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Some Paternal Ancestors of Edwin Brown (“Big Doc”) KUGLER Sr

Wolverton Mountain1

“They say don't go on Wolverton Mountain
If you're looking for a wife
'Cause Clifton Clowers has a pretty young daughter
He's mighty handy with a gun and a knife.”

These are the opening lines of a ballad of perseverance against odds, written in 1962 by Merle Kilgore. Claude King, the first to record Wolverton Mountain, got co-writer credit for making some slight changes to the lyrics. Among the numerous others who have recorded the song are Hank Williams Jr, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Louis Armstrong. There is a real Wolverton Mountain in Arkansas (though it's spelled Woolverton) and a real Clifton Clowers lived there. But he turns out to have been a favorite uncle of songwriter Kilgore, who claimed that he wrote Wolverton Mountain as a birthday salute to his 70-year-old uncle who played fiddle and mandolin and helped hatch an interest in music in the young Kilgore. Clifton Clowers lived on Woolverton Mountain with his wife and two daughters and was an excellent shot, but the part about the knife was poetic license for the sake of the rhyme. A deacon in the Baptist Church, Clowers died in 1994 at the age of 102.

Like most surnames, the name Wolverton has spread far and wide across America. Some bearer of the name, perhaps a relative of yours, may have had a mountain in Arkansas named after them, or maybe it was named after Woolverton, England.


1 Wolverton 1 (ws), (the actual song as recorded by Claude King); Wolverton 2 (ws), (complete lyrics); Wolverton 3 (ws), (Wikipedia article); Wolverton 4 (ws), (info and another copy of the recording with amusing visuals); Wolverton 5 (ws), (more info); Trott (2005); King 1 (ws).; King 2 (ws)


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