Sign up for newsletter
 

Claude King, of "Wolverton Mountain" fame, dies at 90

Friday, March 8, 2013 – Claude King, 90, a member of the Louisiana Hayride, best known for his 1962 hit Wolverton Mountain, died Thursday.

King was born in Keithville, La. He was more interested in sports than music, but he later joined Louisiana Hayride, a TV and radio show produced in Shreveport and broadcast in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Elvis Presley got his start on the Hayride, which featured many country stars.

King recorded for Gotham Records, producing no hits. By 1961, he signed with Columbia Record, and his career took off. His first 3 songs made the top 10, starting with Big River, Big Man and The Comancheros, a song inspired by a John Wayne movie of the same name. Both got as high as seven on the charts.

His next single was his biggest hit ever, Wolverton Mountain, which was first on the country chart for nine weeks starting in May 1962. The song was written with Nashville writer Merle Kilgore and based on Clifton Clowers, who lived on Woolverton Mountain in Arkansas. Clowers was Kilgore's uncle. The song sold more than 1 million copies.

King had a slew of top 20 hits through 1966, including an American Civil War song, The Burning Of Atlanta, I've Got The World By The Tail, Sheepskin Valley, Building a Bridge and Hey Lucille!

The hits continued in 1964 with Sam Hill, and in 1965, he was back in the top 10 with Tiger Woman, co-written by Kilgore. King continued charting regularly until 1972, although between 1967 and 1972, he had only had 1 song made the top 10, All For the Love of a Girl in 1969, which reached number 9.

King also was an actor, appearing in "Swamp Girl" and Year of the Yahoo" and on TV in the miniseries "The Blue And the Gray."

King celebrated his 67th wedding anniversary last month with his wife, Barbara.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»