Andy Griffith’s “What It Was, Was Football” Recorded

Griffith on a Promotional Tour in the 1950s. Photo from the State Archives.

On November 14, 1953 ,the Colonial label in Raleigh, N.C. released  Andy Griffith’s monologue “What It Was, Was Football.”  Colonial was owned by Chapel Hill newspaper publisher Orville B. Campbell, who had heard Griffith perform the comedy bit at a luncheon earlier that year.

The narrator of the story is a young man who happens upon a football game – something he had never experienced before.  His retelling of the game included a description of the football, “It was that both bunches full of them wanted this funny looking little pumpkin to play with. They did. And I know, friends, that they couldn’t eat it because they kicked it the whole evening and it never busted.”

“What it Was, Was Football” helped launch Griffith’s career, which ultimately took him from North Carolina to Broadway. He went on to star in movies and television shows, and to become a Grammy Award-winning singer. After many years in front of the camera, Griffith returned to North Carolina, and settled in Manteo, where he remained until his death on July 3, 2012.

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