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

Jonathan Cain of Journey

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music Scene

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.


SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Annie Haslam of Renaissance

Annie Haslam of RenaissanceSongwriter Interviews

The 5-octave voice of the classical rock band Renaissance, Annie is big on creative expression. In this talk, she covers Roy Wood, the history of the band, and where all the money went in the '70s.