1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 6 (USA)
5 x 52 minute episodes
In 1955, after the embarrassments of Korea and McCarthy, the American public was hungry for bigger-than-life heroes who won clear-cut victories. The kind of heroes who didn’t have to compromise. The kind who made America great!
Enter Tennesseean Davy Crockett – defender of underdogs and democracy.
Wearing buckskin and a coonskin cap and carrying ‘ol’ Betsy’ (his rifle), he took on renegade Indians, pirates, river rat Mike Fink, and – in a fatal mistake – hordes of Mexicans at the Alamo.
Originally a three-part “Frontierland” segment of Disneyland, Davy Crockett fuelled a nation-wide craze so intense and unexpected that it even shocked Walt Disney himself.
In about seven months over $100 million worth of Davy Crockett items were sold, including coonskin caps, toy rifles, lunch boxes, knives, camping gear, cameras, books, records, jigsaw puzzles etc.
Actor Fess Parker made something of a speciality of coonskin roles, going on to star as Daniel Boone.
The theme song The Ballad of Davy Crockett was recorded 16 times in 1955. Three versions made the Billboard Top 10 in a single month, including the #1 version by Bill Hayes.
Disney billed his hero as ‘King of the Wild Frontier’, but historians were appalled at the public’s fanatical acceptance of the legend, and protested that he was never king of anything and, in fact, had been a juvenile delinquent who ran away from home at the age of 13 and became a wife deserter, a coward and a lousy congressman who had bought his way out of the army.
When the real Crockett claimed that he had shot 105 bears in nine months, his contemporaries refused to believe a word of it, on the sensible ground that “Davy couldn’t count that high”.
Big Foot Mason
General Andrew Jackson
Major Tobias Norton
Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter | Davy Crockett Goes to Congress | Davy Crockett at the Alamo | Davy Crockett’s Keelboat Race | Davy Crockett and the River Pirates