June 8

“Ballad of Amelia Earhart”: Tribute to the Famous Aviatrix

"Ballad of Amelia Earhart": Tribute to the Famous Aviatrix 1
Red River Dave (Dave McEnery) in his later years (image from davidneale.eu)

Red River Dave McEnery created a world record in May 1939.  He sang his composition “The Ballad of Amelia Earhart” on television, from the RCA Pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Since then, he proclaimed himself to be “the world’s first television star.” As per history record, researchers and scholars agreed that it’s the first song ever performed on commercial television. The song was released shortly after the aviatrix’s mysterious disappearance.

The song, due to its content and the singer himself, maintained popularity since its release. Various artists that excellently covered the song include Kinky Friedman, Ronnie Lane, and the Country Gentlemen.

There’s a beautiful, beautiful field
Far away in a land that is fair.
Happy landings to you, Amelia Earhart
Farewell, first lady of the air.

Amelia Earheart

"Ballad of Amelia Earhart": Tribute to the Famous Aviatrix 2
Amelia Earhart (image from thenypost.files.wordpress.com)

One of the most peculiar incidents that were ever recorded in history happened in 1937. Amelia Earhart’s disappearance remains a mystery to people whether in the Science world or in the common society. 81 years after her unsolved vanishing, Earhart is still the topic of numerous books, movies, and most prominently, songs.

In addition to the song mentioned above, a lot more songs talk exclusively about Earhart. Majority of these songs have been released since the 1960’s. This fact suggests the rising interest in the rediscovery of the “forgotten” women during the era of feminism.

Earhart’s enigmatic disappearance leaves a questions that may never find an answer. She has become the woman who disappeared, nothing more and nothing less.

Red River Dave McEnery

On the other hand, Red River Dave McEnery was the first singer to compose a song about Earhart’s fate. Various artists covered his composition at least 20 times.

Red River Dave is one of country music’s great eccentrics. His songs’ center on diverse and unlikely themes. Among his long list of achievements, perhaps one of the most memorable acts he ever did was being the first and perhaps the only person to deliver a sermon entirely in CB jargon.

Born David Largus McEnery, he got the nickname “Red River Dave” from his favorite song, “Red River Valley.” He died on January 15, 2002, at the age of 87.


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Amelia Earhart, Red River Dave McEnery

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