Ernest Jennings Ford (February 13, 1919 - October 17, 1991), better known as Tennessee Ernie Ford, was an American recording artist and television host who enjoyed success in the country and Western, pop, and gospel musical genres. Today, he is best remembered for his hit recording of the George S. Davis composed 'Sixteen Tons'. Born in Bristol, Tennessee, to Clarence Thomas Ford and Maud Long, Ford began his radio career as an announcer at WOPI-AM in Bristol, Tennessee. In 1939, the young bass-baritone left the station to study classical singing at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio. First Lieutenant Ford served in World War II as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan. After the war, Ford worked at radio stations in San Bernardino and Pasadena, California. In San Bernardino, Ford was hired as a radio announcer. He was assigned to host an early morning country music disc jockey program titled Bar Nothin' Ranch Time.
Contributions by Billy Hathorn, RadioBroadcast, and Ustye.