can sing choose that! We"ve obtained to usage your to sing in an episode."

This set the groundwork for the development of Rafe Hollister in the second season episode "Sheriff Barney," which caused Prince"s last grand appearance on the show, lastly belting the end a song in the third season episode "Rafe Hollister Sings."

Although Sweeney, by that point, had actually moved on indigenous The Andy Griffith Show, Prince preserved a lasting fondness for the director who driven for the to sing on nationwide TV.

"Bob spoiled me," Prince said. "He to be good. We had a great rapport. I can read his face and also he can read mine, and also I would never work for a director that I had that much affection because that again."

On The Andy Griffith Show, Prince appeared in 6 episodes — only three times together the farmer Rafe Hollister. Yet that"s no to say the show didn"t shot to get him to come back to Mayberry an ext often.

The story goes the Andy Griffith Show producers adhered to in the footsteps that the show"s star and Bob Sweeney — they checked out Vegas to watch Jack sing. Afterward, lock approached the singer and also asked him if he"d it is in interested in expanding the part of Rafe Hollister, becoming a continuous on the display as typically seen as personalities like Gomer, Goober and also Otis.

"Naw, fellas," Prince said. "I"m a singer. As soon as I can"t sing anymore, I"ll see about acting."

Don"t go thinking that Prince short respect because that acting, though. City hall Don Knotts, in his mind, to be observing a master at work.

"I have actually so lot admiration because that Don," Prince said. "It"s difficult to concerned comedy and also do the scene the very same on every take it or make precisely the changes you"re request to make by the director. That is by much the ideal actor ns have ever worked with."

Although Prince rejected becoming a Mayberry star as Rafe Hollister — and also possibly a future where he became a to sing sensation with his own present like Jim Nabors together Gomer Pyle — he still came to be a familiar face to pan of the show.

When the reprised the song he sings in Mayberry, "Lonesome Road," ~ above the TNN speak showNashville now in 1991, viewers were thrilled, follow to The definitive Andy Griffith present Reference. One more performance he gave in the Nineties during an Andy Griffith Show cast reunion in ~ Opryland in Nashville reportedly attracted a huge crowd of fans.

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Prince never ever did lot acting various other than The Andy Griffith Show, but remained thankful for the time he did spend in Mayberry.

"The reason I left Broadway, ns was a singer, not an actor," Prince said. "Unless it was something really simple, or something like The Andy Griffith Show comes along, whereby you"re working through all these talented human being like Andy and Don and Bob Sweeney. The ambience ~ above that show was so great, together pride, everyone on the totality crew, from the writers best down come the lighting guys were proud of the work. And I"m proud to have been even a small part of it."