Andy Griffith during GRAMMY Salute to Gospel Music at Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California, United States. (P
Rick Diamond

It was pretty depressing to wake up today and find out that Andy Griffith—an actor whose popularity on TV spanned an astonishing four decades—had passed away at age 86. Sad, but hardly a shock—even Matlock can't live forever (only in reruns).

But what did surprise me during my honorary perusal of his Wikipedia page was learning that the TV legend was also a GRAMMY Award-winning gospel singer. Not long after Matlock wrapped, Griffith turned his attention toward a bluegrass-tinged gospel album called I Love to Tell The Story: 25 Timeless Hymns. And unlike the vast majority of celebrity vanity albums, Griffith's was well-received within its field. Not only did the LP go platinum, but it won a freakin' GRAMMY in 1997 for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album—a category Alison Krauss had taken just two years earlier.

You can take a listen to Griffith's take on the Billy Graham favorite "How Great Thou Art" below (someone has already matched Griffith's version to a montage of his life... the Internet never sleeps). Honestly, Griffith's music is probably not going to turn the unrepentant heathen into a believer, but he demonstrates a full-bodied voice that is all the more impressive when you realize the guy was 70 when he recorded this song.

What do you think of Griffith's gospel music? Btw, you can take a listen to his full Grammy-winning album over on Spotify. And just because, here's the Matlock music, one of the greatest TV theme songs ever.