Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Now here’s a country singer whose records you can sink your teeth into. He’s got this amazing baritone, but unlike Johnny Cash who sings in the same range, he’s a good singer in the conventional sense.

He sang hymns, but this is a collection of his non-hymn hits, it’s the Capital Collectors Series, and I picked it up at one of the libraries. A few tracks came from the Yesterday / Today 25th Anniversary collection.

It’s funny how is epithet is so much a part of his name; if I said I had a collection by Ernie Ford, nobody would know who I was talking about…

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Tennessee Border – His first single. It was a hit in 1949.
Country Junction – His second single. Also from 1949.
Smokey Mountain Boogie – He wrote this, and Country Junction also.
Mule Train – A hit late in 1949. Better known by Frankie Laine
Anticipation Blues – A good natured song about pregnancy and childbirth. Reached # 3 on Billboard country in 1949.
Cry Of The Wild Goose – Written by Terry Gilkyson, of the Easyriders. From 1950.
I’ll Never Be Free – A love song. Kay Starr sings on this. Reached #3 in 1950.
Ain’t Nobody’s Business But My Own – The flip of I’ll Never Be Free.
Bright Lights And Blonde Haired Women – Recorded in 1950, but appears not to have been released until 1960.
Shot-Gun Boogie – Reached # 14 on the pop charts in 1950.
Tailor Made Woman – From 1951.
I’m A Bad Man – This was recorded in 1951 and remained unreleased until the release of this very collection in 1991. Maybe they didn’t want the hymn man saying that he was bad.
The Strange Little Girl – A strange little song. From 1951
Mister And Mississippi – Reached #2 in 1951, covered by Patti Page.
Kissin’ Bug Boogie – Yet another boogie, also from 1951.
Blackberry Boogie
Hog-Tied Over You – Now that’s romantic! With Ella Mae Morse. From 1952.
I Don’t Know – Neither do I.
Hey, Mr. Cotton Picker
Catfish Boogie
The Honeymoon’s Over – A song about marriage. From 1954.
River Of No Return – From 1954
The Ballad Of Davy Crockett – From the spring of ’55, had to compete with Fess Parker and Bill Hayes.
His Hands – Oops, I thought no hymns.
Sixteen Tons – This song was it. #1 as 1955 drew to a close. The song was written by Merle Travis, and may be the greatest ode to the working man ever written. Harry Nilsson covered it on his one and only Tower LP, Spotlight On Nilsson, but his version was underwhelming.
First Born – From the fall of ’56, an ode to a baby.
I Gotta Have My Baby Back
Born To Lose – I’ve got this by Ray Charles, but I think I like this version better. It’s simpler, more austere, Tennessee and a guitar. Very sad.
Nine Pound Hammer – The other Merle Travis song. John Prine did this one.
That’s All – Not the Nat King Cole / Ricky Nelson song.
In The Middle Of An Island – From the fall of ’57. Tony Bennett did this.
Release Me – A lot of competition for this one: Kitty Wells, Ray Price, Charlie McCoy, Esther Phillips, Engelbert Humperdinck.
Colorado Country Morning

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