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Ernest Tubb

  • A pioneer in country music, helping to instigate and grow honky-tonk music
  • Hit songs include "Walking the Floor Over You," "It's Been So Long, Darling," and "Soldier's Last Letter"
  • Member of the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Opened the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, still in business today and home to the Midnight Jamboree, WSM's second-longest continuous broadcast

In 1940, Decca Records agreed to record Ernest Tubb, resulting in his first success with "Blue Eyed Elaine" and "I'll Get Along Somehow." In 1941, he cut several new songs with Fay "Smitty" Smith, a staff electric guitarist for KGKO radio. The first single was "Walking the Floor Over You." The song became a massive hit, eventually selling over a million copies, and is considered by many to be the first honky tonk song, launching not only Tubb's career but also the musical genre itself.

Upon his arrival in Nashville in January of 1943, he joined the Grand Ole Opry and became the first musician to use an electric guitar in the Opry.

Early in 1947, he opened the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, which he promoted through the Midnight Jamboree, a live program he created to fill the post-Opry slot on WSM. Still broadcast weekly, it follows the Opry as the second-longest running program in broadcast history. Tubb became the first country star to play Carnegie Hall in New York.

During 1949, Tubb charted an astonishing 13 hit singles, most of which have become classics - "Have You Ever Been Lonely? (Have You Ever Been Blue)," "Let's Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello," and "Blue Christmas." The following year, he had 11 hit singles, including "I Love You Because," plus several hit duets with Red Foley, including the No. 1 hit "Goodnight Irene."

In 1964, he recorded a series of duets with Loretta Lynn, and over the next five years he made three albums and had four hit singles.

Tubb became the sixth member to be inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1965, and was one of the first artists inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Tubb passed away in 1984, leaving behind an enormous legacy that helped shape the face of contemporary country music.


Inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame on November 8, 2009.