Kingston Trio – Tom Dooley

“Tom Dooley” is a North Carolina folk song based on the 1866 murder of a woman named Laura Foster in Wilkes County, North Carolina. “Tom Dooley” is based on a true story and was inspired by an earlier song written by George Proffit. It has been chosen as a “Song of the Century” by the Recording Industry Association of America. The popularity of the song spawned the 1959 film “Legend of Tom Dooley” starring Michael Landon. The actual name of the deceased in this song is “Tom Dula” although pronounced as “Dooley” with the “a” sounding as a “y” (a common Appalachian pronunciation in much the same way as the “Opry” in Grand Ole Opry changes an “a” to a “y”). Tom Dula was hanged for this crime in 1868 in Statesville, NC where he is buried. Dula claimed his innocence all the way up to his time on the gallows where he stated, “Gentlemen, do you see this hand? I didn’t harm a hair on the girl’s head”. “Tom Dooley” was the #1 song on the US charts during October of 1958.