Singer Jerry Scoggins Dead At 93

Country artist recorded "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme.

Country and Western singer Jerry Scoggins, whose baritone rendition of the theme song of "The Beverly Hillbillies" became one of television's favorite tunes, has died in Los Angeles at age 93, his family said Thursday (Dec. 9).

The Texas-born Scoggins, who as a member of the Cass County Boys backed up singing cowboy Gene Autry in movies, radio and television, was working as a stockbroker and singing only on weekends when he was approached by the show's producers to sing "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" for the "Hillbillies" pilot in 1962.

"Gene Autry had given up singing and work was hard to come by, but the producer had heard my father sing and wanted him for the show," Scoggins' daughter Jane Kelly Misel recalled in an interview with Reuters.

The song, which also featured bluegrass musicians Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, made the national Hit Parade. When a movies was made based on the TV series, Scoggins also sang the theme song.

"The Beverly Hillbillies" quickly became a national phenomenon and although it went off the air in 1971 it still plays on cable TV in reruns.