Throughout the span of his multi-decade career, Ernest Tubb earned a reputation as a prominent pioneer in country music. He was greatly influenced by Jimmie Rodgers and was dubbed as the Texas Troubadour. He spent his leisure time honing his singing, yodeling, and guitar skills. Things changed when he had a tonsillectomy which changed his voice. But he still pioneered the honky tonk genre of music that gained popularity with his biggest career smash song.
Curious to hear more of his music? Here are the Top 10 Ernest Tubb Songs you would not want to miss out on.
1. “Walking the Floor Over You“
The song sealed Tubb’s enduring status in the country music scene, both as a singer and as a songwriter with the capacity to produce timeless hits for the genre. The song “Walking the Floor Over You” perfectly encapsulates Tubb’s career-long contributions to honky-tonk music. The premise of the song is about a man pacing about his house due to being restless. So, while he waits for his sweetheart to come back, he puts faith in the love they have and hopes she’ll be back into his loving arms. Tubb’s wife reportedly temporarily left him following a disagreement about money, which gave him the inspiration for the song.
2. “Drivin’ Nails in My Coffin”
This song is about ending the relationship and describes a man who has consumed liquor “hammering nails in my coffin over you.” The song was initially recorded and released in 1945 by Jerry Irby. Tubb’s rendition, which was released under the Decca label, peaked at #5 on the folk music charts in December 1946.
3. “Tomorrow Never Comes”
It was co-written in 1945 with his fellow vocalist Johnny Bond, it became another hit and enjoyed long-lasting appeal among country performers. The honky-tonk heartbreak ballad was featured on Tubb’s 1959 album “The Ernest Tubb Story” and on his best hits compilation “The Definitive Collection.”
4. “Blue Eyed Elaine”
Not only is “Blue Eyed Elaine” one of Tubb’s most popular songs, but it was also one of his first big hits. John Prine and Mac Wiseman recorded the song in 2006.
It was first made public in 1940 during a time of heavy songwriting for Tubb. He believed that his career as a performer was almost gone since a tonsillectomy had negatively impacted his vocal range and yodeling skills. The country singer momentarily turned his focus to songwriting, albeit this turned out to be untrue.
5. “Soldier’s Last Letter”
“Soldier’s Last Letter” is a song by Redd, on which Ernest Tubb collaborated and recorded it in 1944. It went on to become a #1 success, lasting four weeks at the peak of the Country charts over the course of a seven-month run and jumping over to the Pop chart Top 20.
In response to the assault on Pearl Harbor, Redd enrolled in the American military in 1941 and was sent by the Army to the South Pacific. The song was written during this time, and was inspired by Redd’s experience during this particular point of his life.
6. “Seaman’s Blues”
It was written by Ernest Tubb and Billy Tubb, and released on the Decca label. On the Billboard folk best sales chart, it reached 5th in May 1948. Additionally, Billboard ranked it as the 16th best-selling folk album of 1948.
7. “Blue Christmas”
The song was initially recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948, and three other musicians, including Ernest Tubb, made it popular the following year. Tubb’s version spent the first week of January 1950 at the top of Billboard magazine’s list of the Most-Played Juke Box (Country & Western) Records.
8. “Filipino Baby”
Bill Cox and Clarke Van Ness wrote this song and initially recorded it in 1937. “Filipino Baby” became a hit for three different country artists in 1946. The rendition by Tubb with the Decca label reached its peak at 2nd in November 1946 and was ranked 17th on the final country charts. The song recounts battleships leaving Manila as the sailors reflect on their time spent making love with every gorgeous woman they encountered on the islands.
9. “It’s Been So Long Darling”
It is a 1945 song by Ernest Tubb. Ernest Tubb’s second number-one country single, “It’s Been So Long, Darling,” lasted a total of thirteen weeks at the top of the charts. It was his 7th total chart appearance.
10. “(Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You”
The song’s original composition and vocal performance were both done by Stuart Hamblen, who released it in 1950. Ernest Tubb enjoyed popularity with the song in the same year. On Billboard’s lists of the “Most Played Juke Box Folk (Country & Western) Records” and the “Best-Selling Retail Folk (Country & Western) Records,” Ernest Tubb’s performance of the song peaked at 5th and 7th, respectively, in 1950.
Here Are Some of The Other Ernest Tubb Songs and Renditions You Should Definitely Listen to:
Throughout his career, Ernest Tubb has definitely produced incredible music. Along with his originals, he had also done beautiful renditions of songs and offered a tasteful take on those tracks.
Ernest Tubb Songs still remain prominent in the country music industry, and it’s not hard to understand why. He continued to produce music even during adversaries, and a lot has felt this in his every song. Truly, the Texas Troubadour’s contribution to the country music scene is unparalleled.