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'Wolverton Mountain' Singer-Songwriter Claude King Dies at 90

March 8, 2013, 4:47 am GMT

King's eldest son found the 'Louisiana Hayride' original member unresponsive in his bed on Thursday morning, March 7.



Claude King, the singer and composer of 1962's hit "Wolverton Mountain", passed away at the age of 90 at his home in Shreveport, L.A.. King's eldest son Duane King found the singer, who had just celebrated his 67th wedding anniversary to his wife in February, unresponsive in his bed on Thursday morning, March 7.

Duane King stated that although his father was not really healthy, he felt much better recently. His father wanted to exercise and even planned to go fishing with him on Friday. Therefore, his father's sudden passing surprised him and family. "It caught us by surprise, and we're going to miss him. He was such an easygoing, unpretentious person who didn't have anything bad to say about anybody. He was my best friend, and I wish I could be half the person he was," said Duane.

Claude King was born on February 5, 1923 in Keithville, Louisiana. After finishing college, the country singer joined "Louisiana Hayride" as one of the cast members. The show was broadcast on local radio station KWKH every Saturday. The radio show contributed to the launch of great musicians, including Elvis Presley. On the show, Claude shared the same stage with big names such as George Jones and Jim Reeves.

Although Claude had tried recording songs with some labels, his career as country music singer did not go well. However, after he signed with Columbia records in 1961, his song started entering music charts. Claude's biggest hit was the 1962 song "Wolverton Mountain" which stayed for nine weeks at the peak of Billboard's country songs chart.

Maggie Warwick, the owner of the Louisiana Hayride trademark and the production company Louisiana Hayride Co., said, "Claude was a legend in the Louisiana music industry, one of the greatest songwriters, and a wonderful friend."

Maggie also praised Claude for his remarkable music skill, "He had a gift for melody and lyrics that was very definable. 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."

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