Friday, 19 March 2010


a fond farewell to


Walt Disney's Davy Crockett,

hero of our 50's youth

Like all former kids of a certain age, Fess Parker's TV portrayal of Davy Crockett for Walt Disney was a cultural milestone in our young lives.

I had the privilege of interviewing Fess for one of my BBC radio series and even managed to get him to sing me a verse of that famous 'Ballad' by George Bruns and Tom Blackburn that was originally (and ironically) written just to bulk out the TV show which was running under time! A number one hit and several million copies later, it became the song by which many of still remember a particular year in the 1950s!

And, if you weren't part of the Crockett generation, then here's a glimpse into what all the fuss was about...

Fess went on to appear in a several Disney feature films - The Great Locomotive Chase, Old Yeller and Westward Ho, the Wagons! - before playing another iconic western hero, Daniel Boone.

But it is as 'The King of the Wild Frontier" that he will always be remembered.

Fess Elisha Parker, Jnr
August 16, 1924 – March 18, 2010

King of the Wild Frontier

"He's ahead of us all in meeting the test,
followin' his legend
right into the West..."


scb said...

We didn't have television until 1960, so although I can sing the Ballad of Davy Crockett from memory (likely learned from episodes re-aired on The Wonderful World of Disney/Wonderful World of Color, it is as Daniel Boone that I best remember Fess Parker. (And yes, I can sing that "Daniel Boone was a man, was a bi-i-ig man, and he fought for America to make all Americans free -- what a boon, what a doer, what a dream-come-a-truer was he!")

Farewell to that dream-come-a-truer!

Andy J. Latham said...

Another very sad loss :(

Do you ever feel like this is somewhat of an obituary blog now Brian?! I hope people hold off from popping their clogs for a while to give you a break from the sad posts!

Suzanne said...

I remember that too even though i'm a little bit younger. No more comments from me for a while... i'm all plasterd up.
broods: fond childhood memories of a particular song

Brian Sibley said...

SCB - As a lyric, "dream-come-truer" is almost Disneyesque!

ANDY - Sorry! I'll try not to do so many. I think it's an age thing - the last of my childhood heroes all seem to be finally heading off into the West...

SUZANNE - Hope you'll sober up soon! ;) We'll miss you...

suzanne said...

(typed very slowly with 1 hand): thanks for the alcoholic reputation!!!

Brian Sibley said...

I actually thought you were doing DIY as in 'plastering'! I really wouldn't have made such a naff joke otherwise -- unless of course, the accident involved too much alcohol!! ;)

I won't ask what happened because you'll only have to embark on another painful typing session. Hope the cast comes off soon!

Jen said...

Like scb I grew up without tv so the radio was vital. Dear old Uncle Mac & Children's Favourites, that's where I learned the words of the Davy Crockett song & many others. Have a look at
Another sad broadcasting obit.but great they live on through their work.

Notoro: the sound of a lasso whirling