Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Morning Vault: Skeeter Davis--The End of The World

     There is a healthy crossover between country and pop artists on the charts anymore, but at one time (prior to Garth Brooks), it was more the exception than the rule. Before Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton made it commonplace for female country artists to cross from country into pop, there was Patsy Cline, but even more so, Skeeter Davis.
      Skeeter was born Mary Penick in Dry Ridge, Kentucky in 1931. Her dad started calling her Skeeter due to her being so full of energy as a child (in this area, a 'Skeeter' is a slang term for a mosquito) She had success in gospel then country in the 50's as the other half of the duo, "The Davis Sisters", although partners Betty Jack Davis and later Betty's sister Georgia were not related to Mary.
     She retired from music in 1956, but returned a couple of years later to focus on a solo career. 1960 brought her success on the pop charts with two top 40 hits, "(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too" and "My Last Date (With You)". Her next placement on the charts would be in 1963 with the massive hit, "The End of The World".
     Written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee, and produced by Chet Adkins, the song not only was a hit on the country and pop charts, but has become the most successful crossover hit in history. The song peaked at #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts, #2 on the pop charts, #2 on the country charts, and #4 on the R&B chart!
     The song has been covered many times, and although Davis would score another top 10 pop hit that year, "I Can't Stay Mad At You", she would always be identified by this song. She had a total of 8 songs in the top 100, with 4 of them in the top 40. Her hit making in country would last well into the 70's, and would be a concert favorite up to near her death in 2004.


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