Primary Wave has purchased the publishing interest in the Tennessee Ernie Ford catalog that has reverted to the late singer’s estate, Tennessee Ernie Ford Enterprises. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In total, the Primary Wave deal takes in about 170 songs that Ford either wrote or, in the case of public domain songs, arranged. Ford’s biggest hit, “16 Tons,” was a cover, but other hits like “Blackberry Boogie” and “Shot Gun Boogie” were written by him and are part of the catalog included in the deal. He also did a re-arrangement of “I Need Thee Every Hour,” which is also included in the deal.
Ford, an early radio and television personality, recorded nearly 50 albums in the country, gospel, and holiday music genres. According to the Primary Wave press release, Ford was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1994. He also has received three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for radio, records, and television.
On television, the Ford Show ran on NBC from 1956 to 1961; and from 1962-65, Ford hosted a daytime talk show, the Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, from San Francisco’s KGO-TV, which was broadcast over the ABC television network. He also appeared as “cousin Ernie” on “I Love Lucy.”
According to Primary Wave partner and CFO Ramon Villa, the company plans to leverage its relationships with key players in the music, television, motion picture and advertising industries, to re-market the music of Ford, which he labels an iconic artist in the genres of gospel, country and holiday music.
“Up until now, his catalog has been undervalued, and we plan to re-market it and introduce it to new generations,” Villa said.
In a statement, Murphy Ford, family member and associate director of
Tennessee Ernie Ford Enterprises, said that she sees the Primary Wave deal as a “fantastic opportunity to broaden the appeal and exposure of Ernie’s music.”