Wednesday, 26 March 2014

In praise of: Tennessee Ernie Ford

Not a name we come across that often nowadays but, in his time, Tennessee Ernie Ford was big, big, big. Everyone of a certain vintage will be able to sing along to his classic '16 Tons' but how many in the UK will remember his rabbit-friendly 'Shotgun Boogie'? They certainly don't write lyrics like that nowadays! Listen and enjoy the simplicity of the former and the catchiness of the latter. And what about the piano and guitar playing?

Sadly Tennessee Ernie, and his wife, developed a fondness for the bottle and this had a deleterious effect on his career and his body. This is evident in the short cut-a-ways to him in the YouTube clip of '16 Tons'. He died in 1991 of alcohol-related liver disease. I think his musical legacy deserves to be remembered.

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