Friday, March 19, 2010

Passing of Fess Parker: Both "King of the Wild Frontier" and "What a Dream-Come-er-True-er Was He"

Fess Parker passed away on Thursday, March 18th. The actor was best known for playing Disney's version of American frontiersman, Davy Crockett during the mid-1950s. Later, Parker played another bigger-than-life frontiersman, Daniel Boone on the NBC television network from 1964 to 1970.

Parker became an instant icon in the early days of television and was associated with the mega-merchandising of anything coonskin, long rifle and musically related to the Crockett series. Today that first wave of mass marketing via the young TV generation defines the emergence of the modern consumer market. Crockett was gold.

While 42N's exposure to Fess Parker initially came through watching the Daniel Boone TV show, reruns of the Crockett series on Sunday night's Wonderful World of Disney introduced the popular actor to the next generation of impressionable skulls of mush.

For the Boone series, the standout episode for 42N was the first season's The Choosing (air date 10-29-1964) where Daniel accidentally cuts his leg with an axe in the wilderness while travelling with his daughter Jemima (played by Veronica Cartwright.) She patches him up and guides him through hostile territory, gets kidnapped and finally find their way back home.

42N's video tribute to Fess Parker is shown below - in full 78 rpm glory. This recording features Fess singing the theme song known as the Ballad of Davy Crockett.

Fess Parker will forever be the King of the Wild Frontier. What a dream-come-er-true-er was he. Know that.


  1. Darn it! When I click on the video, it says that it's "No Longer Available" :( I remember that song fondly, as I learned it while participating in a "Kiddie Carnival" city-wide parks parade as a kid. We had a Davey Crockett float and sang the song over and over as we rode through town. "Davey! Davey Crockett! King of the wild frontier. Born in Astor Park one sunny daaayyyy! Greatest park in all Green Baaayyy, yeah Davey...." heehee Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane :)

  2. Yea! It worked this time. That Davy; I'd love to hang out with him for a couple of days, haha.

    Thanks for the email.