Tennessee Ernie Ford

Ernest Jennings Ford (1919-1991), better known by the stage name Tennessee Ernie Ford, was a pioneering U.S. recording artist and television host who enjoyed success in the country & western, pop, and gospel musical genres. Born on 13th February 1919 in Bristol, Tennessee, Ford began his radio career as an announcer at station WOPI in Bristol, leaving in 1939 to study classical music and voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. 1st Lieut. ...show more

Ernest Jennings Ford (1919-1991), better known by the stage name Tennessee Ernie Ford, was a pioneering U.S. recording artist and television host who enjoyed success in the country & western, pop, and gospel musical genres. Born on 13th February 1919 in Bristol, Tennessee, Ford began his radio career as an announcer at station WOPI in Bristol, leaving in 1939 to study classical music and voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. 1st Lieut.

Ford served in World War II as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan. After the war, Ford worked at radio stations in San Bernardino and Pasadena, Calif. In San Bernardino, hired as a radio announcer, Ernest J. Ford did the news and general announcing.

He was assigned the job of hosting an early morning country music disc jockey programme titled "Bar Nothin' Ranch." To differentiate himself, he created the personality of "Tennessee Ernie," a wild, madcap exaggerated hillbilly. He became popular in the area and was soon hired away by Pasadena's KXLA radio. At KXLA he continued doing the same show and also joined the cast of Cliffie Stone's popular live KXLA country show "Dinner Bell Roundup" as a vocalist while still doing the early morning broadcast. Stone, a part-time talent scout for Capitol Records, brought him to the attention of the label. ...show less