If blogging is supposed to have an element of timeliness then I have given up on that ideal. After all – I am still writing about stuff from the NAIS annual conference in February.
Fess Parker died in March and while my mind went instantly to the Davy Crockett craze of my childhood, it’s only now that I have found the time to write about it. Maybe I can argue that reflection is a good thing and immediacy overrated – like fast food versus slow blogging.
I’m not sure I saw the film – released in the UK in 1956 – but I do remember the loud lines of children waiting to get into the Gaumont in Regent Circus, Swindon. They went around the corner in one direction and down the alley in the other.
The Walt Disney advance publicity team had done their job well. Children across the UK were in the thrall of the commercial craze for everything from ‘coon skin hats with the requisite tail down the back (my brother made mordant comments about the disappearance of cats) to Davy Crockett charms, bracelets, transfers and nougat bars.
It was a merchandising miracle.
The Ballad of Davy Crockett opened with
Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee
and went to the top of the hit parade. But in a flash, in that other miracle – the instant viral transmission of children’s lore – other versions dominated the playground and brought the hero of the Alamo down a peg or two.
Born on a tabletop in Joe’s cafe
The dirtiest place in the USA
Polished off his father when he was only three
Killed off his mother with the DDT.
Davy, Davy Crockett
King of the wild frontier.
There were other more scurrilous versions.
And then there were the jokes and riddles. And the one I still find funny went like this:
“How many ears did Davy Crockett have?
“I dunno. Two?
“No. Three. He had a left, a right and wild, front ear.”