Andy Griffith's Tampa performance - FOX 13 News

Andy Griffith's Tampa performance

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White House photo by Paul Morse White House photo by Paul Morse
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The death of Andy Griffith was sad news for several generations of Americans who grew up watching him on shows like 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Matlock.'

But back before he was Sheriff Taylor, Griffith was known as a singer and critically acclaimed Broadway star.  It was during those days that he performed in Tampa.

Way back on July 31, 1955, Griffith was the headlining act in a two-show performance at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in west Tampa.

Photos from the day show the billboard proclaiming Griffith's "first time in Tampa," along with some of the supporting acts.

Those other names included WTVT's own Ernie Lee and a young rock 'n roll star -- described in the show's program as "one of the newest and most exciting new personalities in the hillbilly field" -- named Elvis Presley.

The pictures are from a book about Elvis called "The King on the Road" by Robert Gordon.  You can see the photos and learn more on this website:

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