Sep 03


Popular15 comments • 3,470 views

#30, 11th March 1955

The history books record it as the first ‘country record’ to top the British charts, but even Shania in full-on sitars-and-bongos mode would blush at claiming this one for Nashville. Tennessee’s chucklesome hick baritone is the only remotely downhome signifier here; everything else is slathering strings and dewy-eyed sentiment which could have been happily placed with Frankie Laine or David Whitfield. Maybe the plodding march-time rhythm is meant to be countrified, too – it makes for a dreary listen whatever.



  1. 1
    pauline on 27 Jul 2007 #

    good site

  2. 2
    pauline on 27 Jul 2007 #

    looking for a sertain song

  3. 3
    pauline on 27 Jul 2007 #

    dont no what you mean add a comment not had a look yet

  4. 4
    Ciggladlyrils on 1 Apr 2009 #

    Крайне хочется написать какуюнить пакость, но может я один такой, подожду ещё коментов

  5. 5
    Victoria on 7 Feb 2010 #

    It’s no Sixteen Tons is it?

  6. 6
    wichita lineman on 8 Feb 2010 #

    It was a B-side in the US, to River Of No Return (much better), no idea why it got so big over here. Billy Fury covered it for his last hit on Decca in 1966 but even in his and arranger Mike Leander’s hands it was too stocky and cumbersome.

  7. 7
    Eli on 22 Dec 2010 #

    I enjoy this record, myself – not as much as I once did though, when I was slightly more young and impressionable… I can see why the housewives of 1950s Britain would have gone for it.

    It definitely sounds like it belongs in a B-western from the 40s.

  8. 8
    Allen Humes on 11 May 2011 #

    I remember having the record in my collection of 78s. It was played loads then – Song a bit trite, but an unforgettable voice.
    Ps: I have just bought the backing track for the song -I may re-release it on my next album!!

  9. 9
    wichita lineman on 11 May 2011 #

    Great voice, no question. And he could do proto-rockers too – I found a UK 7″ of this swinging 1954 effort the other week, which was a thrill.

  10. 10
    Eli on 6 Jun 2011 #

    This was definitely “proto rock”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IGhyPB0NAw

  11. 11
    brian on 7 Jul 2011 #

    I have this on offer on ebay.co.uk

    the origial 78s shellac recording..

  12. 12
    doberman on 3 Mar 2012 #

    Got it’s popularity from Two Way Family Favourites and then plugged on The Capitol Show on Radio Lux.

  13. 13
    Mark G on 18 Oct 2013 #

    Stop groaning! The mental pictures are bad.

  14. 14
    slideyfoot on 17 May 2020 #

    Ha – yeah, this was NOT what I was expecting from a guy called Tennessee Ernie Ford. Then again, I suppose the super polished country sound wasn’t that unusual, given (much better) exponents like Patsy Cline from around the same time.

    I’ve got vague memories of the Nashville sound and then Countrypolitan being talked about on some of the excellent country docs that have been on BBC Four in the last few years, like the Ken Burns one, but can’t remember the exact dates when country was so smooth it basically sounded like pop. Wikipedia tells me the term ‘Nashville sound’ started in 1958, so yeah, I’m guessing not connected to Tennessee Ernie Ford. Saying that, if I google “nashville sound” and “tennessee ernie ford”, I do get some hits, like this ebook snippet (sorry for the ugly url: I could tinyurl it, but meh, those always look a little dodgy):


    Quick google tells me ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’ was 1957, though that’s still a lot more country than ‘Give Me Your Word’. Something like ‘Always’ is kinda comparable in it’s non-countryness, but that was 1963, a very different musical landscape.

  15. 15
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    I would stretch to a 5/10 for TEF.

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