The End of the World

Album: The End of the World (1962)
Charted: 18 2


  • This tune was originally an international hit for Country artist Skeeter Davis, peaking at #2 in the US in 1963. The record achieved the unusual feat of reaching the Top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop, Adult Contemporary, R&B and Country charts. Davis' four-chart top-ten accomplishment has never been duplicated by any other female vocalist in the history of Billboard.
  • Davis' original version was produced by Chet Atkins and the song was played at the legendary country producer's funeral in 2001.
  • Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle covered this on her 2009 debut album, I Dreamed a Dream. Many other artists have recorded the song, including the Carpenters, Herman's Hermits, Brenda Lee, Bobby Vinton, John Cougar Mellencamp, Johnny Mathis, Julie London and Eddy Arnold. Also British pop singer Sonia recorded a version in 1990, which peaked at #18 in the UK, the same position as Skeeter Davis' original.

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1963 {March 31st} Skeeter Davis' "End of The World" peaked at #2 {3 weeks} on Billboard's Hot Country Singles* chart, for it's first week at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Don't Let Me Cross Over" by Carl Butler, and for it's 2nd and 3rd week at #2, "Still" by Bill Anderson was in the top spot...
    "End of The World" also peaked at #2 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, was #2 for one week {the #1 record for that week was "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics} ...
    Between 1957 and 1976 the Kentucky native had forty records on the Hot Country Singles chart, ten made the Top 10 with her two biggest hits both reaching #2...
    Besides "The End of the World", her other #2 record was the answer record, "(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too", in 1960...
    Three of her forty charted records were duets, two with Bobby Bare and one with Don Bowman...
    Ms. Davis, born Mary Frances Penick, passed away at the age of 72 on September 19th, 2004...
    May she R.I.P.
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of the Hot Country Singles' Top 10 on March 31st, 1963:
    At #3. "Is This Me?" by Jim Reeves
    #4. "Still" by Bill Anderson
    #5. "From A Jack To A King" by Ned Miller
    #6. "The Yellow Bandana" by Faron Young
    #7. "Not What I Had In Mind" by George Jones
    #8. "Second Hand Rose" by Roy Drusky
    #9. "Lonesome 7 -7203" by Hawkshaw Hawkins
    #10. "Ballad of Jed Clampett" by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
  • Kawa from Tokyo, JapanHi Music lovers,

    I think that the idea of the lyrics of the song in 1962 came from the song called 'That'll Be The Day' written and sung by Buddy Holly in 1957. Because very impressive lines,'Don't they know it's the end of the world', on the song 'The End Of The World', reminds me of another impressive lines 'Cause that'll be the day when I die', on the song,'That'll Be The Day'. Don't you think that both two lines respectively are almost the same or same ideas? I think they are. That means the songwriters of the song,'The End Of The World' in 1962 liked the lyrics of the song,'That'll Be the Day' in 1957 and they tried to write a new song by using lines like 'Cause that'll be the day when I die'. Because they must have liked the lines but they knew that they couldn't use these likes because of the copy rights so they tried to think the another different expression but almost the same meaning and they did ! The rest is history.
  • Randy from Fayettevile, ArWay way way back in 1963 this was a big hit for Skooter Davis on the country charts too. It was produced by the famed country guitarist, Chet Atkins. In '63, I heard that Mr. Atkins was a difficult person to deal with & made many enemies in the music business. Some of his production work was very good & most wasn't worth a damn. I didn't know that Ms. Davis had passed away. About ten years ago, I heard an interview on NPR radio with Skooter Davis in which she was terrified and fed up with her producer Chet Atkins on this recording session. It's a good song and she has a light, lilting voice on this record. I much more preferred her follow-up hit "I Can't Stay Mad At You." It was more pop and the lyrics were happier.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 20th 1963, "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on March 17th, 1963 it peaked at #2 (for 1 week) and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on March 10th, 1963 it reached #1 (for 4 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart and peaked at #2 on the Hot County Singles chart...
    The week it was at #2 on the Top 100, the #1 record was "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics...
    R.I.P. Ms. Davis, born Mary Frances Penick, (1931 - 2004).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyIn late 1960 Skeeter Davis released "My Last Date (With You)", a vocal version of Floyd Cramer's "Last Date". Cramer's peaked at #2 and stayed there for four weeks; Skeeter's reached #26!!!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NySkeeter Davis had one the greatest answer records of all time. In 1960 Hank Locklin released 'Please Help Me I'm Falling', it peaked at No. 8. That same year Skeeter answered with '(I Can't Help You} I'm Falling Too', it reached No. 39!!!
  • Mac from San Jose, CaI will always feel the definitive version of this song is The Carpenter's version. They way Karen brings out the words, I've yet to find any other version surpass.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

La La Brooks of The Crystals

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.


SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

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

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)Songwriter Interviews

"Come On Eileen" was a colossal '80s hit, but the band - far more appreciated in their native UK than stateside - released just three albums before their split. Now, Dexys is back.

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.