“You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go;
I owe my soul to the company store.”
Maybe you know these words. They were first sung by Ernie Ford one of Bristol’s favorite sons. His house, on the Tennessee side of town, is a landmark and his awards – three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Presidential Medal of Freedom – are on display at the museum along with personal belongings, costumes and looping performances of his show which ran for 5 years on NBC. It was called the Ford Show – not after Ernie though. The sponsor was the Ford Motor Company.
That’s Ernie top billing an up-and-coming star called Liberace and sharing the stage with two brothers who played guitar. You know them… they had hits like Wake Up Little Susie, Cathy’s Clown, and Bye Bye Love.
I didn’t know Ernie’s story but I do know his signature song. Enjoy.
Categories: An American Adventure