Below is something I wrote nearly seven years ago. If you know this guy....then you know country music. Thirty-two years ago this coming Tuesday his passing.....I feel assured that still today there are places in Texas where you can find his songs on the jukeboxes....I once walked into a eating place in Archer City,Texas and immediately saw his songs....five plays for a quarter....all E.T.
Just some thoughts
Say those words to any true old country music fan and they will immediately say Ernest Tubb.
Ernest Tubb was born in Crisp, Texas. Sadly he passed on September 6, 1984. It’s hard for me to realize he has been dead twenty-five years. Tubb became one of Texas dance hall favorites over the years of his career. If you played those dance halls in Texas you best be able to play and sing two of Texas’s favorite son’s music. One, the father of western swing from Turkey, Texas, Bob Willis, and the other is the honky tonk sound of Tubb.
His singing was described as flat; and to that one would admit. His most famous song was the 1940’s classic, “I’m Walkin’ the Floor Over You.” That and his other often asked for hit, “Waltz Across Texas” kept him employed most all his life. Interestingly, he was the first to record the classic Christmas song in 1948, “Blue Christmas;” and later Elvis had a huge hit with it.
I was thinking about Tubb this evening as I sat at my desk listening to Eddie Stubbs on WSM. Stubbs was playing and talking of Tubb. I recalled the Saturday night my dad and I sat with Tubb in his Cadillac listening to a bit of a St. Louis Cardinal baseball game. It was around 1954 or 1955. I would have been twelve or thirteen years old. My parents and I were on one of their annual summer vacations to Nashville, which always meant Saturday night at the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman. Dad and I were walking across the old cinder parking lot behind the Ryman when I heard the voice of Harry Carey. I, being a Cardinal fan, immediately recognized that it was a Cardinal game. There was a man sitting in a big Cadillac, windows down with his door open, and he had the Cardinal game on KMOX. Since I was a Cardinal (Musial) fan I asked the man, “What’s the score?” He answered and then said, “Get in if you wanna listen a bit.” I slid in the back seat of the car while my dad stood by the door listening and talking a bit with the man.
Later that evening they introduced this man on the Prince Albert portion of the Grand Ole Opry by the host Red Foley. “Folks, let’s bring out here on stage right now the old Texas Troubadour himself, Mr. Ernest Tubb.” I about jumped out of my seat (church pew bench) and I immediately turned to my dad and said, “Dad, that’s the guy who let us sit in his car and listen to the ballgame.” My dad acknowledged and confirmed yes, it was the Texas Troubadour himself. I have never forgotten.
February 9th, is the birthday of Ernest Dale Tubb. He was born February 9, 1914. Occasionally you will still hear something about him. When I do, I smile and think of the night a man sitting in a Cadillac listening to a ballgame let me sit in his car and listen to the game with him.
February 9, 2009