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Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010

02 Aug 10 - 07:59 PM (#2957042)
Subject: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: Mary Katherine

Mitch Jayne (front man/bass player of the Dillards) has been fighting cancer for some time - today I got an email that he has passed.

02 Aug 10 - 08:07 PM (#2957047)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: pdq

His song "Old Home Place" set the pace for the New South's pioneer record featuring Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas and Tony Rice. Acoustic has never been the same since.

02 Aug 10 - 09:12 PM (#2957077)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: Guy Wolff

This is sad to see. I had the most wonderful night of fun at the Gold Hill Inn up above Boulder with Mitch in 1971 /72?. He had some great stories about the first recording session in NYC for the band and meeting Rodger Sprung who sold me my first good banjo ( a Baldwin C ) . He was a very funny man . He also had some great stories about Doc Watson taking apart a car and putting it back together again .. One night a long time ago and and a lot of fun .. Sorry to see this .. All the best , Guy

02 Aug 10 - 09:14 PM (#2957079)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010

Wonderful and funny man, the voice of the Dillards.   What more can you say? I have a small but treasured stack of autographed books in my shelves.

One of those is Home Grown Stories & Home Fried Lies For Dale, with Many Thanks for Everything! Mitch Jayne

Thank YOU, Mitch. For making slicker'n deer guts on a door knob part of my vocabulary.   Along with: You boys are sure going a long way to flop! (Told to them when they said they were going to California to make music) and    Hi, We're the Dillards and we're all hillbillies.   I thought I better tell you that because you probably thought we were the Budapest String Quartet. Still funny after all these years.

One of my more memorable friends, I say friend, because he was a friend to all who knew him.

02 Aug 10 - 09:56 PM (#2957093)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: Bobert

What a bummer... I loved the Dillards... I mean, it was the right music for that time and they brough just enough authenticity so that alot of others could get thru the door...

Wished I'd got to know the man but he and his bandmates definately left their mark...

RIP, Mitch Jayne...



02 Aug 10 - 10:20 PM (#2957099)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: catspaw49

And thanks for the wonderful turn on the Andy Griffith Show as "The Darlings."

It may have been a comedy but the show was universally loved and Andy loved music. The Dillards played their part well and treated the music with respect.   Lots of people heard the genre for the first time thanks to Mitch and company.

Rest did a great job.


02 Aug 10 - 10:58 PM (#2957111)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: pdq

Just for the record, The Darlings appeared on 7 episodes of the Andy Griffith Show and did a total of 14 songs.

They were preceeded by the the Kentucky Colonels as bluegrass guests by seversal years and a name a change. The group was known as The Country Boys but that name was taken by Mac Wiseman's backup group, so the kids from Pasadena changed their name.

02 Aug 10 - 11:05 PM (#2957116)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: GUEST,DWR Mitch Jayne: Ozarks Storyteller

Extremely worthwhile Mitch Jayne interview on OZARKSWATCH Video Magazine.

03 Aug 10 - 07:21 AM (#2957254)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: kendall

I liked the Dillards and I like Andy Griffith. Put the two together and I'll watch them every time they are on.

03 Aug 10 - 05:10 PM (#2957551)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: Arkie

As good as the Dillards were, it was Mitch Jayne leaning on his bass introducing songs and talking to the audience that really set them apart. Dale mentioned Home Grown Stories, a book of Ozark humor that can stand repeated reading. One other valuable aspect of the book was Jayne's attention to the rapidly fading back country Ozark vocabulary. He had a deep love and respect for his Ozark roots and made a lasting contribution to the preservation of the language and humor.

03 Aug 10 - 07:57 PM (#2957649)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: Wesley S

I've never seen the movie - but his book Old Fish Hawk was one of my favorites. I hope his passing was an easy one.

04 Aug 10 - 05:34 PM (#2958351)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: GUEST,Norbert Shacklette

In 1956 Mitch was a disc jockey at Radion Station KSMO in Salem, Mo.
There was a speech contest on that station for the surrounding high schools. I remember that he was nice to all of us contestants. In 2005 I was President of the Bunker, Mo. Alumni Association and we invited him to give a presentation. He talked about performing with the Dillards and working with Andy Griffith, and he ended by saying Mayberry was a lot like Bunker, ans Bunker was a lot like Mayberry.
As he use to open his radio show with, "From the first dead limb up on the west side of a white oak tree at the head of Salem's own Hickory Hollar," THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.

04 Aug 10 - 10:53 PM (#2958517)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: GUEST,Max Butler

Mitch was a great friend of my parents and our family. He will be missed. He brought a lot of joy into many peoples lives. What a sense of humor. He knew so many of my old friends from the Salem area.

05 Aug 10 - 11:38 PM (#2959234)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010

Mitch Jayne, 1928-2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Author, musician and humorist Mitch Jayne, 82, died Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, in Columbia. Jayne was the author of five books, a weekly newspaper column published in the rural Ozarks for 20 years, and more than a dozen bluegrass songs recorded by The Dillards. He hosted a radio show in Salem that attracted national attention for its satire, including the "Snake and Tick Market Report," a regular feature that reported market prices for Hoo-Boy White Dot Crushproof Dry Valley Wonder Ticks and black, copperhead, coachwhip, garter and rattle snakes.

A memorial service is planned for the fall in the Ozarks, the time and place Jayne loved best and never tired of sharing through his stories and music.

Jayne was born July 5, 1928 in Hammond, Ind., the son of Bea and Gus Jayne. After a stint at the University of Missouri, he began teaching in one-room schools in Dent County, where he documented the use of the forgotten words and phrases of Elizabethan English spoken by his pupils.

He once asked a 6-year-old what his father did for a living. "He principally farms," the youngster told him, "and when he isn't farming, he sits on the porch and plays the fiddle, just to beguile the time." One day when a student learned he wanted to see a beaver in the wild, the student told him, "Mr. Jayne, there's a beaver a 'workin' forenent the mill." When Jayne asked a student to stay after school for some chore, the boy replied, "No, Mr. Jayne, I'd best haste home. Mother don't sanction us being dilatory."

Jayne published his recollections of his students' use of Elizabethan English in 2000 in "Home Grown Stories & Home Fried Lies," illustrated by his wife, artist Diana Jayne. He lamented the consolidation of one-room schools, comparing it to the influence of TV and radio that brought homogeneity to language and culture, ultimately leading to the demise of the rich old English phrases in their last sanctuary in the remote Ozarks mountains.

In 1962, Jayne befriended talented bluegrass musicians Douglas and Rodney Dillard, who invited him along to seek their musical fortunes in California. Jayne learned to play the bass lying down in the back of their station wagon en route to the West Coast. They played several venues, including the hungry i in San Francisco, where they caught the attention of critics for their hard-driving melding of electrified bluegrass and rock. They were invited to play on "The Andy Griffith Show," where they appeared regularly as the Darling Family for three years.

Jayne authored many of The Dillard's best-known works, including "Dooley," "The Old Home Place" and "The Whole World Round." The group recorded more than 20 albums from 1963 to 2006, but Jayne's participation in the group waned in the late 1970s.

While in California, Jayne also published his first books, "The Forest in the Wind" in 1966, and "Old Fish Hawk" in 1973. "Old Fish Hawk," about an Osage Indian, was made into a movie starring Will Sampson in 1979. Jayne returned to Missouri around 1974 and built a house adjacent to the Marcoot region of the Mark Twain National Forest. One week before Christmas in 1981, a spark from the massive stone chimney of his house caught the handmade shakes of the roof on fire and destroyed his home. Two weeks later, his bluegrass friends held a benefit concert to raise money to rebuild the house, which he moved into in 1983.

His popular radio show, "Hickory Holler Time," broadcast on KSMO in Salem, featured local news, bluegrass music, "The Snake and Tick Market Report," and a variety of satirical sketches, including a July Fourth episode in which Thomas Jefferson and George Washington trade foxhounds. He invented a character, Zeke Reeferzottum, who shared folklore such as predicting the severity of winter by looking at "wooly caterpillows. Not their color, their size! I been skinnin' 'em and tannin' their hides!" "Mother Mitch's News" was a spin-off of the "Mother Earth News," providing practical advice for living off the land, including making your own toilet paper ("perforations can be added with a spur or pizza cutter") or a sturdy truss out of old shoe tongues and Band-aids.

The radio show especially "The Snake and Tick Market Report" had a wide following. A pilot once told Jayne he diverted his plane to fly over Salem so he could entertain passengers as they passed through his air space.

Jayne started a third novel, the yet-to-be-published "Glory Hole War," a story about Ozarkian saboteurs who take exception to a government plan to dam their spring. He also began writing his weekly column, "Driftwood," which appeared in several Missouri newspapers and magazines, and went on the lecture circuit to talk about conservation, not just of natural resources, but of culture and history.

In his last decade, he received the official praise that in earlier years might have been the object of his gentle jokes. In 2002, The Dillards reunited to play to a packed audience in Carnegie Hall. In 2009, they were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame at the Grand Ole Opry.

The publication of his fourth novel, "Fiddler's Ghost," in 2007 led to the 2008 Governor's Humanities Book Award, and it was named one of the 10 best books of the year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In addition to his wife of 16 years, Diana Jayne, he is survived by a brother, Sears Jayne of Boston; and daughters Carole Jayne of Eminence, and Valerie Jayne of St. Charles.

Family and close friends were with him during his final days of compassionate care at Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital, where he entertained and told stories until he was too weak to talk. When asked by a friend how he was doing, he replied, "I don't know. I've never died before."

This article was published on page A9 of the Thursday, August 5, 2010 edition of The Columbia Daily Tribune

06 Aug 10 - 02:42 AM (#2959273)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: Lonesome EJ

"Now this here song is called Ol Blue, but I got to warn ya we don't do it like Joan Baez does it. We saw Joan Baez sing this song and she had everbody in tears, and Rodney bit Pete Seeger on the leg, and everbody was just generally tore up all on account of this old dog. Now we never played this that way and maybe that's on account of we got a whole lot different attitude towards dogs back home than they do in Beverly Hills. We don't shave em up and put ribbons and sequin collars on 'em too much. If there was a sequin collar around the house, it went on Mama."

Great raconteur, great songwriter. Ain't none of us live forever. Well done, Mitch.

04 Oct 10 - 07:03 AM (#2999218)
Subject: RE: Obit: Mitch Jayne of the Dillards August 2010
From: GUEST,Steve Swithin

I was fortunate enough to know Mitch well. I was tour manager for the Dillards on their first UK tour in the late 1980s. They were a joy to work with, immensely talented and hugely professional. I hit it off with Mitch instantly and subsequently visited with him from England on several occasions - twice in Columbia and once in Eminence. We corresponded regularly and I like to think we became close friends.

One of my favourite memories is of the Dillards performing at the Cambridge Folk Festival, where they were the penultimate act of the closing night. None of the audience had ever seen the Dillards perform in the UK, so they were very much an unknown quantity. Their first song, "Dooley" stunned the audience with the band's musical and vocal dexterity - something they had obviously done a thousand times before in the U.S. At the end of the song, Mitch took out his pipe, leaned on his upright bass and told a story in his laconic, endearing "backwoodsy" accent. I can hear it now. The punchline "I'm not saying she was a hairy girl, but when she lifted her arm two bats and a whipperwill flew out" had the audience of five thousand roaring with laughter. Ater that Mitch had the audience eating out of his hand and the Dillards stole the last night of the UK's most prestigious folk festival.

My life was made much richer by knowing Mitch. He was a one-off and I always wished he lived nearer than 5,000 miles away. Think of the laughs we could have had together. He will be much missed. My condolences to Diana, Carole and his family.

Steve Swithin