Ernest Dale Tubb was born in Crisp, Texas in 1914.  He was a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 until the time of his death and was the sixth person to be elected to the Country Music Hall Of Fame.  He became a country music legend during the half century that he remained in the limelight of country music stardom, and, in the hearts of those who knew him personally and loved him; he also earned the legend of being a kind, helpful and caring human being.

The span of his musical life saw hit after hit in the country music charts.  After recording songs such as “The Passing Of Jimmie Rodgers” and “Blue Eyed Elaine”, he had his massive hit recording, “Walking The Floor Over You” in 1943, which led to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, movie roles and stardom.  In 1947, he opened “The Ernest Tubb Record Shop” in Nashville and began the “Midnight Jamboree”, a live broadcast of the show over Radio WSM.  The show allowed him to advertise the shop and also to showcase other stars and aspiring performers on the rise in country music.  He was known for his care and compassion for helping new artists and seldom, if ever, was anyone turned away from appearing on the “Midnight Jamboree” radio show, no matter how little or much their talent, as long as they were sincere about their ambitions.

In 1966, Mr. Tubb was diagnosed with emphysema, but continued to tour and record actively.  During this time he managed to rack up some minor hits and also some lifetime achievement awards.  His career slowed into the early 1980’s and in 1982 he was forced to retire due to health.  He died of Emphysema in Nashville on September 6, 1984 and is interred at Hermitage Cemetery at Hermitage, Tennessee.

I personally became acquainted with Ernest Tubb in 1959 through Mrs. Jimmie (Carrie) Rodgers, in San Antonio, Texas.  I had written a tribute song in memory of Jimmie Rodgers and it was brought to the attention of Mrs. Rodgers who had also been the mentor of Ernest Tubb in his early years of struggling in his music career.  I was privileged to become a protege' and friend of each of these honorable and sincere people and found myself experiencing the helping hand of both in guiding my country music career.  In 1961, Mr. Tubb and Decca Records produced a recorded version of his “Midnight Jamboree” radio show for which he chose me as a new male artist for this recording.  A very talented young performer, Linda Flanagan, was selected as the new female artist for this production.

Through this recording, both Linda and I were projected into country music at an international level.  It was a huge honor for us both to be cast with Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Webb Pierce, Buddy Emmons, The Wilburn Brothers and others who were special guests on this recording.  Following my recording in this album, (a song entitled “Boy With A Future” – written by the legendary writer, Harlan Howard” there were road tours with Ernest and his Texas Troubadours as well as appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.  I recall sitting next to him on “The Green Hornet” – as we left Nashville – for a tour out through Texas and Okalahoma.  Emotions of this experience in itself were welling within me and my effort to express appreciation to this kindly man was met with his knowing comment – “I know how you feel, son”.  And he did.  And he cared.  And he gave me 50 bucks when he surmised that I was dead broke.

Jerry Hanlon (2001)



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