“The End of the World” is a country and pop music hit song recorded by Skeeter Davis that enjoyed international success in the 1960s.
“The End of the World” was written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee; the latter drew on her sorrow from her father’s death.
Davis recorded her version on June 8, 1962, at the RCA Studios in Nashville, produced by Chet Atkins, and featuring Floyd Cramer. Released by RCA Records in December 1962, “The End of the World” peaked in March 1963 at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 on the Billboard country singles, No. 1 on Billboard’s easy listening, and No. 4 on Billboard’s rhythm and blues. It is the first, and, to date, only time that a song cracked the Top 10 on all four Billboard charts. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 3 song of 1963.
In the Skeeter Davis version, after she sings the whole song through in the key of B-flat, the song goes up by a half step to the key of B, where Skeeter speaks the first two lines of the final stanza, before singing the rest of the stanza, ending the song.
Davis’s recording of “The End of the World” was played at Atkins’s funeral in an instrumental by Marty Stuart, and at Davis’s own funeral at the Ryman Auditorium.
Davis’s version has been featured in Girl, Interrupted, Riding In Cars With Boys, Daltry Calhoun, An American Affair, The Boat That Rocked, “The Grown-Ups” episode of Mad Men, “Blue on Blue” episode of Under the Dome, the opening credits of the BYU TV series Granite Flats, and the Bethesda Game Studios 2015 video game Fallout 4.