TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD
(1919 – 1991)
Ernest Jennings Ford was an entertainment star primarily in the 1950s to 1960s, scaling heights of acclaim in radio, recording and television.
Tennesee Ford circa 1957
“Tennessee” Ernie Ford was a triple accomplishment entertainment star in the second half of the twentieth century, significantly impacting three mediums: radio, records and television. In the area records alone it is estimated that Ford has sold more than 400 million records worldwide–an astonishing number by any era’s standards. Even more astonishing…more than 40 million of that number represents the body of work he became best known for…gospel, hymns and spirituals.
Ernie Ford was born on February 13th, 1919 in Bristol, Tennessee. Growing up as a “country boy” during the time of radio’s exploding impact on America; especially rural life, Ford became fascinated by radio. Blessed with a rich bass-baritone voice perfect for radio, it was his early successes as a radio personality that led to his signing with Capitol Records in 1949,
Prior to his entertainment career he served in WW II in the Army Air Corps as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan.