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Claude King Dies: Country Singer Did Chart-Topping Hits in the 60s

By Alex Johnston
Epoch Times Staff
Created: March 7, 2013 Last Updated: March 29, 2013
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Claude King dies: The country singer who spent weeks at the top of the charts in 1962 for “Wolverton Mountain” has died. Claude King was 90.

Claude King, a country music singer who had a string of hits in the 1960s, died at his Louisiana home this week. He was 90.

His son, Duane King, said that he discovered that his father was unresponsive in bed, according to Billboard.  

King, who was born in 1923 in Keithville, Louisiana, is possibly best-known for the song “Wolverton Mountain” in 1962.

He was also a member of the Louisiana Hayride, a television show where Hank Williams Sr., Elvis Presley, and Tex Ritter started. The show, which lasted from 1948 to 1960, greatly helped popularize various types of music, including country, western swing, jazz, gospel, and blues.

King was on many of the same shows as Williams and Presley.

In 1961, he signed with Columbia Records on the label’s country division.

“Wolverton Mountain” sold more than a million singles and essentially launched King’s career. The song spent nine weeks on the Billboard country chart in 1962 and crossed over to reach number six on the pop chart.

He followed up that success with the “The Burning Of Atlanta,” a song about the U.S. Civil War, and more singles throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

King had just celebrated his 67th anniversary with his wife, Barbara, last month, according to The Associated Press.

“Claude was a legend in the Louisiana music industry, one of the greatest songwriters, and a wonderful friend,” Maggie Warwick, who owns the Louisiana Hayride trademark, told AP.

She added: “He had a gift for melody and lyrics that was very definable. The range and melody and the feeling that goes with his songs, when you hear it, it’s very unique and identifiable with Claude King. He had a personal style that was all his own.”

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