World’s fastest ‘banjo man’ films at Columbus restaurant

Published 3:27 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Brick was chosen because Taylor says it has the best pizza he&squo;s ever eaten. He records with The Music Shed, located in Columbus, and during one visit he had lunch at The Brick. Now he says he can&squo;t get enough.

Griffith said he let Taylor choose the location of the video shoot and Taylor couldn&squo;t have made a better choice. The ambience, they say, kind of reminds them of some little place in Hollywood.

&dquo;The food is good and the people are nice,&dquo; Taylor said, taking note of the decor on the walls and the aluminum can airplanes hanging from the ceiling of The Brick. &dquo;We like the character.&uot;

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Taylor was busy Thursday in Columbus recording video and autographing CDs for the lunchtime crowd at The Brick.

Taylor, a four-time Grammy nominee, began playing the banjo when he was six years old. He and his twin brother, Allen, who were known as the &dquo;Taylor Twins,&dquo; had their share of fame by playing on television shows ranging from &dquo;Hee-Haw&dquo; and the &dquo;Regis and Kathie Lee Show&dquo;&bsp; to the &dquo;Grand Ole Opry.&dquo; Allen Taylor played the guitar and the identical brothers played many venues, including concerts at the amusement parks Carowinds and Six Flags while they were growing up.

Todd Taylor since has gained the title of the fastest banjo player in the world. His credits also include appearing on CMT&squo;s &dquo;Southern Fried Home Videos&dquo; and being the first person to take a banjo song to Rick Dee&squo;s Top 40 with his banjo rendition of &dquo;Freebird.&dquo;

Taylor will be appearing in a movie soon, called &dquo;Breaking and Entering.&dquo;

Griffith played Tex, the first Vietnam victim in the movie &uot;Forest Gump&uot; that actor Tom Hanks rescued. Griffin&squo;s credits also include havng a 1993 part in the TV show, &dquo;In the Heat of the Night&dquo; and appearing in &dquo;The Program&dquo; with actors James Caan and Halle Berry. He also appeared in &dquo;Scattered Dreams,&dquo; &dquo;The Uninvited&dquo; and most recently in the movie, &dquo;Our Very Own.&dquo;

Griffith began acting while attending Lander University in South Carolina and spent years in New York and Los Angeles, Calif., before returning to the Upstate.

Taylor has lived in Florida and Nashville, Tenn., but since returning to Spartanburg says he never wants to live anywhere else. He said while at The Brick last week that he never realized how beautiful this area was until he returned.

Taylor won the &uot;Guinness Book of World Records&uot; title, he says, not for himself, but for disabled children across the world to let them know they can accomplish anything. Taylor also works every year in Hollywood with Jerry Lewis at CBS Stage-36 to help in the fight against muscular dystrophy.

Taylor will be at the Music Shed on March 20 giving a concert and signing CDs for his new release, &dquo;Bringin&squo; It&ellip; Home.&dquo; On March 20, he will make a repeat appearance on CBS&squo;s &dquo;Your Carolina&dquo; with Jack Roper and Kimberly Kelly.