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"Abilene" reached number one on the U.S. country music chart for four weeks, and peaked at number 15 on the pop music charts. George Hamilton IV performed "Abilene" in the 1963 movie Hootenanny Hoot. Bob Gibson was inspired to write the song after watching the Randolph Scott film, Abilene Town. The setting for the film is Abilene, Kansas, the railhead town at the end of the Chisholm Trail. Gibson said the song had often been erroneously thought to be about Abilene, Texas, named for the Kansas cowtown that had been established 24 years earlier but a much larger city. It is very similar to Cocaine Blues.