Whatever Happened To Ernest Tubb?
There are a precious few names in the history of country music that tower above all others.
And Ernest Tubb.
Oh, there’s a few others, but the lofty perch that holds the very best of the very best…well, that is, as they say, ‘rare air’.
And those Ernest Tubb classics? Wow.
‘Walkin’ The Floor Over You’. ‘Waltz Across Texas’. ‘Thanks A Lot’. And so many more. Songs that were (and are) the foundation of country music itself.
Born on a cotton farm in Ellis County Texas, the man that would become known worldwide as ‘The Texas Troubadour‘ was inspired by the early recordings of Jimmie Rogers.
It was his 1941 smash ‘Walkin’ The Floor Over You’ that made Ernest Tubb a star. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1943. He was headlining at Carnegie Hall in New York City by 1947.
By his own admission, Ernest Tubb did not have the best singing voice in country music, saying once that 95% of the people who listened to him could sing better than he could. But Ernest Tubb had….well, he had that ever elusive ‘it’.
Ernest was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1965 and inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
Even in later life, when he had emphysema, Ernest Tubb would perform up to 200 shows per year, taking an oxygen tank with him on his bus.
Ernest died of emphysema in 1984 at the age of 70.
By the way, a ‘must see’ when you’re in Nashville is the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. It’s nearly as famous as the Grand Ole Opry itself.
And finally, on a personal note, Ernest Tubb was one of my Dad’s all time favorite singers. As a kid, I couldn’t figure out why. Now, I know.