All American Boy: Bill Parsons / Bobby Bare
  • All American Boy: Bill Parsons / Bobby Bare
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Within the archives of American pop music is the story of the guy who got credit for a huge hit song he didn’t sing. Although Bill Parsons had his name on the 45 rpm record, it was Bobby Bare who carried the song to within a guitar strum from #1 on pop music charts in early 1959.

The irony of the bizarre but true whose-on-first-story is that Parsons initially got the footlights and the glory while Bare was peelin’ potatoes in his Army greens. But Bare got the last laugh (though he held no grudge). His career took off and he eventually became world-famous. The song, The All American Boy, was recorded by the then-unknown Bare, who eventually scored dozens of country and pop music hits during a highly successful lifetime career. But when the song got immediate radio air play back in December 1958, Parsons and Bare were both unknowns. The All American Boy was a cleverly done talking blues parody about Elvis Presley’s upstart career getting short-circuited because of Uncle Sam’s Army draft. (In reality, Presley’s career hardly slowed, thanks to timely record releases by RCA Victor while Elvis was overseas.

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