Jerry Scoggins, who sang 'The Beverly Hillbillies' theme, dies at 93

Thursday, December 9th 2004, 1:27 pm
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Jerry Scoggins, who sang ``The Ballad of Jed Clampett,'' which introduced the comical clan on ``The Beverly Hillbillies,'' has died. He was 93.

He died at his home Tuesday of natural causes, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The song and the TV show premiered in 1962 and were instant hits. The CBS series starring Buddy Ebsen as Jed drew up to 60 million viewers at its peak and ran until 1971.

The ballad, which begins, ``Come and listen to a story about a man name Jed/ a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed/ then one day he was shootin' for some food/ and up through the ground came a bubblin' crude,'' was written by Paul Henning.

Scoggins sang the lyrics while bluegrass stars Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs played guitar and banjo.

Scoggins came out of retirement to sing the theme again for a 1993 movie based on the TV series.

Scoggins' country and western trio, the Cass County Boys, was hired by Gene Autry for his Melody Ranch radio program in 1946. The group performed in 17 of Autry's movies.

The group, whose other members were John ``Bert'' Dodson and Fred Martin, also performed with Bing Crosby on television in the early 1950s.

The Cass County Boys were inducted into the Western Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

A memorial service is scheduled Friday.