“The Ballad of Davy Crockett” goes # 1 today (1955)!

March 26, 2010  
Filed under Music

Some of you may want to get those musty coonskin caps out of storage from grandma`s attic (or cellar), dust em off and put er on. Today, March 26th, is the anniversary of when The Ballad of Davy Crockett went to # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. This was in 1955, mind you, and it stayed there for 5 weeks straight. Bill Hayes sung the lengthy, yet stirring ballad; Bill (don`t have much baggage on Bill) is an actor who played Doug Williams on Days of Our Lives.

The song was the theme for the popular Disney mini-series, starring Fess Parker (Fess just died on March 18th) as Davy Crockett, Buddy Ebsen as Georgie Russell and Jeff York as the feisty, ornery Mike Fink. I experienced this Crockett craze when just two and three years old. My first lesson in massive marketing! The Bob Bullock State History Museum here in Austin has a fantastic exhibit of all things Crockett, with a full array of ephemera (artifacts not junk) from that era.

This blitzkrieg of a marketing frenzy has a downside too. It wasn`t so terrific in terms of historical accuracy, regarding the life and achievements of one David Crockett (The real story is interesting enough as is) . Then John Wayne (The Duke) comes along with his movie, The Alamo, in 1960 and the legend gets even more bent out of shape. But the line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance rings true here:

“This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” “Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee. Greenest state in the land of the free, raised in the woods, so he knew ev`ry tree, kilt him a b`ar when he was only three. Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.”  (source-Wikipedia)

Comments

One Response to ““The Ballad of Davy Crockett” goes # 1 today (1955)!”

  1. JIM HENRY on March 26th, 2010 1:39 pm

    I have already broken it out and it still fits after all these years. Actually, I repurchased one about ten years back and it is great for a formal occasion, Tail out, of coarse. The only problem is that has to be extremely cold in order to wear it because it is so warm and also you need to keep one eye open for the PETA nuts.

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