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Lest We Forget

Posted on September 19, 2004

Skeeter Davis

Best known for the song “The End of the World”

1931-2004

Grand Ole Opry star Skeeter Davis died Sunday, September 19 in Nashville after a long struggle with cancer. She was 72. Davis was brought into the world as Mary Frances Penick in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, on December 30, 1931. She claimed that her grandfather named her “Skeeter” because she was “always buzzing from one place to another.”

Her first solo country hits were “answer songs” like the 1958 single “Lost to a Geisha Girl,” a song that “answered” Hank Locklin’s “Geisha Girl”. She joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1959. She made her debut the following year (1959) on the pop charts with another answer song, “(I Can’t Help You) I’m Falling Too,” a response to Locklin’s “Please Help Me, I’m Falling.”

Davis scored 41 country hits and eight pop singles. Her biggest by far came in 1962-63 with the song I consider to be the saddest song from the Rock and Roll Era – “The End of the World.” It made it to No. 2 on both the country and pop charts and went to No. 1 on the adult contemporary listing.

Her other Top 10’s included “Set Him Free” (1959), “My Last Date With You” (1961), which was a sung version of the Floyd Cramer instrumental “Last Date”. Other hits included “Optimistic” (1961), “Where I Ought To Be” (1962), “I’m Saving My Love” (1963), “Gonna Get Along Without You Now” (1964) and “What Does It Take (To Keep a Man Like You Satisfied)” (1967). Her final chart single was “I Love Us” in 1976.

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