From the Land of Band Box Records

The Boomers’ Arrive – First Vinyl!

October 2, 2015

Rock and Roll?

Rock and Roll was not ushered in by the Baby Boom generation of which I am a founding member (born 1946).  No, Rock and Roll came about through the courageous endorsement of our brothers and sisters who are often neglected or forgotten due to the thunderous and overwhelming arrival of the Baby Boomers at the conclusion of WWII.

But enough about that!  The point is – when did the Boomers first assert themselves in the world of vinyl?  Elvis?  Bill Haley? Any number of Doo-Wop Groups? Hardly.  Sure – even at the tender age of say 8 or 9 years old – we may have mimicked our older siblings lead – latching on to those vintage rock n rollers – but fact is – we weren’t even drawing an allowance during that long-ago time – and 45’s cost one buck back then!

But everything took a turn in 1955 when – even at that young age – we first stepped up to the plate and demonstrated our sheer numbers influencing the hit record charts.

The Event/Recording?

Non other than “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”!  With Walt Disney’s Television series came the release of several versions of Davy’s theme song:  Tennessee Ernie had a version – Fess Parker had a version but the biggie was by Bill Hayes:  All the way to number 1 in February of 1955 remaining there for 5 weeks.  Parker’s version would rise to number 5 as would Ernie Ford’s.  Yes – this was the first Baby Boomer hit record.  We borrowed money from our siblings – We begged our parents to purchase a copy.  We all sang along – We wore coonskins caps – and we were glued to the TV set each week right up to that moment in time when Davy went heroically down giving them “what fer”!

HAYES BILL - 1955 01 A




  1. Fess Parker had the hit version for those of us in the New York media market. I remember what a phenomenon the show was – my Cub Scout pack’s meeting night was on Davy Crockett night; they tried to compete with the show, even brought in a projection TV (they had them then) which failed miserably, and the entire pack tried to gather around an 8-inch screen to watch it. The next month, the meeting was changed to one day later in the week to avoid the conflict!

    Yeah, it was THAT big.

    But Bill Hayes sounded like “some adult” crooning it; Fess Parker sounded like, well, Davy Crockett!

  2. I just noticed that the Cadence catalog number for Bill Hayes is CCS 1 – Cadence CHILDREN’S Series. Yikes!

  3. A lot, I’m sure, but considering the number of garbage cans they ransack in this part of the country, not enough!

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