Ernest Jennings “Tennessee Ernie” Ford, a baritone and a master of good natured corn rose to popularity during the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Best remembered for his 1955 hit, “Sixteen Tons.”  He served in World War II as a bombardier, flying missions over Japan.

After the war, he served as announcer on several radio stations, he did the morning show on KXLA Radio.  Ford got his own primetime variety show on NBC TV which ran from 1956 to 1961.  Ford married Betty Herminger in September of 1942, until her death in February 1989.  They had two children, Jeffery born in 1950 and Brion Ford born in 1952, he died in 2008 of lung cancer at 56.

Four months after Betty pasted away, Ford married again.  He suffered from Alcoholism most of his life.  In September of 1991, he went into liver failure.  Ford died in Reston, Virginia on October 17, 1991 at age 72.

Sunday morning June 10th, we will relive the life and music of Tennessee Ernie Ford on the 98 Country Sunday morning Classic Spotlight at 11 AM.  It’s a feature of the 98 Country Classic Show on 98.1 FM 98 Country.