Davy Crockett

ABC Airs “Davy Crockett: Indian Fighter” Episode on the Disneyland TV Show

Davy Crockett was a real-life American folk hero. Born in Tennessee, the “greenest state in the land of the free,” he became a renowned bear hunter, using his favorite rifle, “Old Betsy,” and eventually went on to have a career in politics, initially becoming a member of the Tennessee legislature in 1821 and later joining the House of Representatives. His life ended in 1836 when he went to Texas to help fight for their independence from Mexico and was killed at the Alamo. An obituary stated, “He fell bravely, and he will be long remembered as a patriot and a soldier, when the recollection of his coarse eccentricities will have faded from every mind.” Davy Crockett is indeed long remembered as described, thanks largely to Disney’s depiction of the hero, beginning on this day in 1954 when “Davy Crockett: Indian Fighter” first aired as an episode of the Disneyland television series, with Fess Parker bringing the role to life and with his coonskin cap causing a national craze. “Indian Fighter” was the first of the three parts, with the final episode concluding with the hero losing the battle at the Alamo. Due to the immense popularity of the mini-series, two additional “Davy Crockett” episodes were produced, and the five episodes were also combined into two theatrical films. The show’s theme song, “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” written by Tom Blackburn and George Bruns, became one of the most popular songs to come out of a Disney television program and long had kids and adults alike singing the praises “Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.”