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Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubadour Paperback – January 26, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the preface to this biography of the Texas Troubadour, author Pugh remarks that what first impressed him about the late Ernest Tubb was his "sheer staying power." Clearly it was perseverance that sustained Tubb through his five-decade career. During his initial climb to stardom, Tubb successfully dealt with the setbacks of poorly organized recording sessions and war (which limited the supply of shellac for the production of record albums), later managing to survive the introduction of rock and roll to the music scene. All the while, Tubb battled drinking, illness and broken relationships. The author does not dwell on Tubb's personal problems, however. Nor does he skimp on the events that led the East Texas native to become famous for such well-known hits as "Waltz Across Texas" and "Walking the Floor Over You." Amusing and illuminating anecdotes abound, including those about Tubb's admiration for Jimmie Rodgers and the early assistance provided Tubb by the legendary singer's widow, Carrie Rodgers, who asked in return simply that Tubb do the same for others. The "others" Tubb wound up assisting via his radio show "Midnite Jamboree," which still exists today, and his connections with the Grand Ole Opry, include Elvis Presley and Hank Williams. Though much has been written about the Texas Troubadour, this book provides ample insight into his entire career and an equally ample discography. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Tubb (1914-84) came from a humble background in Crisp, Texas, where his father was an overseer of a cotton farm. Growing up, Tubb was exposed to the music of Jimmie Rodgers. When Rodgers died, Tubb, a dedicated fan who had just started his own music career, felt he should carry on the Rodgers legacy. Even though he was heavily influenced by Rodgers, Tubb eventually became a legend himself, influencing the direction and growth of country music. Through Tubb's persuasion, the name "hillbilly" was dropped by the music industry in favor of "country music." Through Tubb's insistence a separate category of country music appeared on the charts in some of the trade magazines. Likewise, it was Tubb who paved the way for acceptance of country through his successful 1947 appearance at New York City's Carnegie Hall. Pugh, head of reference at the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, has produced an excellent biography of Tubb. Recommended for libraries with American music collections.?Kathleen Sparkman, Baylor Univ., Waco, Tex.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (January 26, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822321904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822321903
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mr. Pugh's "Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubador" offers a well balanced context of Tubb's life. The good times, hard times, his strengths, and weaknesses. My father, the late Vernon "Toby" Reese was one of the orignal members of Tubb's band in the 40's. I can recall his stories about Tubb when I was a child. Mr. Pughs book is right on target.
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Format: Hardcover
I have personally known the Tubb family and most of this I already knew so it was fun seeing what would be in the book and what would be left out and he left nothing out of the book. It gave you a very honet portait of this legendary man. It did not give a sugar coated picture. It was very informative and honest. Although I never got to meet the man just knowing what I know of him and his family. I'am sure that he would be proud of this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Ernest Tubb (1914-84) was born dirt poor in Crisp Texas. During the Depression the lad toiled digging ditches; picking cotton; selling beer and singing for a matress company! Tubb toiled in rowdy Texas honkey-tonks and on small wattage radio stations. Ernest worked hard and finally got a spot on the Grand Ole Opry in 1943. Ernest Tubb sold millions of records. The tall Texan helped countless entertainers in their career development. He assisted among others: Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Hank Thompson, Skeeter Davis, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Cal Smith, Jack Greene and many others. He made over 4,000 on stage appearance, started and hosted the Ernest Tubb Record Shop Midnight Jamboree and recorded such classic country tunes as "Waltz Across Texas,"; "I'm Walking the Floor Over You,""Thanks a Lot." and countelss others. Tubb sold millions of records and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and was a wonderful ambassador of gaining country music respectability. Tubb's muscial idol was Jimmy Rodgers the singing breakman who died of TB in 1933. Tubb instituted the Jimmy Rodgers Festival in Meridian Mississippi; he was a friend of Mrs. Rodgers and was allowed to use Rodger's guitar on his gigs.
The Texas Troubadour fathered eight children having two wives Elaine and Oleane. Both of these marriages ended in divorce. He had trouble with alcoholic binges, heavy smoking and could exhibit a terrible temper. He was no saint. Yet Ernest Tubb was basically a kind man who helped others throughout his long career. He was one of the first entertainers to call his music "country" instead of "hillbilly. Tubb perfomed everywhere from Carneige Hall in New York to Nashville's Grand Ole Opry to a famous tour of Korea along with Hank Snow.
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Format: Hardcover
This book provides an excellent picture of Ernest Tubb. It's filled with detail about his life and his importance to the music industry, and it's an objective and balanced biography. The only thing I found odd was the lack of family interviews. I don't know how one can write a complete biography without talking to surviving family members.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book. Ronnie Pugh has the inside scoop on all things Nashville and he has written one fine book here. The book takes one from Ernest's humble beginnings through his desire to be a Jimmie Rodgers clone. His association with Carrie Rodgers, the widow of the singing brakeman is covered in this book.

There is a personal glimpse inside Ernest's early days on radio and his struggle to be all that he could be in a hard scrabble world of country music.

There are many humorous stories in the book about the long trips and the pranks the characters would play on one another just for entertainment.

This book gives the reader a complete look at Ernest Tubb the Texas Troubadour from the beginning to the end. Too bad there was so much greed within the family concerning Ernest's personal items, but that is often the case when someone passes away.

It is a known fact that Ernest helped many young stars to realize their potential and gain them the access to those that could further their careers. Ernest was never one to brag about helping others and did so because of the warm hearted person he truly was.

Please give this book a try and I believe you will be glad you did.
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Format: Hardcover
Ronnie Pugh has done an excellent job of describing a Country music legend. He told many of the ways that Ernest Tubb helped the Country music industry, and gave what I think is a fair and accurate account of the man himself. This book is a must for any Ernest Tubb fan, and for anyone who wants to learn more about this great artist and great man. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is very interesting reading about one of my relatives. He was a troubled a young I feel, did very well in his music business. It's an easy read; the words are a nice size. Some books have the words so tiny you can't read them. I recommend this to all.
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Format: Paperback
Ronnie Pugh offers a thoroughly researched biography on the life and times of Ernest Tubb sure to delight both fans and students of Country music. A Nashville insider himself, Pugh talked to many of the people whose accounts supply the details here, and talked to many over a period of years. This is a very "straight" biography - there's no attempt to psychoanalyze the subject or make him represent some big idea. It's the kind of biography that results from hard work and a vast accumulation of detail. Notes are provided for every chapter, the work is indexed, of course, and it includes a valuable discography. Those who appreciate stories of wild times on the road will have to settle for a genteel admission that Tubb drank and gambled on occasion; Pugh states at the outset that he doesn't intend to indulge in salacious details. The book is honest though, and provides a fascinating account of a wonderful life. It's hard to imagine a more definitive work on the subject.
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