Pop Archives

Kevin Shegog - Wolverton Mountain (1962)

(Merle Kilgore - Claude King)
Australia Australia
#3 Melbourne #1 Perth

Single on W&G. Co-charted in Perth with Claude King's original.

Kevin Shegog: Popular country singer and songwriter (1933-2000), originally from Tasmania, who recorded prolifically for W&G in Melbourne.

This version was a much-played track on Victorian radio, as was Shegog's classic self-penned record One Small Photograph (1961).

On CD: on Canetoad's Ballad of a Hillbilly Singer [Amazon]

Other Australian artists who have recorded Wolverton Mountain include The Singing Kettles, and independent country singer Steve O'Connor from Tatura, Vic, who had an international airplay hit with his version in 2003.

Further reading: Chris Spencer's review of Ballad Of A Hillbilly Singer from Howlspace [archived page].

Thank you to Susan Shegog for correction.

Claude King - Wolverton Mountain (1962)

(Merle Kilgore - Claude King)
Original version
#6 USA #1 Sydney #1 Brisbane #2 Adelaide #1 Perth

Single on Columbia. Co-charted in Perth with Kevin Shegog's cover version.

The song is about mountain man Clifton Clowers' unreasonable restriction of his fair young daughter's dating rights. And he has a gun and a knife!

Claude King, born in Shreveport LA, and co-writer Merle Kilgore, who grew up in Shreveport, both had successful and varied careers in country music. Claude King (b. 1923) had a number of hits on the country charts, although Wolverton Mountain was his only mainstream hit. Merle Kilgore (1934-2005), who also worked in radio, films and management, wrote the Johnny Horton hit Johnny Reb and, with June Carter, Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire. (AMGC)

Other versions: In the US in the 60s, singles of Wolverton Mountain were released by Farley Wayne (on Hit, 1962), Jo Ann Castle (Dot, 1963), Kai Winding (Verve, 1964) and Travis Wammack (1969). Other singers who recorded it include Johnny Horton, Webb Pierce, Don Gibson, Faron Young, Hank Williams Jr, Conway Twitty, Nat 'King' Cole, Pat Boone, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bill Haley. Groups that recorded it include The Brothers Four, The Downliners Sect, The Sir Douglas Quintet, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Foster & Allen.

Dorothy Baker - I’m The Girl From Wolverton Mountain (1962)

(Merle Kilgore - Claude King)
Australia Australia
Later version
#5 Melbourne #9 Perth

Single on W&G label, Melbourne. Co-charted in Perth with US version by Jo Anne Campbell.

Dorothy Baker recorded Kevin Shegog compositions Darling (1963, #27 Melbourne) and his classic One Small Photograph

The lyrics of Dorothy Baker’s version differ a little from those recorded by Jo Anne Campbell. Click here to view the Dorothy Baker lyrics, and here for the Jo Anne Campbell lyrics (links open .pdf documents).

Thanks to Charles Quick for lyrics research and transcriptions.

Jo Ann Campbell - I’m The Girl From Wolverton Mountain (1962)

(Merle Kilgore - Claude King)
Later version
#38 USA #25 Sydney #21 Brisbane #28 Adelaide #9 Perth

Original version with these lyrics

 Co-charted in Perth with Dorothy Baker's Australian cover version.

Clifton Clowers' daughter sings from Wolverton Mountain in defiance of her scary dad: answer record written by the authors of the original.

Jo Ann Campbell was a former drum majorette from Jacksonville FA, also remembered for the gloriously silly Kookie Little Paradise, her bigger hit in Australia (#5 Sydney, #7 Melbourne, #7 Brisbane #5 Adelaide). More on Kookie Little Paradise at PopArchives: The Blog.

See also You're Driving Me Mad, recorded in Australia by Judy Stone.

In some discographies the title is shown as (I'm The Girl On) Wolverton Mountain but the record label shows I'm The Girl From Wolverton Mountain.

Further reading: See the Blonde Bombshell page at Blackcat Rockabilly. Butcher Pete's Wang Dang Dula! has a discography.

Image: Label shot from 45Cat.com's listing of the single.

El Clod - Tijuana Border (1962)

(Claude King [lyrics probably by Marty Cooper])
Later version


Single on Challenge label, produced by H.B. Barnum and Marty Cooper.

H.B. Barnum (b. Hidle Brown Barnum, 1936) wrote (I Say) You’re Driving Me Crazy, recorded in Australia by Del Juliana: more about him at that page.

Marty Cooper is the lead singer. He also recorded El Clod parodies of The Crystals’ He’s A Rebel (He’s Not A Rebel, 1963) and Lorne Greene’s Ringo (Gringo, 1965).

Cooper rates a brief biography at IMDb thanks to some soundtrack appearances, but the full extent of his career is revealed at Spectropop’s four detailed pages inspired by his association with Jack Nitzsche.

In Tijuana Border, the obstacle to true love is a border river crossing instead of a mountainside, and the young lady’s lips are "hotter than chili", not "sweeter than honey". See Mr Music’s account of the song; also mentioned at BSN’s Challenge discography.

Betty Luther - I’m Going Down Wolverton Mountain (1962)

(Mack Parker)
Later version

Single on Toppa label ("Tops ’em all") in Covina, CA. The B-side, Hearts Don’t Break, was also written by Mack Parker.

Betty Luther, born Elizabeth Frazier (early 1940s), also recorded for the All label, in Whittier, CA (Kiss Alicia Ann/Red Roses And Violets, 1963).

See the photo of ‘Betty Luther – Performer’ at Corrigan Movie Ranch’s page of past employees (see the full page here).

Betty Luther is still recording (2006) in Oklahoma, and last time I heard from her she was about to release Circle Of Love Singers, a CD recorded with her family.

Thanks to Betty Luther, Larry Frazier and Kees van der Hoeven.

Cliff Adams - Keep Off My Mountain (1962)

(Merle Kilgore - Claude King - Bob Feldman - Terry Goldstein - Richard Gottehrer)
Later version

Single on Dot label.

Another answer to Wolverton Mountain, from Old Man Clowers' point of view.

Listen at Rocky-52.net.