Jewel Box Concert at the Thomas Center Brings Nostalgic Mayberry to Gainesville


The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc., welcomes cast member of the famed television series “The Andy Griffith Show” and music legend Rodney Dillard to the next Jewel Box Concert at the Thomas Center on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Guitarist Dillard will be joined by the Walker Brothers, which is comprised of Jarrod Walker, the mandolinist and member of the Claire Lynch Band; Tyler Walker, the guitarist and former member of the Sierra Hull Band, and Corey Walker, who is a regular guest of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, on banjo. The evening features dazzling instrumentals and vocals, along with stories from the set of “The Andy Griffith Show.”  Doors open at 6 p.m., and the concert begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $20, and VIP seating is $30 at the door. Seating is limited, but tickets may be purchased in advance online at

Dillard was already the lead singer of the well-established bluegrass band The Dillards when the group appeared on “The Andy Griffith Show” between 1963 and 1966 as “The Darlings.” He has had a long and varied career, resulting in two Grammy nominations, induction into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and many other movie, commercials and TV appearances. Additionally, he is recipient of the Outstanding Missourian Award, and has garnered worldwide acclaim for his more than 50 years of recording both traditional bluegrass and his own brand of “Dillardgrass.” As founding member of the legendary group The Dillards (aka The Darlings), Dillard is seen nearly every day somewhere in the world thanks to the continued popularity of “The Andy Griffith Show” reruns.

“We are always looking for a unique and memorable experience at our Jewel Box Concerts and this show will not only takes you back with its music, but mentally put you right in the set of the making of Mayberry, where life was almost perfect. We all grew up with Andy, Opie, Barney and Aunt Bee!" says Ernie Evans, vice president of Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc.

Samples of an evening at Mayberry and additional information is available at A photograph of Rodney Dillard may be viewed at

Dinner will be available for purchase on site along with, coffee, bottled water and beverages. Customers may bring their favorite wine or champagne, and an attendant will tend their bottle. Plastic cups will be provided, but guests are welcome to bring their own glass.

The Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center will continue its concert series Thursday, Feb.8, 2018 with IBMA Vocalist of the Year and IBMA Guitarist of the Year Kenny & Amanda Smith.  More information is available at

The Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. The ticket office for the Jewel Box Concerts can be reached at 904-886-8378.

For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at or 352-393-8532, or contact Ernie Evans, the vice president of Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc. at or 904-886-8378.