Songs Everyone Should Know
“End of the World” by Skeeter Davis, 1962
If you were not heart-broken or at least a bit melancholy before you listened to this song you will be after. An anthem for lost love, this song’s lyrics cut straight to the heart.
Davis was a country singer who crossed over into the world of pop when the RCA single released in 1962 went to the top of the Billboard charts in March 1963. Sylvia Dee who penned the song also wrote successfully for Elvis and Nat King Cole. Long considered an excellent example of the ‘Nashville sound’ this was produced by Chet Atkins.
The song has been covered by many, many artists including; Susan Boyle, John Cougar Mellencamp, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Julie London, Loretta Lynn, Herman’s Hermits and Bobby Vinton.
It has been used in the soundtrack to many films and TV shows, probably most recently with “Girl Interrupted” and the show “Mad Men”.
Born Mary Francis in Kentucky in 1931 her grandfather though she had a lot of energy for a young child and nicknamed her “Skeeter” which stuck her whole life.
Skeeter started out in the late 1940’s as part of the “Davis Sisters “who had a number one country songs in 1953 including “I’ve Forgotten More Than You’ll Ever Know” in 1953. As the song was rising on the charts, the Davis Sisters were involved in a very serious car accident, which killed Betty and left Skeeter with serious injuries. Although the remaining ‘sisters’ (then with Betty’s sister Georgia) continued recording they never repeated the success and Skeeter ‘retired’ and married in 1956.
In 1958 Skeeter decided to go back into country music signing with RCA as a solo artist. Chet Atkins took her under his wing where she produced a number of country hits including “Set Him Free” and “Homebreaker”. Atkins often multi-tracked the vocals to make it sound like the ‘Davis Sisters’ harmonies. Skeeter was a trail-blazer for female solo artists in the country music field and influenced Tammy Wynette, Patti Page, Dolly Parton and of course Loretta Lynn. A long-time member of the ‘Grand Ole Opry’, she played all over the world.
She passed away in 2004 after a long battle with breast cancer touring as long as she could. A true trailblazer and legend.