This week in 1964: President Lyndon Johnson picked Sargent Shriver to head the Anti-Poverty Program; U.S. Spacecraft Ranger 6 crashed on the moon and failed to send back pictures; U.S. cut military aid to five nations in reprisal for trading with Cuba; and a singer from Ironton, Ohio, had his 4th hit record.
A lot of song ideas come from writers hearing a line in another song or even from fictional characters. According to Jack Clement, the idea for the 1960's hit "Miller's Cave" came from Tom Sawyer and from Hank Williams.
Clement said, "I got a big part of that song from Tom Sawyer. And the idea for the cave — I got from a line in a Hank Williams song, "I'd rather live in a deep dark cave." So I took the setting from Tom Sawyer — I put a mountain in Waycross, Georgia, so he could have a cave there. Well, there's no mountain around Waycross, Georgia, it's a swamp. So I put it in there for a joke and people have actually gone to Waycross, Georgia, looking for it! So I took that setting and to start with — I called it "Dark Old Cave." But later I started thinking I would give it a kind of Hollywood name — so I called it "Bella's Cave."
But then I got to thinking that it might ought to sound like a real place and I knew this real place called Miller's Boat Dock outside of Memphis. So then I made it more personal and that's how I came up with "Miller's Cave."
Bobby Bare's RCA Victor single "Miller's Cave" came on the country charts Feb. 8, 1964, and peaked at No. 4. It was his 4th charted song and was on the charts for 17 weeks.
Four years earlier, Hank Snows' RCA version made the charts July 18,1960, and made it to No. 9.
It was his 44th charted song and was charted for 15 weeks.
Join Doug Davis weekends on KPIG-FM Radio, 103.9 for "Roots of Country" 6 a.m. to noon Saturdays and 6 a.m. to noon Sundays for "Sunday Country."
You can also listen on the internet at Mypigradio.com.