PT-109 (song)

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Single by Jimmy Dean
from the album Portrait Of Jimmy Dean
Released 1962
Format 45
Recorded 1962
Genre Pop
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Marijohn Wilkin and Fred Burch
Jimmy Dean singles chronology
"To a Sleeping Beauty"
"Steel Men"

"PT-109" was a song by Jimmy Dean about the adventures of John F. Kennedy and the crew of the PT-109. The boat was famous even before Kennedy ran for office because it was cut in two after being rammed by a Japanese destroyer, after which came a survival story, and rescue by native islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana by canoe, though the islanders were not included in this version of the story.

In 1961 Dean had recorded "Big Bad John", a song that would become his biggest hit ever, and echoed at the end of "PT-109". It went to number one on the country and pop charts. He had five more top forty songs in 1962. "PT-109" was his biggest hit in 1962, reaching the top ten as Kennedy was still president and preceded the 1963 film of the same title. The song was Dean's sixth release on the country chart and peaked at number three and stayed on the country chart for thirteen weeks.[1] "PT-109" also went to number eight on the pop chart and number two on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart.[2] It was one of several military themed singles of the 1960s, along with the "Ballad of the Green Berets", "Billy and Sue", "Gonna Raise A Ruckus Tonight", "Sky Pilot (Part One)", and "Soldier Boy."

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 8
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006 (2nd ed.). Record Research. p. 102. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 74.