My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Rex Allen, ‘Son, Don’t Go Near The Indians’

4 responses to “Classic Rewind: Rex Allen, ‘Son, Don’t Go Near The Indians’

  1. Leeann Ward August 29, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve heard this song before, but it still shocks me how terrible it is!

  2. paul w dennis August 29, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Applying 2015 standards to a 1950s song really isn’t kosher.

    The song is a good song, it just fly in our politically correct , hyper-senitive and total phoney time

  3. Leeann Ward August 29, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Because I do look at it from a 2015 vantagepoint, I do think the song is terrible on a race level, but even taking race out of it, it’s still creepy and

  4. Ken August 30, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    The proper title of the song is “Don’t Go Near The Indians. The Mercury single was a big hit in 1962 climbing to #4 on Billboard’s country chart in November and also peaking at #17 on the Hot 100 pop survey.

    The song was written by Lorene Mann and according to Colin Escott was inspired by a true incident. Two of Lorene’s girlfriends had a half-brother that did not know the identity of his biological father. When he met a girl that he thought might be his half-sister he said that he intended to marry her as way to force the real dad to admit paternity. His ruse worked and the father ‘fessed up. None of the individuals involved were Native Americans so Lorene’s song was purely fictitious. In the early 1960’s westerns dominated network TV and popular culture so that likely inspired the setting for the story. As Paul intimated in his post above no one took offense at that time. The twist at the end was regarded as very clever and was likely the main reason for the song’s huge popularity.

    Rex Allen “The Arizona Cowboy” was one of the last “Singing Cowboys” as that movie genre was fading in the early 1950’s. He scored a 1953 hit record [#4 country/#8 pop] with “Crying In The Chapel.” [The song that became a hit for Elvis a decade later] Rex’s voice was familiar to millions of baby boomers for narrations of Walt Disney’s nature films like “The Hollywood Coyote” and “The Incredible Journey.” Rex also served as longtime spokesman for Purina Dog Chow TV ads that ended with the slogan “…all you add is love.” His son Rex Allen, Jr. had a string of country hits during the late 1970’s.

    Sheb Wooley was responsible for a fairly successful parody of this song. His producer had suggested that he record “Don’t Go Near The Indians” but due to the filming schedule for his TV series “Rawhide” he had to pass because he could not come to Nashville for a recording session. After Rex Allen’s version became a hit Sheb wrote parody lyrics and recorded the song under the pseudonym “Ben Colder.” In 1962 “Don’t Go Near The Eskimos” climbed to #18 on the country chart and #62 pop. Take a listen.

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