Monday, October 17, 2011

Merle Travis (Tennessee Ernie Ford)

Well, if you see me comin', better step aside
A lot of men didn't, and a lot of men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't get you, the left one will 
You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
From his 1946 song, "Sixteen Tons," which was a huge hit for Tennessee Ernie Ford in 1955.  The song was #1 on the country music charts for 10 weeks, and #1 on the pop charts for eight weeks.  

Other musicians who recorded or performed this song included Frankie Laine, the platters, Elvis Presley, Bo Diddley, Stevie Wonder, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Eric Burdon, and crazy Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

Travis's father was a Kentucky coal miner who used to say that he was "another day older and deeper in debt" when he came home at night.

Tennessee Ernie Ford died on this date 20 in 1991 -- exactly 36 years after his recording of "Sixteen Tons" was released.

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