Ernie Ford, Grammy Hall Of Fame, Lee Gillette discussed on Rock N Roll Archaeology


Those seem like they're two very different. The different songs very different songs one about being. I'm guessing being able to cry when you lose a love and the other one is about being all muscle and bone and punch death. It's it is. It's a real weird choice to have as an aside side. Like i feel like besides should've just been a baby to cry instrumental. It's a really good song it's jazzy kind of it's a bluesy country song with a little sadness to it but not like sixteen tons right right. It's it's much more it's similar to. I would say like what was on the radio at the time. Which i guess is why they thought it would be a huge hit like it's a great performance. It's a really good song and it's it seems very radio friendly like let's be honest. Sixteen tonnes is radio friendly right. There's not a whole lot of music to it and it's very says says he'll well. Yeah and you know what says the executives at capital so radio deejays began playing the b. side within eleven days the sixteen ton single sold four hundred thousand copies in twenty four days. It sold one million copies and in less than two months. Two million copies sold and this feels like every decade. Somebody figures this outright which is just write a song about how worked socks people eat it up like take this job and shove it nine to five. Yeah like i'm sure there's other examples and it's like just you really write that song you release and people are going to go nuts for like it like i said every decade i feel like there's one of those figures that out everybody's working for the weekend that's how i was thinking i'm trying to think of a really recent one but i can't i. I'm sure there i'm sure there's one there there. I guess the only one that's really the opposite of of that is fancy by the end. She's doing great. She's for the work you got like mansions everywhere that's true. So at the time of its release sixteen tonnes became the fastest selling single in capitals history. The recording was number one on the country charts for ten weeks and number one on the pop charts for eight weeks in nineteen ninety eight. Ernie ford's recording sixteen tons was inducted into the grammy hall of fame which honors recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance. That are at least twenty five years old in twenty fourteen. It was added to the national recording registry again which preserves audio recordings for their aesthetic historic or cultural significance So technically sixteen tonnes is on the national recording registry twice. Now yeah it's a pretty cool. Yeah so what is it about this recording like like we were saying like it's not like anything that was on the radio at the time right. It's not like anything's on the radio. Ever it's not. It's not us on that. You would think like yes. This is. This is going to be a hit. Yeah so. According to another national recording registry author ted olson quotes ernie ford who said of the recording. We used a flute a bass clarinet trumpet clarinet drums guitar vibes in a piano. They gave it a real wonderful sound. It had a good solid beat to begin with. In addition i snap my fingers author it. Sometimes i set my own tempo during rehearsal by doing that. The orchestra leader asked me what temple you want. Earning i'd say about like this. And i begin to snap my third finger and thumb together gets really into the details snapped. I mean buddy. Most people snap yeah after. I was through rehearsing that song. Lee gillette who is in charge of the recording session for capitol records screen through the telephone from the control room. Tell ernie to leave the finger snapping in when you do the final waxing. It's certainly added to that song. It gave it an effect. I hadn't heard before which is true. I mean it's true. He is putting a lot on that finger snapping that is one of the most interesting elements of the song. It's when you think of that song. Outside of his amazing vocals you think of the clarinet. And you think of that kind of echoey yes snap. Back gra yes. I agree but he really leaned into that. Snapping wasn't playing the clarinet rachel. He's like we have these other instruments blah blah blah but. Did you hear my snapping. I think it's the snapping one. It's it's such a huge element of that song and it also like you can almost hear the echo in the recording studio like ran here the space that it's in and there's something very sort of surreal but also realistic about it. It's it's very. There's a a weird sounds like a wing sounds like you're in a coal mine. Yes and it's echoing their ends. I i want to say that. I think the production is brilliant. And i'm sure that led to a big part of the reason why the song was popular. I do also want to say that as people driving in their car the hearing song ago. Yeah my job. Sucks to this guy's yet but what's interesting is that the song had existed for almost ten years before this and it hasn't really done anything right you know so. I think a lot of it was was the arrangement and a lot of it was tennessee. Ernie ford's definitely interpretation like it's just one of those things where arrangement and song and production and singer kind of like all meet and and it's perfect like this is what worked. Yeah yeah and that's all. I have to say about that so on october fourth nineteen fifty-six the ford show starring tennessee ernie ford variety show sponsored by the ford motor company. Premiered on nbc. So real cool that. They got forward to sponsor it because they could just call it. The ford shown that meant everything that you know four four ford ford and i didn't even adopted afford not like those fake warner's over there. It was the number one half hour. Primetime variety show for five years. It ran until june twenty nine thousand nine hundred sixty one and he ended each show by singing. A hymn would sort of became his trademark and he is credited for popularizing Spiritual music and bring it into the mainstream. He continued recording and working on television including daytime. A variety talk show from nineteen sixty to nineteen sixty five. He recorded more than fifty albums in the country. Pop and gospel genres mike. God that's a lot of albums he did it in one day..

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