Tennessee Ernie Ford Variety Show Screenings
In cooperation with Tennessee Ernie Ford Enterprises, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum will also be hosting daily screenings of episodes of The Ford Show, Ernie Ford’s prime-time variety show, in the Performance Theater as a supplement to the exhibit beginning on November 1. There will also be special evening screenings of double-bills of The Ford Show, one of Ford’s Christmas television specials, and a biographical film on Ford; these evening screenings are free and open to the public.
From 1956 until 1961, NBC gave Tennessee Ernie Ford his own prime-time variety show: The Ford Show, which received an Emmy nomination and remained the highest rated half-hour variety show throughout its run. For five years, Ford shared the stage with stars from Zsa Zsa Gabor and Carol Channing to Liberace and Tony Bennett, and he gave national exposure to emerging talents such as Johnny Cash and The Everly Brothers. Integral to the show were Ford’s many homespun comedy routines, musical numbers, and gracious interviews.
The screenings of one 30-minute Ford Show episode will run regularly during the lifetime of the Ernie Ford exhibit, October 24, 2015 – February 14, 2016, beginning on November 1 and with the exception of November 15, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, a single 30-minute episode will be screened in the Performance Theater at 12:00 noon; every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, a single 30-minute episode will be looped in the Performance Theater between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. (unless the theater is in use for a WBCM radio event). The episodes shown will change approximately every two weeks.
Special evening screenings will also run at 6:30 p.m. on specific dates:
Tuesday, Nov. 3: Tennessee Ernie Ford: His Life and Times
Tuesday, Nov. 17: The Ford Show Double-Bill
Wednesday, Dec. 16: A Ford Family Christmas
Tuesday, Jan. 12: The Ford Show Double-Bill
Tuesday, Jan 26: TBA
Admission to the evening film screenings are free. The daily screenings are a supplement to the Tennessee Ernie Ford special exhibit – admission to the exhibit is included in your regular museum admission fee; admission to the Tennessee Ernie Ford exhibit on its own is $7. A concert and a “Sixteen Tons” contest will soon be announced.