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Happy Birthday, Wolverton Mountain!

Mike Sudhalter  |  April 27, 2012

One of my favorite country songs is creative, catchy and classic and based on a real life person (but not a true story) - "Wolverton Mountain."

I first discovered the song on one of those television commercials for a classic country compilation, and I've loved it ever since.

It's difficult to believe that it's been 50 years since "Wolverton Mountain" peaked on the country charts and became a crossover hit.

Claude King co-wrote the song with Merle Kilgore, who's uncle, Clifton Clowers, was born in 1891 and lived to be 103 years old. Clowers resided on Woolverton Mountain in rural Arkansas. We don't know if he had any kids.

But "Wolverton Mountain" is the fictional story of a prospective boyfriend who loves a girl on "Wolverton Mountain" but fears Mr. Clowers, and the animals who occupy the Mountain.

Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby each recorded the song in the 1960s. There's an excellent version of the song as a duet with Hank Williams Jr. and Connie Francis singing together. iTunes features a Reggae version of the song by Richie Stephens.

There was even an answer song - whatever happened to answer songs? - by JoAnne Campbell, "I'm the Girl from Wolverton Mountain," told from the daughter's perspective.

Sadly, Kilgore and Clowers have passed on. King is 89 years young and still performing the song.

It's legendary, and I encourage you to listen to as many versions of it as possible. If it gets stuck in your head, that's a good thing, in my opinion.

:: Posted at 6:23 PM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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