Ernie Ford - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Yesterday, we began a discussion of a sign located in our Toy Box honoring the Allentown Fair.  We are going to continue that today.  In 1963, there were three headlining performers who drew crowds to the Great Allentown Fair's main Grandstand during the Fair's run between September 13th and the 21st.  Today, we will talk about the man who dominated between the 13th and the 16th - "Tennessee" Ernie Ford. 

Born in Bristol, Tennessee in 1919 (not to be confused with Bristol, Virginia, which breaks up the Main Street in town), Ernie Ford became famous for his bass-baritone voice as a teenager, working as a radio announcer in his hometown before going off to school to train in singing. World War II interrupted his training, during which Ford flew B-29s over Japan, but after the war he jumped right back into the entertainment business.  He added "Tennessee" to his name as an announcer in California and developed the persona of an educated hick, but his singing was what earned him national attention - country and western, gospel, pop, and pretty much anything that was put in front of him.  Ford had his own program on television for about five years sponsored by none other than the Ford Motor Company.  Ford was something of a living legend by the time he appeared at the Great Allentown Fair in 1963; unfortunately, he had already been struggling with alcoholism, a fight that would take his life in 1991, two years after his wife of 47 years, Betty Heminger, had also died of alcohol-related illness.
QUESTION:  In 1951, Ernie Ford reached the number one position in the country charts with which song?
A)  "Shogun Boogie"
B)  "Shogun Bogie"
C)  "Shotgun Bogie"
D)  "Shotgun Boogie"

LET ME "AXE" YOU.  On this day in 1892, the police entered the Borden home in the port town of Fall River, Massachusetts to find a grizzly scene.  Andrew Jackson Borden and his second wife Abby Durfee Gray Borden had been brutally murdered, with axe wounds on their bodies and no evidence of anything taken from the house.  Who did it?  What was the motive?  These questions have fascinated people for the past 123 years.  Andrew's daughter Lizzie was arrested for the crimes, but was ultimately acquitted, although it's difficult to say she or her sister lived happily ever after.  Suspicion always surrounded her and, to this day, the questions are still unresolved.

QUOTE:  You can keep rummaging around until you find a song you like, but you can't predict whether it'll hit or not. - Ernie Ford

Answer:  D)  "Shotgun Boogie"