In 1963, the Limeliters did a song as a public service announcement for Forest Fire prevention. The song, "The Crying Trees," was described as "A great new folk ballad by Steve Lehner and Henry Russell."
In the image at left, the three original Limeliters are joined by Smokey the Bear in a recording session.
The song was used in conjunction with annual Smokey the Bear forest fire prevention campaigns in 1963 and 1964.
The liner notes read:
"'The Crying Trees' effectively brings into play the power of popular music in promoting forest fire prevention through a public service message. Its haunting imagery walks the listener through the charred ruin of a forest blackened by fir. 'The Crying Trees' presents such a vivid picture of what forest fires can do, that it becomes an important part of Smokey Bear's campaign. With your support, it should find a permanent niche in American music."
Recording time: 2:30. Included in the original 6 1/2" vinyl 33 1/3 record were "Speaking for Smokey" spots featuring Tennessee Ernie Ford and Raymond Burr. See more details at the U.S. Forest Service Museum.
A second vinyl record in the 2-record set featured David Seville and The Chipmunks singing "Smokey's A-B-C's in 30 and 60 second treatments, along with more spots by RodSerling, Lorne Greene, and Andy Griffith.
In addition to the YouTube video above, you will also find audio of the song on Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Pandora, and other streaming services.
Left: Photo credit: Billboard - 16 March 1963.
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