The Ballad of Davy Crockett


The Ballad of Davy Crockett
"The Ballad of Davy Crockett"
Ballad, Folk song by The Wellingtons
Recorded 1954
Label Walt Disney Records
Writer George Bruns music
Thomas W. Blackburn lyrics

"The Ballad of Davy Crockett" is a song with music by George Bruns and lyrics by Thomas W. Blackburn.

The first recording of the song was made by Fess Parker, quickly followed by versions by Bill Hayes[1] and Tennessee Ernie Ford (recorded February 7, 1955). All three versions made the Billboard charts: Hayes' version made #1 on the weekly chart (from March 26 through April 23, 1955) and #7 for the year, Parker's reached #6 on the weekly charts and #31 for the year, while Ford's peaked at #4 on the weekly country chart and #5 on the weekly pop chart and charted at #37 for the year. A fourth version, by bluegrass singer Mac Wiseman, reached #10 on the radio charts in May 1955.[2] The song also reached #1 on the Cash Box charts, from March 26 through May 14, 1955. A contemporary version also exists of the famous Western singing group the Sons of the Pioneers. Over ten million copies of the song were sold.[3]

The song was introduced on the television miniseries Davy Crockett, first telecast on December 15, 1954, on ABC's Disneyland. Fess Parker played the role of Davy Crockett and continued in four other episodes made by Walt Disney Studios. It was sung by The Wellingtons. Buddy Ebsen co-starred as George "Georgie" Russel, and Jeff York played legendary boatman Mike Fink.

Contents

The Crockett craze

To publicise the 1955 film Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (released in Britain in 1956), Walt Disney Productions launched a massive marketing campaign in the UK in order to make the country's youth "Crockett conscious." There was already a "Crockett craze" in the U.S., where the episodes had become wildly popular. Crockett merchandise was produced en masse, the most iconic item being the imitation coonskin cap. The craze became immensely popular amongst schoolchildren, and the ballad made its way across the Atlantic Ocean.[4] A French version by Annie Cordy was number 1 for 5 weeks in France in August of 1956.

The Crockett phenomenon is referenced in books of the time such as Back in the Jug Agane, one of the Molesworth series by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle.

The craze was referenced in the film Back to the Future, which is set predominantly in 1955. In the film, the Fess Parker version of the song is heard on a jukebox and, in a later scene, one of Lorraine Baines' brothers appears wearing a coonskin cap. The song is sung by the characters Henry and Sammy in the Country Bear Jamboree The 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox opens with the eponymous fox playing the song on his belt radio.

Covers

References

  1. ^ DAVY CROCKETT(TV 1954)George Bruns- Recordman #110
  2. ^ Billboard, May 28, 1955, Most Played By Jockeys, p. 58
  3. ^ Reporter-News Online: Texas News - The life, legend of Davy Crockett
  4. ^ Opie, The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren

External links

Preceded by
Melody of Love
Billy Vaughn & Orchestra / David Carroll & Orchestra / Four Aces
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record

March 26, 1955–May 14, 1955 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Unchained Melody"
Les Baxter & Orchestra / Al Hibbler / Roy Hamilton

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