Ernie Wishes You A Bitchin' 4th, From The Grave
:: Mr. and Mississippi ::
:: Battle Hymn of the Republic ::
:: This Land is Your Land ::
:: This is My Country ::
:: America the Beautiful ::
:: The Pledge of Allegiance ::
:: God Bless America ::
I guess by now it’s obvious that I wholeheartedly appreciate the music and voice of Tennessee Ernie Ford, as I think this is the fourth time that I’ve posted something by him. Over the years I’ve amassed a pretty sizeable collection of his records, mostly by default. See, for a few years, I kept revisiting his section in various record stores hoping to find the LP with his version of “Mister and Mississippi,” which is seriously one of my favorite songs. Ever, Bob, ever. Sure, it’s available on a few greatest hit compact disc compilations, but I hungered for it on glorious vinyl with little pops and crackles. Though I’d never find what I was looking for when flipping through those Ford sections, I’d always end up at the register with a handful of his albums. Anyway, a little while back I looked the song up on the internets to find out which album it was on, to find that it was released as a b-side in 1951 to the “She’s My Baby” single, and never made it to LP. After slapping my forehead, I went out and immediately found it. It’s a nice slice of Americana, so it’s appropriate for today, isn’t it?
The holiday also calls for some of Big Ern’s patriotic offerings from the 1970 LP, America the Beautiful. My version of the album is the reissue from 1975 with a different cover, which Capitol marketed as their Bicentennial album. I’m not sure why they chose this photo for the reissue’s cover, but the “just-goosed” expression on Ford’s face is priceless. Capitol should have thrown in a question mark to match that expression, America the Beautiful? Anyway, should Ernie’s renditions of these hymns stir your heart, as they do mine, I think an exclamation of, “America…Heck Yes!” is in order. Big Ern would approve, God bless his pea-pickin’ heart.