Skeeter Davis
Singer-songwriter
Skeeter Davis
Mary Frances Penick, better known as Skeeter Davis, was an American country music singer best known for crossover pop music songs of the early 1960s. She started out as part of The Davis Sisters as a teenager in the late 1940s, eventually landing on RCA Victor. In the late '50s, she became a solo star. Her best-known hit was the pop classic "The End of the World" in 1963.
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My Post-Election Mixtape
Huffington Post - 3 months
If we try to deny our post-election feelings of despair, they'll come back with a vengeance. One way to look honestly at that despair is to surrender ourselves to music about despair that's so powerful, it transcends despair. The first song on my post-election mixtape is Skeeter Davis's "The End Of The World," repeated listenings to which demonstrate that its title isn't the case. Next is Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," which inspires me to do something, anything about climate change. There's the tragic opening fugue of Beethoven's String Quartet in C# Minor, which my favorite composer composed when he was very ill and very deaf (and we think we have problems), and Hank Williams "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," which, perversely perhaps, serves as a reminder that grief can bring us together. In search of something both comforting and different, I turned to a brand new, otherworldly cover of Joni Mitchell's "The River" by the indie-folk harmonists Tall Heights. In the d ...
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Huffington Post article
Steven Rosen: Should Richard Hell Be in the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame?
Huffington Post - over 3 years
So far, this has been a hell of a year for Punk. By that, I mean it's been a great year for recognizing the formative influence that Richard Hell, now 63, has had on Punk -- and, by extension, all Rock & Roll and pop culture that has followed in its aggressive, assertive, rebellious wake. Hell just published a literary, frank, edgy autobiography, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, that has earned comparisons to Patti Smith's Just Kids. It tells how the roots of his restless disaffection with society, his hell-raising personal conduct and his interest in the arts (and Rock music) all began while growing up as Richard Meyers in Lexington, Ky. His dad, who died when Hell was just 7, was an experimental psychologist at the University of Kentucky. Hell can also claim a very important role in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new blockbuster fashion exhibition, Punk: Chaos to Couture. His impact on the creation of 1970s-era New York Punk is represented in the very f ...
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Huffington Post article
And the Band Played On…. - Cashbox Magazine Canada
Google News - over 5 years
I could hear Skeeter Davis singing The End of The World, written by Davis when her Dad died. Growing up in the 60's I screamed for the Beatles, and in the 70`s I was blessed enough to be able to work in radio and play great songs by unforgettable
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Google News article
Reggae Loves Country: A 50-Year Romance - NPR (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Jamaican writer Colin Channer explains that songs by artists like Skeeter Davis and Patsy Cline were on the playlist. "When I was growing up in Jamaica there were only two radio stations, and we grew up thinking of music as being either local or
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Google News article
Larry Gatlin enjoys youthful sound - Jamaica Gleaner
Google News - over 5 years
Skeeter Davis, Jim Reeves and later Rogers have long been Jamaican favourites. Gatlin and his brothers keep busy, doing over 100 shows annually. He keeps in tune with contemporary country music by listening to the pop flavour of Taylor Swift and more
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Google News article
End of the World Music Playlist - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
In fact, life did go on after the release of Skeeter Davis's slow-paced ballad in 1962. Her tale of heartbreak and world-ending woe was enormously popular, peaking at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1963. Best line: "Don't they know it's the end of the
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Google News article
The Bright / Soundtrack For A Winter's Tale - Jenesaispop.com
Google News - over 5 years
En él encontramos desde baladas a lo Joan Baez hasta canciones más ligeras como de Skeeter Davis en los 80, cuando unió su voz a la banda de rock NRBQ. Aunque por supuesto, no hay que irse tan atrás para encontrar referencias en 'Soundtrack For A
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Google News article
Preview Drew Barrymore's Best Coast Video - Stereogum
Google News - over 5 years
Watch, to tide you over: As for the next Best Coast LP, she told Cole in our Progress Report that it's in the making, and it may well be influenced by all the country she's been listening to “Loretta Lynn, Skeeter Davis, Patsy Cline.” Her Best Hair?
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ATP - I'll Be Your Mirror - Curated by Portishead - Music News
Google News - over 5 years
Opening their set with a great cover of 'End Of The World' by Skeeter Davis and later Nirvana's 'Love Buzz' Geoff Barrow's project fronted by Anika proved to be the very captivating. With Nico-esque aloofness she has the look and attitude nailed
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Google News article
Kings of Country and Their Queens Opens At Centre Stage - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
... Hank Williams Sr., Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Ray Stevens, Tennessee Ernie Ford and George Jones as well as Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Dottie West, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Skeeter Davis and Tammy Wynette
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Google News article
Country Diva Takes Stage In Concord - KTVU San Francisco
Google News - over 5 years
After penning several hit tunes for Hank Williams, Jr. and Skeeter Davis and getting groomed for a bubblegum pop career of her own, Parton's career took off in 1967 when country giant Porter Wagoner began featuring her on his popular syndicated
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Google News article
As a Jones dance sampler, 'Summer Reunion' a mixed bag - Boston Globe
Google News - over 5 years
When he's joined by Roy Fialkow, however, this relationship piece becomes increasingly literal (there's even Greco-Roman wrestling), and it's hard to know how seriously to take the soundtrack when it shifts into Skeeter Davis singing “The End of the
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Google News article
Opry to celebrate legend's 50th - The Augusta Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
He also performed on the 11:30 pm segment with Bill Monroe hosting and other performers included Skeeter Davis, Johnny Forbes and again, Dick Flood. Anderson, a native of Columbia, grew up in Decatur near Atlanta. He became a disc jockey in Commerce,
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Google News article
Female country legends take center stage in new production - WTVR
Google News - over 5 years
The show features the music of Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynnette, Dottie West and Skeeter Davis Rex Stephenson is the Artistic Director of the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre. "For a long time, I had been looking for kind of a frame or formula to put them in,"
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Google News article
Juliana L'Heureux: Writer Cathie Pelletier building Allagash stories - Press Herald
Google News - over 5 years
“The Christmas Note” was co-authored with the late country music icon Skeeter Davis, a children's book based on the singer's childhood. Her own Christmas memoire is “Christmas in the Allagash.” Her writing seminars at UMaine-Fort Kent and -Presque Isle
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Google News article
Best Coast begin work on new album - UNLIMITED CMU
Google News - over 5 years
I want the second album to be different; I want it to feel fuller, and bigger. I've been listening to so much old country music, like Loretta Lynn, and Skeeter Davis, and Patsy Cline and stuff-so I think you'll hear some of that influence on the newer
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Google News article
Progress Report: Best Coast - Stereogum
Google News - over 5 years
I've been listening to so much old country music, like Loretta Lynn, and Skeeter Davis, and Patsy Cline and stuff–so I think you'll hear some of that influence on the newer songs. STEREOGUM: You and I apparently share two obsessions—cats and Stevie
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Google News article
Cults – Cults - The Good Review (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The waltzing lament of You Know What I Mean initially rings of Skeeter Davis' 60s country crossover classic The End of the World, only to leap into a defiant staccato of a chorus. Whereas Most Wanted, a sparse backbeat track which forwards the dainty
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Google News article
Best Coast Cover Loretta Lynn's “Fist City” - Popdust
Google News - over 5 years
The Cali indie-surf band pretty much has the market cornered on covers of lovelorn pop songs from the 1960s, having already taken on Lesley Gore's “That's the Way Boys Are” and Skeeter Davis' “The End of the World,” and now strumming their way through
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Google News article
NRBQ Re-branded: New Line-up, Album & Tour - Crawdaddy! The Magazine of Rock
Google News - over 5 years
These were the cats who could swing with names diverse as country music's Skeeter Davis, rock's Dave Edmunds, and wrestling's Captain Lou Albano. If you ever saw them in action, you know what I'm talking about: From Carl Perkins to Sun Ra,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Skeeter Davis
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2004
    Age 72
    She died of breast cancer in a Nashville, Tennessee, hospice at the age of 72, on September 19, 2004.
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  • 2002
    Age 70
    Davis remained a member of the Grand Ole Opry until her death, making her last appearance there in 2002.
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  • 2001
    Age 69
    In 2001, she became incapacitated by breast cancer.
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  • 1998
    Age 66
    In 1998, she wrote a children's book, The Christmas Note, with Cathie Pelletier.
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  • 1993
    Age 61
    Her autobiography, Bus Fare to Kentucky (named after a 1971 song), was published in 1993.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1987
    Age 55
    In 1987 she married NRBQ's bassist Joey Spampinato with whom she had recorded the album She Sings, They Play; they divorced in 1996.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1978
    Age 46
    In 1978, she recorded the first of several albums for minor record labels which she would do on occasion into the 1990s.
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  • 1976
    Age 44
    Davis returned to the recording studio in 1976 with a brief stint on Mercury Records which produced two single releases, including her last song to make the national charts, 1976's "I Love Us".
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  • 1973
    Age 41
    During a performance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1973, Davis criticized Nashville police for arresting a group of evangelists at a local mall, and was suspended from the Opry.
    More Details Hide Details She was reinstated at the Opry more than a year later. Despite losing several bookings during that period, Davis remained active by singing with a number of religious ministries and spent an extensive period evangelizing in Africa.
    In 1973, she had a brief comeback with her Top 20 hit, "I Can't Believe That It's All Over".
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1970
    Age 38
    In 1970, Davis had another Top 10 hit with "I'm a Lover (Not a Fighter)" and another duet with Bobby Bare with "Your Husband, My Wife".
    More Details Hide Details The following year, she had a hit with the autobiographical "Bus Fare To Kentucky". Subsequently, however, her chart success began to fade. Singles such as "It's Hard to Be a Woman" and "Love Takes a Lot of My Time" failed to crack the country Top 40. "One Tin Soldier" did not get much attention from country radio but was nominated for a Grammy as Best Female Country Vocal. The record was a major success in Canada, however, peaking at No. 2 on their easy listening chart and No. 4 country. In the 1970s, she began regularly touring foreign countries such as Barbados, Singapore, and Sweden, where she was among the most popular entertainers of any field.
  • 1967
    Age 35
    In 1967, Davis was back in the top ten with "What Does It Take (To Keep a Man Like You Satisfied)".
    More Details Hide Details Davis only achieved two other major country hits the rest of the decade, "Fuel to the Flame" (written by Dolly Parton, whom Davis paid tribute to with an album called Skeeter Sings Dolly in 1972), and "There's a Fool Born Every Minute". Other singles were minor hits, but she released many albums.
  • 1965
    Age 33
    In 1965, she recorded a duet with Bobby Bare called "A Dear John Letter", which just missed the country Top 10 and received light pop action. (The best-known version of the song had been recorded originally by Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky in 1953.) Davis also recorded quite a few albums during this time, including two tribute albums I Love Flatt and Scruggs and Skeeter Davis Sings Buddy Holly.
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  • 1964
    Age 32
    Davis received five Grammy Award nominations, including four for Best Female Country Vocal Performance: 1964 ("He Says the Same Things to Me"), 1964; ("Sun Glasses"), 1965; ("What Does It Take"), 1967, and "One Tin Soldier", 1972.
    More Details Hide Details Davis was also an accomplished songwriter, penning almost 70 songs and earning two BMI awards for "Set Him Free" and "My Last Date With You", the latter also recorded by Ann-Margret, Pat Boone, Kay Starr, Joni James, and several others in addition to Davis' original hit version. Deborah Harry recorded a remake of Davis' version in 1993 featuring Michael Stipe, a long-time Davis fan. (Conway Twitty wrote new lyrics for the instrumental in 1972 as "Lost Her Love (On Our Last Date), which reached No. 1 on the country chart as did Emmylou Harris' remake of Twitty's version in 1983 retitled "Lost His Love (On Our Last Date)".) Davis' success continued with "I'm Saving My Love" and 1964's Gonna Get Along Without You Now, an updated cover a 1956 hit by Patience and Prudence). Both made the Top 10 on the country charts and cracked the Billboard Top 50 pop charts, though the success of "Gonna Get" was likely hampered by another remake of the song by vocalist Tracey Dey simultaneously climbing the charts to peak slightly lower than Davis' version. Later pop efforts, like "Let Me Get Close to You" in July 1964, missed making the Billboard Hot 100, reflecting the changing nature of pop styles due to the ongoing British Invasion but Davis continued a successful run on the country charts.
  • 1963
    Age 31
    Davis achieved one other country-pop hit with the Gerry Goffin and Carole King-penned "I Can't Stay Mad at You", which peaked at No. 7 on the pop charts and No. 2 on the Easy Listening chart in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details She made several appearances on the pop music show American Bandstand in the early 1960s and a decade later was one of the first country artists to appear on The Midnight Special. Another big 1963 hit was I'm Saving My Love, written by Alex Zanetis.
    In 1963, Davis achieved her biggest success with country pop crossover hit "The End of the World".
    More Details Hide Details The song just missed topping the country and pop charts that year; however, it did top the adult contemporary charts. The record was also a surprise top five hit on the rhythm and blues charts, making Davis one of the very few Caucasian female singers to have a top ten hit in that market. The single sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. "The End of the World" soon became Davis' signature song.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1961
    Age 29
    In 1961, she scored a second pop hit with a lyric version (written by Skeeter) of Floyd Cramer's instrumental country pop smash "Last Date" called "My Last Date (With You)" which did even better making the Top 30 on the pop charts.
    More Details Hide Details Both of these songs did exceptionally well on the country charts, peaking at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively.Silver thread and Golden needles.
  • 1960
    Age 28
    Davis was married three times. Her first husband was Kenneth Depew. In 1960 she married WSM disc jockey Ralph Emery, divorcing in 1964.
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    From 1960 to 1962, Davis had top ten hits with the songs "(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too", "My Last Date (With You)", "Where I Ought to Be" and "Optimistic". "(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too" in 1960 was her first entrance as a solo onto the pop charts.
    More Details Hide Details The song went all the way to the Top 40, unheard of for a female country singer at the time.
  • 1959
    Age 27
    Davis had a Top 5 country hit, "Set Him Free", in 1959, as well as another Top 20 hit called "Homebreaker".
    More Details Hide Details She also joined the Grand Ole Opry that year, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Set Him Free", becoming the first female country singer to be nominated for a Grammy.
  • 1958
    Age 26
    Davis decided to go back into country music as a solo act in 1958.
    More Details Hide Details She began touring with Ernest Tubb and she returned to RCA Victor, this time working with guitarist and record producer Chet Atkins. That year, Davis recorded "Lost to a Geisha Girl", an answer song to Hank Locklin's hit "Geisha Girl", which reached the country Top 15 and became her first solo hit. Atkins worked with Davis as a guitarist on all of these sessions. At Davis' suggestion, Atkins frequently multi-tracked Davis' voice for harmony vocals to resemble the sound of the Davis Sisters. This echo can be found on several of her early solo hits, such as "Am I That Easy to Forget".
  • 1953
    Age 21
    While "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" was climbing the charts, the Davis Sisters were involved in a major car accident on August 1, 1953. The crash killed Betty Jack Davis and left Skeeter with severe injuries. After the accident, Skeeter and Betty Jack's sister, Georgia, continued as the Davis Sisters. Skeeter decided to retire from the music industry in 1956, and get married, ending the duet.
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    RCA Victor producer Steve Sholes liked the Davis Sisters' harmonies and offered the duo a recording contract in 1953.
    More Details Hide Details Their most successful release was "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know", which spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the country charts in 1953, as well as making the Top 20 on the pop charts. The record ranks No. 65 on the Top 100 Country Singles of All Time, according to Billboard historian Joel Whitburn.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1947
    Age 15
    The Penick family moved to Erlanger, Kentucky in 1947, where Skeeter met Betty Jack Davis at Dixie Heights High School, becoming instant friends.
    More Details Hide Details They sang together through much of high school, and at Decoursey Baptist Church. They formed the duet known as the Davis Sisters (although they were unrelated), and started singing on Detroit radio station WJR's program Barnyard Frolics. Eventually, the duo were signed by RCA Victor in 1951. Earlier demo recordings were eventually released on Fortune Records.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1931
    Born
    Born on December 30, 1931.
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