The mythical television town of Mayberry, a peaceful, folksy burg presided over by the amiable, homily-dropping Sheriff Andy Taylor, was based on Mount Airy, in Surry County, N.C., the hometown of Andy Griffith. It’s also the hometown of Bill Hayes, the producer-director of this documentary about Mount Airy and its residents, both past and present.
Producer Bill Hayes spent his childhood working hard on his father’s 300-acre tobacco and dairy farm in Mount Airy, waiting for the day when he could leave small-town North Carolina to make it big.
Mount Airy has had its version of a Hollywood premiere, which produced rave reviews about the documentary “The Real Mayberry.”
The Earle Theatre downtown was packed for its debut Saturday night, when admission was by invitation only.
After a career spent creating non-fiction television programs that have aired around the world, Mount Airy native Bill Hayes realized the most compelling story needing to be told was right in his own backyard.
Many know Mayberry as the idyllic town that was home to the fictional Andy Griffith show.
A new film highlights the characters of the true Mayberry: Mount Airy, North Carolina. Filmmaker Bill Hayes, a Mount Airy native, captured the characters and places that make Mount Airy a representation of “Hometown USA.”