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Ernie Ashworth
Born:  December 15, 1928
Died:  March 2, 2009
Alabama Music Hall of Fame (2008)
America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame (2005)
WSM Grand Ole Opry
WBHP Huntsville, AL
WEKR Fayetteville, TN
WKDA Nashville, TN
WLAC Nashville, TN
WSIX Nashville, TN
WSM Nashville, TN

Ernest Ashworth was born in Huntsville, Alabama back in 1928. An early article when he first came on the scene indicated he had a quiet, unassuming manner of kindness to his fellow performers. But through the years, his ambition was to sing.

He found himself a job as a member of the staff band at WEKR in Fayetteville, Tennessee, giving him a chance to display his talents. But like most country musicians, the desire to succeed in Nashville took over and he found himself a job with the Tennessee Drifters. He worked at various stations with them such as WLAC, WKDA, WSIX and WSIX-TV. A 1965 article indicates he began working with the Tennessee Drifters in 1951.

Initially, it looks like his songwriting talents got the attention of the stars of the Grand Ole Opry and others such as Carl Smith, Little Jimmy Dickens, Johnny Horton, Wilma Lee Coper and Al Terry. That same 1965 article we mention above told readers that he started getting his songs recorded as early as 1955. Carl Smith recorded his "There's a Bottle Where She Used To Be". Johnny Horton reocrded "Journey With No End"

He would record the vocal demos that were sent to the artists when pitching his songs. Those demoes were heard by some who thought he had some vocal talents.

The first label he signed with was MGM, recording several sides under the name of Billy Worth. At the time, Wesley Rose was his personal manager.

In 1956, he appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as Billy Worth on July 30. A couple weeks later on August 13, he was on Ernest Tubb's Midnight Jamboree. One magazine article indicates he was a factory mechanic back then when he recorded "Too Many Times" written by Melvin Endsley on MGM Records.

His fan club back then was headed by Janice Schade and another one was led by George and Grovene Tucker in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

He left the music scene in 1957 for a time when he joined the Redstone Arsenal in Hunstville, Alabama. It was a job that entailed working with guided missiles.

But music still had a hold on him and Wesley helped him get another recording contract, this time with Decca Records. That combination appeared to work for Ernest that time. His first two releases turned into hits - "Each Moment" and "You Can't Pick A Rose In December".

Some of the songs he wrote over the years included:

  • My Heart Says - as Billy Worth
  • There's Good In Everybody - as Billy Worth
  • My Heart Says - as Billy Worth
  • The Nearest Thing To Heaven (Is You) - as Billy Worth
  • You'll Hear My Heart Break - as Billy Worth with Billy Hogan
  • That's How Much I Care
  • King Of The Blues
  • I Wish
  • Forever Gone - with Billy Hogan
  • A New Heart - with Arlis Clark
  • Tender and True - with Tom Morebind and Harold Watson

In 1962, he moved to Hickory Records. His first release with them was "Nobody But Me" and climbed to the Top Five spot on the country music charts. His second release, "I Take The Chance" climbed again into the Top Five. Then he recorded his classic, "Talk Back Trembling Lips", that reached the number one spot.

On March 7, 1964, he became a member of the WSM Grand Ole Opry.

Joining the Opry in 1964 wasn't the only reward he saw. He received two awards for Most Promising Male Country Artist from two industry publications, Cas Box and Record World magazines.

In 1964, his music could be heard in the soundtrack of a movie called "Farm Girl". If you saw the movie, you heard him sing "Talk Back Trembling Lips", "Pushed In A Corner", and "Love Has Come My Way".

In 1968, he told one magazine what he hoped his future would be. "I just hope I can always record songs that people will like and accept."

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs; No. 44; January 1956; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Country and WEstern Jamboree; May 1957; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Cowboy Songs; No. 73; Winter 1963; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Country Song Roundup; No. 91; December 1965; Charlton Publishing Corp.; Derby, CT
  • Country Songs And Stars; No. 87; March 1967; Charlton Publishing Corp.; Derby, CT
  • Country Songs And Stars; No. 92; January 1968; Charlton Publishing Corp.; Derby, CT

Appearance History This Month
 
March 8, 1968

Lawrenceburg, TN
 
March 16, 1968

Fyffe, AL
 
March 18, 1968
Black Poodle
Nashville, TN
 
March 19, 1968
Black Poodle
Nashville, TN
 
March 20, 1968
Black Poodle
Nashville, TN
 
March 21, 1968
Black Poodle
Nashville, TN
 
March 22, 1968
Black Poodle
Nashville, TN
 
March 23, 1968
Black Poodle
Nashville, TN

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Recordings
 
Decca
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  31085 A Each Moment (Spent With You)
  31085 B Night Time Is Cry Time
  31156 A You'll Hear My Heart Break
  31156 B You Can't Pick A Rose In December
  31237 A Life Of The Party
  31237 B Forever Gone
 
Hickory
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1400 A At Ease Heart
  1428 A Sad Face
  1428 A Sad Face
  1428 B I'm From Missouri
  1428 B I'm From Missouri
  45-1189 A King Of The Blues
  45-1189 B I Take The Chance
  45-1214 A Talk Back Trembling Lips
  45-1214 B That's How Much I Care
  45-1265 A My Heart Would Know
  45-1265 B I Love To Dance With Annie
  45-1304 A Love Has Come My Way
  45-1304 B Because I Cared
  45-1325 A The DJ Cried
  45-1325 B Scene of Destruction
  45-1358 A I Wish
  45-1358 B Crazy Me, Foolish You
  45-1484 Back On My Mind Again
  45-1484 Tender And True
  45-1647 A Dreaming Again
  45-1647 B I Wish
  45-1781 A Gooder Than Good
  45-1781 B Pushed In a Corner
  45-K-1428 A Sad Face
  45-K-1428 B I'm From Missouri
  45-K-1445 A Just An Empty Place
  45-K-1445 B Just One Time
  45-K-1503 A The Next Ones (You Love)
  45-K-1503 B A New Heart
  45-K-1513 A I Feel Better Than I Meant To
  45-K-1513 B You Don't Have To Be An Angel Anymore
  45-K-1528 A Hocus Pocus
  45-K-1528 B Where Do You Go
  45-K-1570 A A Woman's Touch
  45-K-1570 B That Look of Good-bye
 
MGM
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  12035 A Because I Cared
  12035 B There's Good In Everybody
  12117 A Honey Don't You Miss Me (Just A Little)
  12117 B Why Don't You Leave Us Alone
  12286 A My Heart Says
  12286 B Except
  12372 A Too Many Times
  12372 B Then You're Really Making Love
  12451 A Down With The Blues
  12451 B The Nearest Thing To Heaven
  12574 A Jim Joe Mary
  12574 B Let's Keep Steady Company
 
O'Brien
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  OB320 A Each Moment (Spent With You)
  OB320 B Little Rosa


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