Sign up for newsletter
 

Opry's Ernie Ashworth dies

Monday, March 2, 2009 – Ernie Ashworth, longtime star of the Grand Ole Opry, died in Nashville today at 80. Ashworth's heyday was in the 1960s with the number 1 song Talk Back Trembling Lips.

Born Ernest Bert Ashworth in Huntsville, Ala. on Dec. 15, 1928, he began his career singing on Huntsville radio station WBHP. In 1949, he moved to Nashville where he worked for several radio stations and was signed by Wesley Rose as a songwriter for Acuff-Rose Music. Among the artists who recorded his songs between 1949 and 1955 were Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Johnny Horton and Paul Anka.

Due to lack of success as a recording artist, in 1957, he returned to Huntsville and began working at the Redstone Arsenal, doing guided missile work. Three years later, Rose arranged a recording contract for him with Decca Records. Billed as "Ernest Ashworth," his first single, Each Moment (Spent With You) became a top five hit. Later that year, You Can't Pick A Rose In December went into the Top 10 and in 1961, Forever Gone made it to 15.

In 1962, he moved to Hickory Records, the label owned by Acuff-Rose, and he scored a Top 5 Hit with Everybody But Me going to number 3 and a Top 10 with I Take The Chance.

But it was his third release for Hickory that would become his signature song and the number one smash. Talk Back Trembling Lips stayed on the national charts for 42 weeks and also did quite well on the pop charts.

Ashworth joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1964. More chart records followed including The D.J. Cried, At Ease Heart and I Love To Dance With Annie. Ashworth continued to be a regular performer at the Grand Ole Opry, but he never reached the top 15 after 1966.

In 1989, he turned businessman by purchasing radio station WSLV in Ardmore, Tenn. Ashworth continued appearing at the Grand Ole Opry.

Charting songs included:
Each Moment (Spent With You) (1962) U.S. Billboard Country Singles number 4
Everybody But Me (1962) number 3
I Take the Chance (1963) number 7
Talk Back Trembling Lips (1963) number 1
I Love to Dance with Annie (1964) number 4
A Week in the Country (1964) number 10
Because I Cared (1965) number 18
Pushed in a Corner (1965) number 11
The DJ Cried (1965) number 8
At Ease Heart (1966) number 13
I Wish (1966) number 28
Sad Face (1967) number 31
A New Heart (1968) number 39

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Sara Evans comes around again with Barker Family Band, and that's just fine – What goes around comes around for Sara Evans. Back about four decades ago, she was singing weekends with her family band in Missouri. Now, she's back on the road on a very short tour including two of her children and three siblings. For now, Evans, at 49, has lost absolutely none of her vocal super powers, and her offspring can handle their own at... »»»
Concert Review: White makes hurting sound real good – John Paul White entitled his new disc, "The Hurting Kind." But there is no hurting of any sort on White's performance - well maybe only when considering the subject matter - showcasing his vocals and a bevy of quality songs. The CD moves White closer to his Southern roots mixing country and roots sounds. The concert followed suit.... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Wilson goes her own way After having huge success at the get go with "Redneck Woman," Wilson eventually went her own way and took a break. During her "hiatus," Wilson started her own label and was a "120 percent mom" to her teenage daughter.... »»»
Carll tells it like it is A visit with Hayes Carll finds him taking a rare day off at home to discuss new album "What It Is" co-produced by Brad Jones and Carll's girlfriend, Allison Moorer. "This album works around three themes; our relationship (he and Moorer), the world and myself.... »»»
Watson gets "Lucky" Dale (The Real Deal) Watson has been releasing hard country albums since 1995 and shows no signs of slowing down on his most recent release, "Call Me Lucky." This record marks his third effort recorded in Memphis, at Sam Phillips Recording Studio, with Watson's regular touring band, The Lone Stars.... »»»
Front Porch CD review - Front Porch
Joy Williams' "Front Porch" album is a beautiful collection of acoustic, country-folk music. The title cut, for instance, includes sweet fiddling, while the rest of the album takes an appreciated low-key approach to its instrumentation. »»»
Hellbent CD review - Hellbent
Randy Rogers makes a big, bold statement with his title track, but it's the smaller insightful moment expressed through "Wine In A Coffee Cup" that stands out most. Rogers sings it empathetically over a swaying groove... »»»
When You're Ready CD review - When You're Ready
One of the most celebrated acoustic guitarists working within the Americana field, Molly Tuttle is two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitarist of the Year, the first female to be so honored. »»»