On The Air, Vol. 2

Release Date: 
November 11, 2011
New West Records
Release Type: 
  1. Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone
  2. Hey Mr. Cotton Picker
  3. Sweet Sue
  4. Mama Don’t Like No Music
  5. Cool Water
  6. Sleepy Time Gal
  7. You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry
  8. Ain’t She Sweet
  9. The Tennessee Local
  10. Bright Lights And Blonde Haired Women
  11. Sunday Down In Tennessee
  12. River Of No Return
  13. Oh Happy Day
  14. My Blue Heaven

Three years before "Sixteen Tons" would take the record-world by storm and place Tennessee Ernie Ford on the map forever, he was paying dues the old-fashioned way ... playing the club circuit from coast-to-coast, and cutting tracks from dawn to dusk.


From June to September of 1953 (soon after a record-breaking Royal Command Performance at The London Palladium), he virtually lived at Western Recorders on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood along with The Billy Liebert Band, the group that had been backing him up in the studio and on the road for three years.  The result was 260 live-to-tape, fifteen-minute radio shows syndicated to more than a hundred stations around the country and overseas. 


Featuring band leader Billy Liebert on accordion, George Bruns on bass and trombone, guitarist Billy Strange, steel virtuoso Speedy West, and violinist/clarinetist Harold Hensley, Tennessee Ernie Ford Enterprises is proud to announce its partnership with New West Records for the release of two compilations – On The Air Volumes I & II, a total of twenty-eight restored and re-mastered tracks culled from more than five-hundred recordings. And while a handful include brief moments of technical imperfection, these are tracks that stand among the greatest music this legendary singer recorded in his 50 year career, and underscore why Stan Kenton called Ernie Ford, “Maybe the best singer in American popular music.”


I’ve always agreed, but then, I’m a little prejudiced.


Jeffrey Buckner Ford. August, 2010