Good song & great background info. I had no idea. It would make a good Made-For-TV-Movie.Well there were a couple of pretty big debuting artists on the last post I made, so here is another one. This song first charted on September 29, 1958.
Tom Dooley – The Kingston Trio
This song was written by group member Dave Guard. It was the 1st chart hit for the group & it will become their biggest single & only #1 hit single. The song stays at #1 for just a week but that puts it as the 18th biggest song of the year. The song is in the Grammy Hall Of Fame. At the very first Grammy Awards in 1958, this won for Best Country & Western Performance. The song hit #1 in Australia, Norway, Canada, & Italy & #5 in the UK & #8 in South Africa.
The group consisted of Dave Guard, Bob Shane & Nick Reynolds. Dave Guard was replaced by John Stewart in 1961.
The song is about Tom Dula (pronounced Dooley) who was a real person. He was a gifted fiddle player and enjoyed the company of ladies. During the Civil War he served the Confederacy as a musician and was captured near the end of the war and held as a prisoner of war. After he was released he returned to his life and his relationship with Ann Melton and other women including Ann's cousin Laura Foster. On the day that he and Laura were to be married she disappeared and was found weeks later in a shallow grave. She had been stabbed in the heart.
Tom knew that it was known he was the last person to see her alive so he fled the county and went to work for Colonel James Grayson on his farm in a nearby county. Dula stayed long enough to earn money for a pair of boots and then left for Tennessee where the posse with assistance from Colonel Grayson found him. He was taken back to North Carolina and was represented by ex-Governor of North Carolina Zebulon Vance. After a much publicized trial and appeal he was found guilty and hanged in Statesville North Carolina.
The graves of Laura and Ann are visited each year by a number of tourists. Tom's grave is on private property and is not open to the public. The "Tom Dooley" museum is located in Ferguson North Carolina. The reason for the murder is not known but it appears he may have killed her because of contracting a venereal disease from her.