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Wolverton Mountain

 

Wolverton Mountain

"Wolverton Mountain"
Single by Claude King
from the album Meet Claude King
B-side "Little Bitty Heart"
Released March 1962
Genre Country
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Merle Kilgore
Claude King
Producer Don Law
Frank Jones
Claude King singles chronology

"The Comancheros"
(1961)
"Wolverton Mountain"
(1962)
"The Burning of Atlanta"
(1962)

"Wolverton Mountain" was a hit that launched Claude King's career as an American country singer/songwriter in 1962. The song was written together with Merle Kilgore and was based on a real character, Clifton Clowers, who lived on the mountain, (the mountain's name being spelled Woolverton.[1]), north of Morrilton, Arkansas. The song spent nine weeks at the top of the Billboard country chart in the US in 1962.[2] It was also a giant crossover hit, reaching number six on the pop chart [3] and number three on the easy listening chart.

Premise

The song's storyline deals with the narrator's attempt to find a wife by climbing the titular mountain. It opens with a warning to the listener not to go to Wolverton Mountain as the main character, Clifton Clowers, threatens to kill anyone, with a gun or a knife, who tries to see his beautiful, but overly protected daughter, who has "Lips that are sweeter than Honey". If anyone attempts to climb the mountain, Clifton Clowers gets a warning from the "Bears and the Birds". The narrator decides to defy Clowers and climb the mountain. What happens to the narrator is left ambiguous.

Clifton Clowers

Clifton T. Clowers was born on 30 October 1891, at Center Ridge, Arkansas, son of Thomas Jefferson and Mary Prince Clowers. In July 1919 he married Esther Bell. He was a veteran of World War I and a Deacon in Mountain View Baptist Church. He became immortalized in the 1960s when his nephew, Merle Kilgore Clowers, wrote "Wolverton Mountain".[4][5] He lived most of his life on a farm located on the northern edge of the mountain.

On his 100th birthday, Clowers was visited by the writers of the song, Claude King and Merle Kilgore.[6]

Clowers died aged 102 on Monday, 15 August 1994 at his home in Clinton, Arkansas, and was buried at the Woolverton Mountain Cemetery.

Cover and answer versions

Country singer Dickey Lee, who was still emerging on the music scene at the time, covered the song just months after it was released.

Nat King Cole covered the song for his 1962 album Ramblin' Rose.

Bing Crosby covered the song for his 1965 album Bing Crosby Sings the Great Country Hits. Jerry Lee Lewis also recorded a version of the song that year.

In 1962, Australian country and western singer Kevin Shegog recorded the song and it was a popular hit in Australia.

An answer song, I'm The Girl from Wolverton Mountain, was recorded by Jo Ann Campbell, released in August 1962:

Yes, I'm the girl from Wolverton Mountain

I wish someone would make me their wife

Great Plains covered the song in 1997. Writer Merle Kilgore praised Great Plains' cover, saying that it was the first time since King's original that the "magic" had been recaptured.[7]

Chart performance

Chart (1962) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot C&W Sides 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 6
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 3

References

External links

  • Template:MetroLyrics song
Preceded by
"She Thinks I Still Care"
by George Jones
Billboard Hot C&W Sides
number-one single

June 30-August 25, 1962
Succeeded by
"Devil Woman"
by Marty Robbins
Preceded by
"I Fall to Pieces"
by Patsy Cline
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single of the year

1962
Succeeded by
"Still"
by Bill Anderson


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