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FESS PARKER MEMORIAL - Saying Goodbye to Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone

IN MEMORY OF
FESS PARKER
( Fess Elisha Parker, Jr.)
August 16, 1924 – March 18, 2010

Like many of you I grew up watching Fess Parker on television. First as Davy Crockett in the fifties then as Daniel Boone in the sixties. I wanted an "Authentic Davy Crockett Coonskin Cap" so bad I could taste it! I got a Barbie Doll - my brother got the coonskin cap because "little girls don't dress up like hooligans".

I'm sure my Mother did NOT think Davy Crockett or Fess Parker were hooligans - but in the fifties a little girl who dressed up like an animal skin wearing mountain man was not going to fit in with the sexual stereotypes we were subjected to. My hero worship was limited to watching the TV shows and singing the theme songs. I don't think I missed an episode of either show and I also saw several Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone movies!

Interestingly Davy Crockett was a mini-series! It ran only from 1954 to 1955 while Daniel Boone was on the air for six years from 1964 to 1970. There were 2 Davy Crockett movies: Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955), Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1956) and one Daniel Boone movie: Daniel Boone: Frontier Trail Rider (1966).

Fess Parker won the role as Davy Crockett when he showed up to audition for Walt Disney with a guitar and proceeded to sing for him. He won the role over both James Arness (Marshall Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke fame) and Buddy Ebsen (best known as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies). Later Buddy Ebsen was hired to play Crockett's sidekick, George Russell.

You may not know this but Fess Parker was nominated for an Emmy in 1954 for Most Outstanding New Personality but lost to George Gobel. He was offered the Ambassadorship to Australia by President Reagan but turned it down. Later, after retiring from show business, he became a vintner with the Fess Parker Family Winery and Vineyards in Los Olivos, California - some of the wine labels included a reference to his days as Davy Crockett:



Fess Parker was a huge figure in my childhood years, he brought to life two legends of the American West for the entire baby boom generation and he will be missed.

One last time, let's all sing it just for Fess:

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee,
Greenest state in the land of the free.
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree,
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three.

Davy, Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier!


FESS PARKER SINGS DAVY CROCKETT THEME SONG


FESS PARKER SINGS DANIEL BOONE THEME SONG


Fess Parker's Website
Fess Parker on Wikipedia
Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen talk about Davy Crockett

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6 comments:

  1. My dear friend Fess, you were the kindest man I have ever known in my life. You were a true man in every sense of the word. I Loved you and Marcy both so much. To be around you was magical, just to see the love and respect between you, I never wanted to leave! My heart is with Marcy, Eli, and Ashley at this time. Farewell for now my friend, with much love. Star

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  2. Star - my condolences on the loss of your friend, Fess Parker.

    And thank you for reminding me I neglected to extend my sincere condolences to his family in their time of sorrow.

    Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts.

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  3. Was Fess Parker american?!

    http://www.icanmakeyouart.co.uk

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  4. pop art - Most certainly Fess Parker was an American! He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, went to school at the University of Texas and USC. Plus he was in the Navy and the Marine Corp and served in the South Pacific during WWII. He was most definitely a red blooded, All American pop culture icon!

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  5. Thanks for the informative and moving tribute to my very first crush. I never watched Fess in Daniel Boone but, as Davy, he was the dreamist! My girlfriend and I used to drool over him and talk about his charms for hours. He must have had appeal because we were only in the second grade at the time.
    So, thank you, Fess for all the fantasy and fun. I hope you are riding off into the sunset in style.

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  6. Eileen - I loved my Davy BUT my first big crush was on Gardner McKay from Adventures in Paradise - I had excellent taste even so young, I still think he was a great looking man!
    Then, of course, Dr. Kildaire and Ben Casey, in that order, lol.

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