kil at roadrunner.com kil at roadrunner.com
Thu Mar 7 21:31:08 PST 2013

Claude King died Thursday morning.  I found at least one 78 by him on Specialty from his Louisiana Hayride days.  

This obit is from Pure Country Music....

 Claude King, a Country Music Legend, has passed away. He died on the morning of March 7th at age 90 of unknown causes. King made Clifton Clowers a household name in 1962 and by extension secured his own place in country music history. He was at home in Shreveport, Louisiana at the time of his death.

King never strayed far from his Lousiana roots as he was born in Keithville just a few short miles from Shreveport. At a young age, his love of baseball pushed him to excel to the point where he recieved a baseball scholarship to the Universtiy of Idaho at Moscow. After college and a stint in the Navy, however, Claude came back home to Louisiana where he joined the Lousiana Hayride in the early 50's. Hayride is by-and-large considered the show that launched the careers of many unknowns from the late 40s until the early 60s including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, George Jones and King himself. During his early days on Hayride, Claude recorded a few songs but none were successful.

That all changed with his signing on to Columbia Records' Nashville division in 1961. Claude began to focus more on his career and in short order he had a top 10 hit on his hands with "Big River, Big Man" which even had small pop crossover success. But it was his hit in 1962 that really put Claude King on the map -- "Wolverton Mountain." The song was written by Merle Kilgore about his uncle, Clifton Clowers, who did indeed live on Wolverton Mountain in Arkansas. The song became an instant hit and stayed at number one for nine weeks during a 26-week run on Billboard's country chart. The song sold over a million copies and hit gold disc status. 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of that hit song.

More information about the 78-L mailing list