Claude King, Singer-Songwriter of “Wolverton Mountain,” Dies at Age 90

Singer-songwriter Claude King , best remembered for his 1962 hit “Wolverton Mountain,” died Thursday (March 7) at his home in Shreveport, La., at age 90. Born near Keithville, La., he spent the ’40s and early ’50s working as a construction engineer. Performing music in area clubs and on TV and radio, he met Tillman Franks, who also managed Johnny Horton and was a talent agent for the Louisiana Hayride on KWKH/Shreveport. After recording for independent labels, King first hit the chart in 1961 with two Top 10 singles — “Big River, Big Man” and “The Comancheros.” A year later, he released “Wolverton Mountain,” which spent nine weeks at the top of Billboard’s country songs chart and peaked at No. 6 on the pop chart. He co-wrote the song with veteran songwriter Merle Kilgore. King later enjoyed three additional Top 10 hits among more than two dozen singles he released on Columbia through 1972. As an actor, King appeared in two feature films, Swamp Girl and Year of the Wahoo, and the 1982 TV miniseries The Blue and the Gray.