Mockin' Bird Hill

Album: Ultimate Collection (1951)
Charted: 2


  • 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

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?