The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show

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NBC (ended 1961)

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The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show

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Hosted by Tennessee Ernie Ford, the likeable singer, comedian, entertainer received his own variety show sponsored by the Ford Motor Company which gave Ernie the venue to entertain millions with his informal friendly manner and talent. His music was a combination of gospel and country and western. His homespun catch phrase "Bless Their Little Pea Pickin' Hearts", endeared him to the nation. During the first season the choral group "The Voices of Walter Schumann" backed Ernie. During the remainder of the series "The Top Twenty" (consisting of Dick Beavers, Joanne Burgin, Howard Chitjean, Donna Cook, Irene Cummings, Chet Fisher, Dorothy Gill, John Guarnieri, Ken Harp, Deltra Kamsler, Don Kent, David McDaniel, Katy Nero, Ken Remo, Pat Rocco, Elaine Tavano Thompson, Tommy Traynor, Dick Wessler, Karen Wessler, Ted Wills) were Ernie's back-up group. Tennessee Ernie Ford topped the pop and country charts with "Sixteen Tons." He ended every show with a gospel number.

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