Country Legend Claude King Passes Away

Enjoyed crossover hit with “Wolverton Mountain.”

Courtesy Claude King
Claude in 2007 by Mark Chamness/Courtesy of Claude King

Claude King, best known for his classic crossover hit "Wolverton Mountain," died of a heart attack Thursday afternoon (March 7) at his home in Shreveport, La., at age 90.

Claude, who was born in Shreveport, played occasional shows on the Louisiana Hayride radio show before making his chart debut in 1961 with "Big River, Big Man."

His most enduring hit came with the haunting story song "Wolverton Mountain," written by Claude and Merle Kilgore, about a young man determined to win the love of a young lady despite the fearsome presence of her protective father, who was mighty handy with a gun and a knife. The tune reached No. 1 on the country charts and No. 6 on the pop charts in 1962.

Claude went on to score several more country hits during his career, including "Sam Hill," "Tiger Woman" and "All for the Love of a Girl."

Claude had essentially been retired since the mid-1980s but still recorded on occasion. He recently celebrated his 67th wedding anniversary with his wife, Barbara. Funeral details will be announced shortly.

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