In addition to the Bill Hayes version of “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett,” we had three other versions of the song also make the pop chart—the Voices Of Walter Schuman, Tennessee Ernie Ford and…
Fess Parker, who starred as Davy Crockett in the celebrated and famous Davy Crockett series on the Disneyland TV show. When the Disney people were done filming the TV series, they came up short with this show timewise. So…somebody figured a song was needed. Tom Blackburn and George Bruns wrote “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett” in about 20 minutes. All told, the song sold collectively 18 million copies.
The popularity of the Disney “Davy Crockett” series led to thousands of kids wanting coonskin caps to wear…and the three-part series was turned into the movie, “Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier.” However, the movie was pretty what everyone had already seen on TV, so thousands of people walked out on the movie. Still, the frenzy also included comic books, lunch boxes and trading cards. One set of Davy Crockett cards can be yours today for roughly $1500.
The reason for featuring this song is because Monday marks the 181st anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. We must never forget the 187 brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice on March 6, 1836. The exact number ot those who defending the Alamo has never been really known but 187 is the one figure I've heard the most. Historians have estimated the number of Alamo defender casualties between 182 and 237. Three weeks later on March 27, 1836, about 400 more Texicans were executed in Goliad, Texas.
Contrary to the way the final battle was depicted in the various Alamo movies, that final battle didn't last 10-15 minutes. Instead, it was more like 90 minutes. Moreover, this was not a total defeat for Davy Crockett, James Bowie, William Barret Travis and the others who perished. Santa Anna's troup strength was significantly weakened with between 400 and 1300 casualties (sources differ). Later on April 21, 1836, Sam Houston's army beat Santa Anna's forces in the battle of San Jacinto, leading eventually to independence for Texas.
TOMORROW: THE MOST SUCCESSFUL GROUP IN THE HISTORY OF THE R&B CHART TAKES ITS SIGNATURE SONG TO #1 POP
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