Mockin' Bird Hill

Album: Ultimate Collection (1951)
Charted: 2
Play Video


  • It is difficult to believe that this quaint little song, half waltz, half lullaby, is an important milestone in the development of contemporary music, but according to Don Tyler's 2007 compendium Hit Songs 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era, it was the first song in which electric guitar pioneer and innovator Les Paul used overdubbing. This is probably not quite correct, Paul was experimenting with multi-tracking as early as 1947, and released a song that year which featured multi-tracking. "Mockin' Bird Hill" does though appear to be the first such record to have been a hit.
  • The song was written by Vaughn Horton and sung by Mary Ford, Paul's wife. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • Other artists to record this song include George Jones, Patti Page and Gene Pitney.

Comments: 1

  • Keith from Wausau, WiWhen Les and Mary recorded this song in their kitchen at home, Mary hated it. She thought it was a terrible song, with all the "tra-la-la's" and so forth. Les told her it was going to be a hit. After she had gone to bed, Les sneaked the recording out of the house and rushed it down to Capitol Records, where the released it almost immediately. Within a week or two, it was Number One.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Charlie Benante of Anthrax

Charlie Benante of AnthraxSongwriter Interviews

The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.

Real or Spinal Tap

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.


DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.


MetallicaFact or Fiction

Beef with Bon Jovi? An unfortunate Spandex period? See if you can spot the true stories in this Metallica version of Fact or Fiction.

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many Songs

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.