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"Old Shep" is a song by Red Foley and Arthur Willis about a dog Foley owned as a child (in reality, the dog, poisoned by a neighbor, was a German shepherd named Hoover). Foley and Willis wrote the song in 1933, but Foley released it as a single in 1941.

The song, later recorded by many artists including Hank Snow and Elvis Presley, became a country classic.[1]

On October 3, 1945, Presley at age ten sang "Old Shep" for his first public performance, a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. Dressed as a cowboy, he stood on a chair to reach the microphone. He came in fifth place, winning $5 and a free ticket to the fair rides.[2]

The only version of the song to ever appear in the UK Singles Chart was by Clinton Ford in October 1959, which spent one week at number 27.[3 ][4]

In the British TV sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Old Shep is Del Boy's favourite song. In the 1982 Christmas special "Diamonds Are for Heather", Del gets a local mariachi band to sing "Old Shep". At the end of the episode, after being dumped by Heather, he pays some Christmas carol singers to sing the song to cheer himself up. In a later episode, "Modern Men, Del has "Old Shep" as the "on hold" music on his mobile phone.

References

  1. ^ "Red Foley Fans Tribute". myspace.com. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=416559146. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  2. ^ "Elvis.com Biography"
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 207. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  
  4. ^ "Biography by Sharon Mawer". Allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=CLINTON|FORD&sql=11:gvfixqusldhe~T1. Retrieved 4 July 2009.  
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