Andy Griffith's Most Indelible Legacy: That Whistled Theme Song

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It'll be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

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Andy Griffith, star of The Andy Griffith Show, died today at age 86. He'll be remembered for all sorts of things: playing Andy Taylor and Ben Matlock on television, winning a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. It's a safe bet, though, that only one of his contributions to pop culture will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day: the infectious Andy Griffith Show theme song. Griffith wasn't actually doing the whistling in the opening credits—that was Earle Hagen. But the tune will be forever linked with Griffith and his beloved show.

Here it is:

And here's how it fits into the long, catchy history of whistled songs:

And while Griffith didn't whistle the Andy Griffith theme, he was known to sing on occasion. Here's a sweet duet he did with country star Brad Paisley back in 2008, "Waiting on a Woman":

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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