Grundy County Sheriffs lip syncs The Dillards

As the lip sync challenge continues to make its way across the United States via Facebook, more and more police departments are taking on the challenge and helping to show a more light-hearted side of law enforcement. Yesterday, we highlighted Sheriff Bryan Ward of Hardy County, WV, who offered viewers a simple yet heartfelt version of Blue Highway’s Wondrous Love. Today, we have the men of the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department in Altamont, TN, channeling the Dillards – or as most folks outside the world of bluegrass know them, the “Darlings.”

The county sheriff and several other officers within the department take part in the video, doing a fine impersonation of the solemn Darling brothers singing Dooley, complete with bluegrass – and sort-of-bluegrass- instruments. According to Sheriff Clint Shrum, they picked Dooley for several reasons.

“We wanted something simple and family-oriented,” Shrum said. “If anyone has ever watched The Andy Griffith Show they remember the Darlings. Second, just this spring Bluegrass Underground made Grundy County their home. The Caverns, located in Pelham, TN, houses Bluegrass Underground. This has been a huge draw for our county.”

Additionally, Shrum said they chose the song to honor the memory of Berry Dooley, a former law enforcement officer who worked for over 40 years in and around Grundy County. “Most of his career was dedicated to the people of Grundy,” Shrum said. “He was a legend in these parts so we wanted it to be sort of a private tribute to him.”

While the officers in the video appear to be playing along with the song, only three of them are actually musicians. Shrum, who is playing guitar, plays drums. Deputy Avery McGinness, who is behind Shrum on the banjo, plays guitar. Deputy Greg Shadwick, who is on the other banjo, is currently learning to play it. Also appearing in the video are Chief Tony Bean (mandolin), Deputy Billy Harris (garden hoe), Sgt. T.J. Bean (shovel), Sgt. Larry Sims (stand-up bass), and SRO Jeremy Thomas (jug). 

You can watch the video on Facebook.

Even the inmates in Grundy County contributed to the video. While most of the instruments were the officers’ own or borrowed from their churches, an inmate made the mandolin and stand-up bass for them. 

Let’s keep the bluegrass lip syncs coming!  

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About the Author

John Curtis Goad

John Goad is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, with a Masters degree in both History and Appalachian Studies from ETSU.