Singer/songwriter and actor Claude King is best remembered for his one big hit, "Wolverton Mountain," the tale of one Clifton Clowers who is "mighty handy with a gun and a knife" and keeps his daughter sequestered in their mountain home away from potential suitors. Focusing exclusively on that song results in an incomplete picture of King's career, however; he emerged from the milieu that also produced Johnny Horton, and after "Wolverton Mountain" he scored another 27 chart singles. The Shreveport, LA, native was a natural athlete as a child. When he was 12, he learned how to play guitar. After attending college on a baseball scholarship, he spent the late '40s and early '50s working as a construction engineer and performing music in local clubs and on TV and radio. Early on, he met up with Tillman Franks, who became Horton's manager and also a top talent official with the Louisiana Hayride program on Shreveport radio station KWKH. King recorded his first single for the President label in 1947. He followed up with the hilarious honky tonker "51 Beers" (Gotham, 1949) and with other singles, including four recorded for Specialty in 1952, but despite some Hayride appearances lined up by Franks, he remained just under the national radar.