Singer-songwriter Claude King, an original member of the Louisiana Hayride, has died, reports The Tennessean. According to his oldest son, Claude was found unresponsive in his bed the morning of Thursday, March 7 at his home in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was 90.
Best known for the 1962 hit “Wolverton Mountain,” Claude celebrated his birthday and 67th wedding anniversary to his wife Barbara last month. He was an original member of the Louisiana Hayride, the Saturday night show where Elvis Presley got his start.
“Claude was a legend in the Louisiana music industry, one of the greatest songwriters, and a wonderful friend,” Maggie Warwick, owner of the Louisiana Hayride trademark and the production company, Louisiana Hayride Co., said. “Claude and Tillman Franks were on the Hayride from the very beginning.”
Claude was known for his guitar playing and his talent for writing. “He had a gift for melody and lyrics that was very definable,” Maggie Warwick continued. “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.”
His hit “Wolverton Mountain” told the story of mountain man Clifton Clowers, who kept suitors from his daughter. The song spent nine weeks at the top of Billboard‘s country songs chart and peaked at No. 6 on the pop chart. Listen to the song below: