“King of the Wild Frontier”


Fess Parker died last week at 85.  He was best known as Davy Crockett in a Disney television mini-series that debuted in 1955.  In that film production, Crockett was portrayed as a frontiersman, a legislator, and the hero in the Battle for the Alamo.  There was even a smidgen of historical truth in the Hollywood glamorization of this great Western legend.

Disney Studios liked Parker for a different reason.  Since he was a superstar to American children on television and in the movies, Parker was a merchandising gold mine.  Disney licensed over 1000 Davy products – the most famous of which became the “coonskin cap” pictured above along with the rest of the Davy Crockett outfit.

Little is known about the attractive young man modeling the Crockett fashions.  A persistent rumor is that for the rest of his life, he was locked away in an obscure asylum for the criminally insane.  Some say his craziness began when he could not remember the difference between Davy Crockett and Danial Boone.

2 Responses to ““King of the Wild Frontier””

  1. Bill says:

    In real life, Davy was one of the great self-promoters of all time. He actually was a U.S. congressman for a while. Most of the legends are based on his autobiography which was basically a collection of tall tales.

    I have vague memories of a ditty that started out “Born on a tabletop in Tennessee, dirtiest state in the land of the free”. A Mad Magazine creation.

    One of Fess Parker’s earlier roles was as a pilot in the giant ant flick, “Them”, starring James Arness.

    Man, what useless memories your blog sometimes conjures up. I mean that in a nice way.

  2. Joe Bele-Isle says:

    In the Texas capital Bldg there is a full sized-bigger than life actually-oil of Davy with his flintlock and coonskin cap and buckskins. If he was so smart why did he decide to stand off a army of Mexicans he was stealing land from that meant sure death. Santa Anna was trying to preserve his country against Invaders. Davy must have believed a lot of BS also.
    Remember this was before oil was found.
    And Davy said, “Gather around me men and we’ll all die but tomorrow a bunch of other guys will be SAND RICH!! A bunch of folks won’t have to go all the way to Fla. to see SAND!!”
    But then again there WAS the fountain of youth somewhere around there. And sex with animals was’nt looked down on. It was the perfect place for a guy that never took his clothes off to bathe (The did laundry and bathed while crossing a river) and was able to keep the bugs away by a natural scent. I’ve been to Texas and a lot of them still live that way.

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