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: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them
Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be.
And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove
Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues.
Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»
Hollywood may be pushing a broadminded agenda where there are more genders than one can even count, but in Jason Aldean's world, there are only two: tough guys, and the women that love them. There's no confusion »»»
Lady Antebellum may lean a little too closely to pop music for many tastes, but it's hard to argue with the trio's song choices. And its latest collection is filled with many memorable songs. The single "What If I Never Get Over You," »»»
Most hard core country fans certainly have heard David Ball's 1994 "Thinkin' Problem," a true honky tonk classic. Ominvore is releasing the album in remastered expanded format with eight bonus tracks, marking its 25th anniversary. »»»