Big hit for Andy, big loss for record industry?

“For the jukebox and disk-jockey trade, record companies are reviving an old idea: ‘talk’ records. These are comedy sketches or monologues of the type that helped kill vaudeville and weakened radio to the point where television became inevitable. Last week one of them, ‘What It Was, Was Football,’ was striking for the bestselling list.

” ‘Football,’ the creation of a 27-year-old North Carolina singer and former teacher named Andy Griffith, is a monologue purporting to be a wandering hillbilly’s wide-eyed reactions to his first sight of a crowded college stadium, and is notable chiefly for Griffith’s relentless rural drawl. Sample:

” ‘What Ah seen was this whole raft o’ people a-settin’ on these two banks and a-lookin’ at one another across this pretty little green cow pasture’….

“Griffith has moved to Manhattan, is planning to investigate subways, automats, tipping, etc. Backing him up is Capitol Records, which…  will pay him a weekly salary (‘over $100’) instead of the usual percentage of sales, will also manage his career. Probably nothing can be done about it.”

— From Time magazine, Jan. 18, 1954