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Ernest Tubb Record Shop is losing its name but maybe not its feel


Chris Elrod shows an LP released on Chris Elrod on Stage between acts Chris with Justin Tubb
Rhino & Lost Gold Records in 1988


FORT WORTH — If songwriters were telling the story of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in the Fort Worth Stockyards, they might pen that love is what’s made the place go ’round for almost 21 years.
A love of good country music saved the place from closing four years ago when fan Jerry Kay Weeks bought it, and now another fan, Laura Croy, has stepped up to save it again.
The shop’s CDs, vinyl records and cassette tapes bear the names of honky-tonk heroes including Webb Pierce, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, George Jones and Lefty Frizzell, along with newer material from the likes of George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Willie Nelson.
The music inside stays, but sadly the sign outside bearing the name of Ernest Tubb is going away.
Tubb, an Ellis County lad who followed his musical dreams first to Fort Worth in 1940 and then to Nashville two years later, became one of the biggest stars of midcentury country music. He starred in movies in the 1940s and established the original Ernest Tubb Record Shop in downtown Nashville 66 years ago. Its two locations in Nashville and one in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., are still active and presenting the iconic Midnite Jamboree jam session every Saturdaynight on radio.
On Saturday afternoon, the Fort Worth store, at 140 E. Exchange Ave., hosted a live music shindig. As guests arrived, Weeks reflected on her purchase of the shop four years ago.
“Nashville was going to close it, and I was the best customer, so I bought it to keep it open,” she said. “There’s nothing else like this.”
Once Nashville had washed its hands of the Fort Worth location, Weeks said, there were copyright restrictions, including the inability to have a separate website, that severely hindered the operation. Only the E.T. name remained.
Weeks, who bought the shop from original owner Jimmy Stinson, admits that the latest sale came “in the nick of time” before she would have had to close it forever.
Croy and her fiddle-playing friend Anthony Wilson plan to keep the vintage inventory intact, though the privately owned Tubb memorabilia will go back to its original owners. Wilson, who performs in area country bands and sat in with the crowd on Saturday, will manage the shop.
“I love music and I didn’t want to see it close down,” said Croy, who is a special-education teacher. “I want to see the tradition keep going and preserve it.”
But there’s more, and it has to do with the younger music fans who quietly browsed through bins of vinyl albums looking for treasures while older patrons sat in folding chairs up front to hear the music.
“Since vinyl is so popular again, I think this is a good time to get into it,” Croy said.
As they did Saturday, vintage country fans may still get to hear veteran crooners sing live at the shop. Frankie Miller of Blackland Farmer fame sat in with Bill Monday on guitar and Billy Keeble on vocals. Keeble did a turn on the late Ray Price’s Crazy Arms.
A handprinted sign on yellow legalpad paper read, “Free Records,” and several boxes of well-worn LPs — from mostly unknown country and gospel performers and, curiously, even a few selections from Clovis, N.M., high school bands dating back two or three decades — were lined up in the back for the taking.
The most expensive vinyl offering was an approximately 4-inch-thick boxed set of the complete works of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Price: $350.
On Saturday afternoon, one of the few details left to settle was what to call the place now, said Croy.
“I’ve got about a week to decide,” she said.
As the 100th anniversary of Tubb’s birthday approaches on Feb. 9, fewer and fewer people instantly connect with his name, though they’ll likely always dance to Waltz Across Texas andWalking the Floor Over You. The affable legend with his trademark “Thanks” painted on the back of his guitar died in 1984 at age 70.
For those who do remember, much of the tradition of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop is lost with the name change.
“I helped open the store, and we’ve had a good run,” said A.J. Lockett, a longtime employee who was a friend of Tubb’s. Her own birthday was celebrated Saturday at the party. She has worked only occasionally the past few years.
“I’m glad we sold it, but I’m very sad they’re doing away with the Ernest Tubb name,” she said with a tear in her eye. “But change has come.”



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Expand your knowledge of pop music with Joel’s brand-new book, Hit Records 1954-1982. Here you will find thousands of new artists and songs (not seen in any other Record Research book) that appeared on the Music Vendor and Record World pop singles charts.

The Music Vendor trade magazine began publication in 1947 and furnished charts based on surveys of record performances in juke boxes nationwide. On October 4, 1954, it introduced a weekly “Popular Programming Guide” chart which featured 80 titles, far surpassing the number of songs on other charts of the time. Reporting solely on jukebox plays and record sales, the chart was a clear indication of what was being played in the hamburger joints and purchased at record shops. As radio airplay was not a factor, there was a great deal of R&B on the Music Vendor chart; teens were buying original rock ‘n’ roll (Fats Domino vs. Pat Boone) long before it was embraced by radio. Evidence for this is clearly seen in Hit Records with the hundreds of rock ‘n’ roll songs that hit nationally but do not appear in any of our other books!

In 1964, two former Cash Box employees purchased Music Vendor and renamed it Record World. It remained one of the leading music trade magazines during the heyday of the vinyl record, until it ceased publication in 1982.

The main section of Hit Records is an artist-by-artist listing of every song that appeared on the Music Vendor/Record World pop charts. Listed for each title is its debut date, peak position, total weeks charted, B-side, record label & number, and a special star symbol indicating that the song does not appear with chart information in our Top Pop Singles book. Also included is a song title index and song and artist rankings.

Here’s what you’ll discover in Hit Records:

  • • Hundreds of new ‘oldies’ artists (never before seen in any of our books!)
  • • 1000s of classic hits with chart data from The Clovers, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, George Thorogood, and on and on
  • • Major artists with many more charted hits
  • • The Beatles 24 #1 hits
  • • CCR’s 3 #1 hits
  • • Original R&B songs hitting the charts alongside their pop covers in the mid-‘50s
  • This is a must-have reference for music history enthusiasts! But, remember our print run is limited.




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All-new research on records not seen in any other Record Research pop singles book!

Very Limited Print Edition

On February 23, 1959, Music Vendor magazine introduced “Beat of the Week … And Heading For the Top 100 – Popular” chart. This was 15 weeks prior toBillboard magazine introducing its “Bubbling Under” chart. Music Vendor’schart grew to 50 positions. In April of 1964, Music Vendor became Record World and this chart was retitled “Singles Coming Up.” From 1974 until Record World’s end in 1982, while Billboard’s Bubbling Under chart featured only 10 song titles, Record World’s “ #101-150” chart hosted 40 more titles!

#101-150 Hit Records: 1959-1982 is the research of approximately 4,500 song titles that do not appear in our Top Pop Singles book, which features all songs that made Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart and “Bubbling Under the Hot 100” chart,nor do they appear in our Hit Records book, which features all songs that made the Music Vendor / Record World "Top 100" pop singles charts.

Now, finally accounted for in music history are many songs that are “Hall of Fame” classics, regional surf, hot rod, garage rock, and doo-wop. The #101-150 chart was also the home of the popular compositions of many jazz and blues artists. These along with thousands of obscurities are thoroughly researched. Also appearing is the B-side of every single, plus a biography for every new artist. Here’s a sampling of classics that now have chart data:

  • - Aerosmith … Train Kept A Rollin’
  • - The Beach Boys … Surf’s Up
  • - Black Sabbath … Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath
  • - David Bowie ... Heroes
  • - Captain Beefheart … Diddy Wah Diddy
  • - Eric Clapton … Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  • - Deep Purple … Stormbringer
  • - Bob Dylan … Blowin’ In The Wind
  • - Emerson, Lake & Palmer … Fanfare For The Common Man
  • - Grateful Dead … U.S. Blues
  • - Elton John … Take Me To The Pilot
  • - Carole King … Up On The Roof
  • - Bob Marley … Waiting In Vain
  • - Marilyn Monroe … I Wanna Be Loved By You
  • - Pink Floyd … Comfortably Numb
  • - James Taylor … Sweet Baby James
  • - The Who … Substitute

Over 100 major artists have 5-10 titles in this book. Those songs do not appear in any of our other pop singles books, including songs by:

  • - Annette
  • - Chuck Berry
  • - Johnny Cash
  • - The Beach Boys
  • - Dion
  • - Fats Domino
  • - The Drifters
  • - The Fireballs
  • - Bill Haley & His Comets
  • - Herman's Hermits
  • - Brian Hyland
  • - The Kingston Trio
  • - Ricky Nelson
  • - Johnny Rivers
  • - Tommy Roe
  • - Jack Scott
  • - Frank Sinatra
  • - The Ventures

There will only be one print run on this book, so get it while you can. When it’s gone, it’s gone.


Record World Magazine is proud to recommend TIMA to Independent artists. TIMA is an honorable organization that goes to great lengths to help up coming artists achieve their full potential. Visit them at the link below.






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