Ernest Tubb, born February 9, 1914 in East Texas, was a major pioneer in Country and Honky Tonk music. He grew up as the son of a sharecropper and at 19 began singing on a local radio station. Tubb had an uphill battle to climb when a tonsillectomy caused his voice to change. While he didn’t have the greatest of voices, Tubb continued to inspire other artists, musicians, and songwriters alike. His son, Justin, was a hit songwriter and artist himself and you’d certainly recognize the names of his former Texas Troubadours band members such as Leon Rhodes, Buddy Emmons, Cal Smith, and Jack Green. Vern Gosdin paid homage to Tubb in the song, “Set ‘Em Up Joe.”
Ernest Tubb & The Texas Troubadours | Country Music Hall of Fame
Ironically, two of Ernest Tubb’s most recognizable songs didn’t fair well on the Country charts. “Waltz Across Texas” and “Walking the Floor Over You” only made it to 34 and 31, respectively. However, it was “Walking the Floor Over You” that really gave Honky Tonk music its start. Rolling Stone has ranked the song number 22 out of greatest Country songs ever. In the article, Mike Powell wrote, “’Walking’ was an early instance of country music’s fascination with the electric guitar, a rude instrument used in places of questionable morality. If anything, Tubb’s voice only helped foster the idea that he was authentic – a regular dude who made good on his shortcomings and sold millions.”* Check out the video below of Ernest Tubb singing, “Walking the Floor Over You” from Marty Robbins Spotlight!