On this day in 1955, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," a song written by George Bruns & Tom Blackburn and sung by Bill Hayes, peaked at #1 on Billboard's pop singles chart. It stayed at that position until April 23!
Amazingly the song was also recorded by Fess Parker and Tennessee Ernie Ford ... all in 1955!
"The Ballad of Davy Crockett" was first introduced to audiences on Disney's TV miniseries Davy Crockett back in December 1954.
Bill Hayes, an actor & singer whose first success was on the Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca variety TV show Your Show of Shows, had the first and most successful version of the song.
Actor Fess Parker's recorded version reached #6 on the weekly charts and #31 for the year. As he played Davy Crockett for Disney, it was natural that Parker record "The Ballad of Davy Crockett"!
Tennessee Ernie Ford's version also scored very well - peaking at #4 on the weekly country chart, #5 on the weekly pop chart, and at #37 for the year! Ford, a recording artist and TV host, was already well known for his country & western, pop, and gospel music.
The song's music was written by George Bruns, an Academy Award nominated composer for film and TV. Disney fans know Bruns for his song "Yo Ho (A Pirates Life fore Me)," which he co-wrote with Xavier Atencio.
Author, screenwriter, and lyricist Tom W. Blackburn wrote the words to "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." His work can also be heard in Disney's TV mini-series Johnny Tremain and the feature Westward Ho, The Wagons!
The song was just a part of a Crockett-frenzy (which included imitation coonskin caps) that swept the U.S. during the 1950s!
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