February 9

“Set ‘Em Up Joe”: A Song of a Singer to His Idol Tubb

“Set ‘Em Up Joe” is a song that Vern Gosdin co-wrote with Dean Dillon, Buddy Cannon, and Hank Cochran. The American country music artist himself, Vern Gosdin, made a cover of the track. Released in April 1988, it was the second single from the album Chiseled in Stone. “Set ‘Em Up Joe” was Gosdin’s second chart-topper on the country chart. For a week, the track stayed at the top. And, within the Top 40, it stayed for a total of 15 weeks. In 2010, Jamey Johnson made his own version of the album The Guitar Song.

The purpose of this song was to pay tribute to Vern’s idol Ernest Tubb. Its lines have great visionary thoughts:

Every night they replace old B-024 because every night I run the needle through walking the floor.

Vern Gosdin’s Idol: Ernest Tubb

The name Ernest Tubb is a notable name in the country music industry. He inspired some of the most devoted fans of any country artist. In addition, he had a legion of supporters who followed him, long after the chart hits dried up.

He and most of his noble companions remained a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry where he continued to appear. A few blocks away from the Opry at his record shop, he continued to host his radio program Midnite Jamboree. In the year 1979, Cachet Records made a prominent release. The Legend and the Legacy is a pairing of Tubb with who’s who of country singers under the label. Not many know that Tubb had a financial connection with the said record label.

Sometime in 1980, Ernest Tubb appeared as himself in Loretta Lynn’s autobiographical film. If you know “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, Ernest was there with Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl.

After two decades, First Generations label re-released this long out of print duets album as a CD. The release was in celebration of its 20th anniversary since its launch. Soon enough, it quickly went out of print again.


Ernest Tubb, set 'em up joe, vern gosdin

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