Davy Crockett: Why King of the Wild Frontier's legend lives on

Davy Crockett was a legend in his own time: a pioneer of the American West and US congressman who established the political book tour. He ultimately became the most heralded person to die at the infamous Battle of the Alamo in Texas.

But to millions of Americans, he will always be the raccoon-skin wearing frontiersman made famous by Walt Disney in the 1950s.

In his new book, Born On A Mountaintop: On The Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier, author Bob Thompson follows in the footsteps of the famous frontiersman in a quest to answer the question, why has the legend of Davy Crockett endured?

The BBC spoke with Thompson about the mythology of Davy Crockett, from his origins in the backwoods of Tennessee, to his time in Washington DC, and his immortalisation in the "stickiest song in the history of the movies", The Ballad of Davy Crockett.

Produced for the BBC by Marc Georges and Peter Murtaugh

Images courtesy Library of Congress, Bob Thompson, Getty Images and Bridgeman Art Library. Video of Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier from Walt Disney Co, 1955.

  • Published
  • Section
    BBC News