The Wellingtons (folk group)

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The Wellingtons were a folk singing group who performed the title songs for multiple television programs, including Gilligan's Island and Davy Crockett. They were also regulars on the television series Shindig!.[1][2]

The Wellingtons were formed by George Patterson [3] The group was originally called The Lincolns, and recorded for Kapp Records. As The Wellingtons, they were signed by Walt Disney to record the theme song for Disney's The Wonderful World of Color.[4] For Disney Records, they recorded numerous theme songs, including The Ballad of Davy Crockett for the mini-series Davy Crockett.[5] The Wellingtons can be heard singing "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" in the soundtrack for the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox.[6]

Gilligan's Island producer Sherwood Schwartz had his pilot episodes for the show rejected twice and decided he needed a new theme song. Working with composer George Wyle he came up with a folk song that told the back story of the castaways, and hired The Wellingtons to sing it. The song was a hit.[7] The Wellingtons appear in a second season (1965–66) episode as a rock group called "The Mosquitoes." Not only is the insect-named moniker a play on The Beatles, but the members of the fictitious group are named Bingo, Bango, Bongo and Irving in a reverse play on the names John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The Wellingtons appeared as regulars on the variety television show Shindig! on their own and as backup singers to visiting acts.[8]

They also provided backup singing on recordings by other artists including Jan and Dean.

The group traveled with star Donald O'Connor for six and a half years and also toured with The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. The final members of the group were founder George Patterson, Kirby Johnson and Ed Wade. Kirby Johnson and George Patterson died in 1999 and 2015, respectively.

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