Mockin' Bird Hill

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2003-11-21 19:44:38 UTC

Mockin' Bird Hill

Who was the first performer?

  • Vaughn Horton himself?
  • The Pinetoppers? (Vaughn's band with his brother)
  • Les Paul

And in which year? 1949, 1950 or 1951?

2003-11-21 23:24:04 UTC

Originals says Pinetoppers (1949) released on Coral.

Les Paul's Version is 1951

It also suggests the malody may have Finnish roots.

2003-11-22 00:14:29 UTC

Must be CORAL 64061 then. But how do I find the date of release?

2003-11-22 11:50:17 UTC

Can't find a decent Coral discography either.

2012-02-02 21:29:04 UTC

It looks like this issue is still open after more than eight years.

I've done some research regarding the Beaver Valley Sweethearts who did the vocals on the Pinetoppers version of "Mockin' Bird Hill." While doing that I found what I believe to be the first 8 releases of that song.

I'm rather confident that the original was done by the Pinetoppers:

The Pinetoppers

Coral 9-64061 (45 rpm)

Mocking Bird Hill


The Big Parade

Release date:

October 1950

(I place it during the first 2 weeks of October.)


September 1950

The close second is the version by Elton Britt and Rosalie Allen. I place the release date as late October 1950 or early November 1950.

References for Pinetoppers version:

Coral 64061 was listed in Advanced Folk Releases in the October, 1970 issue of Billboard.

Coral 64062 (Tommy Sosbee) was reviewed in the October 14, 1950 issue of Billboard.

Coral 64053 (Kenny Roberts) appeared in the Most Played Jukebox Records in the October 21, 1950 issue of Billboard.

Consequently I conclude that Coral 64061 was issued in the first half of October 1950.

In the article

Story Behind The Song … “Mockingbird Hill”, Vaughn Horton is quoted as stating

"But I couldn’t get anybody to record the song. So I called several musicians and we recorded the song in September 1950".

(The original URL

is no longer valid but the article is still available using Google cache.)

References for Britt-Allen version:

RCA placed an ad for the Elton Britt - Rosalie Allen version in the October 21, 1950 issue of Billboard.

Their version appeared under Advanced Folk releases in the November 4, 1950 issue of Billboard.

Recently I checked

The American 45 and 78 rpm record dating guide, 1940-1959 compiled by William R. Daniels and found the results consistent with my estimates for the release dates for the Pinetoppers and Britt-Allen recordings.

In particular, Daniels provides the following release dates:

Coral 9-64061 10/50

RCA 48-0390 10/50

RCA 48-0401 11/50

Last edit: 2012-02-03 14:19:16 UTC by SlimD


Pinetoppers - Mockingbird Hill - label.jpg
Pinetoppers - Mockingbird Hill - label.jpg - Label image for Coral 9-64061

2012-02-03 19:05:27 UTC


July or August 1950

Decca Recording Studio, Pythian Temple, 135 West 70th St., New York City


015 76734 MOCKIN‘ BIRD HILL Coral 9-64061/CRL-56040 CRL-57048

016 76735 BIG PARADE POLKA Coral 9-64061/CRL-56040 CRL-57048



27 September 1950

RCA Victor Studio, 155 East 24th St., Manhattan, New York City

Elton Britt & Rosalie Allen

146 E0-VB-5687 MOCKIN‘ BIRD HILL 48-0396 EPA 505/LPM-2669 LSP-4822 HCD-428 JASMCD-3597

2012-02-03 19:50:17 UTC

Thanks, Walt, for providing the specifics for the recording dates. Prague Frank is vague about the release dates which is why I tried to determine them independently from other sources.