October 27, 1936

Ernest Tubb conducted his first recording session.

In early 1936, Tubb contacted Jimmie Rodgers’s widow, Carrie, to ask for an autographed photo. A friendship developed and she was instrumental in getting Tubb a recording contract with RCA. His first two records were unsuccessful.

A tonsillectomy in 1939 affected his singing style so he turned to songwriting. In 1940 he switched to Decca records to try singing again and it was his sixth Decca release with the single "Walking the Floor Over You" that brought Tubb to stardom.

Tubb never possessed the best voice and actually mocked his own singing. He told an interviewer that 95 percent of the men in bars would hear his music on the juke box and say to their girlfriends, "I can sing better than him," with Tubb adding "they would be right." In fact, he missed some notes horribly on some recordings. When Tubb was recording "You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry" in 1949 and tried to hit a low note, Red Foley, his duet partner at the time, was sitting in the booth when somebody said, "I bet you wish you could hit that low note." Foley replied, "I bet Ernest wishes he could hit that note." The two, who released seven albums together, maintained a friendly on-air "feud" over the years, with Tubb frequently appearing on Foley's Ozark Jubilee on ABC-TV.

Tubb inspired some of the most devoted fans of any country artist — and his fans followed him throughout his career, long after the chart hits dried up. He remained, as did most of his peers, a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry where he continued to appear. He continued to host his Midnight Jamboree radio program a few blocks away from the Opry at his record shop.

A notable release in 1979, The Legend and the Legacy paired Tubb with a who's who of country singers on the Cachet Records label, a label which Tubb was connected to financially. This long out of print duets album was re-released in 1999 as a CD on the First Generations label, on the 20th anniversary of its release, and it quickly went out of print again. 

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