The Dillards frequently appeared on "The Andy Griffith Show."

The Dillards frequently appeared on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

In the last two days, two of our classmates have sent remembrances of John Muir Junior High School, one of the feeder schools for Burbank High.

The first came from Steve Raine, who reported the death of Doug Dillard on May 16, 2012 at the age of 75. If you, like me, didn’t remember who the Dillards were, they were a bluegrass group from Salem, Missouri, who gave evening performances in the Muir auditorium all three years that we were there 1962-1965. The group consisted of Doug Dillard, Rod Dillard, Dean Webb, Mitch Jayne, playing banjo, guitar, mandolin and double bass.

According to an obituary in the New York Times,Doug Dillard was a banjo virtuoso who helped to “introduce a generation of listeners to bluegrass and ended the decade as an early advocate of country-rock.” Steve remembers “They had a playful sense of humor, poking fun at themselves for their ‘Ozark roots’.  They were very popular with the Muir students.” One of Steve’s banjo teachers–Bill Knopf–has a music degree from UCLA.  When Doug (Dillard) produced a book, Bill was the one who provided the music tablature  Bill  has an article on Doug coming out in the July BANJO NEWSLETTER.

The other message came from Kenda Vaughan, who posted this photo of the John Muir directors and accompanists on her FaceBook page. Sitting at the piano is Cheryl Boyd and next to her is Linda Duffendack (BHS ’67). Marilyn Williams is on the far left, I’m next, and next to me is Kenda Vaughan. Anyone else recognize the other girls in the photo? I know that quite a few of us are still accompanying! The teachers at the bottom are Carroll Manning – with the glasses (orchestra) and Graham Young (chorus).

I do have one vivid memory of Mr. Manning scolding the pianists who were all assigned to play in the percussion section. He said we weren’t playing the bass drum forcefully enough!

The directors and accompanists of John Muir Junior High.

The directors and accompanists of John Muir Junior High.

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2 responses »

  1. Alan Landros says:

    Kathy, I’m sure the girl on the other side of you, at far left in the photo, is Marilyn Williams Peterson, BHS ’67. She is a professional pianist and organist, as her mother, Jovita Williams, was as well. Marilyn had a CD of her music come out a year or so ago. She and her husband, John Peterson, BHS ’65, live in Nevada, and last year she was a finalist in the “Mrs. Nevada” pageant.

    Carroll Manning was also the Choir Director of the old First Baptist Church, at Fairmount and Glenoaks, for many years through the 1950’s and into the early 60’s. His wife was Alice, and their daughter was Marsha.

  2. Steven Lester says:

    I can remember that Mr. Young played a mean trumpet every year during Muir’s Talent Show. I really enjoyed his Choir instruction as well. I remember that one year we sang a medley of old Presidential campaign songs and another year we learned the song “Summertime”. I still remember every word of that song to this day. Mr. Young never had any trouble with the teenage boys in the class, and he never lost his temper, unlike Mr. Manning.

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