b. Ernest Bert Ashworth, 15 December 1928, Huntsville, Alabama, USA. In his youth, the country singer-songwriter longed to be a star on the Grand Ole Opry. His first job was in the civil service, but he moved into radio in Huntsville in the late 40s and played in a local band, the Tune Twisters. Ashworth moved to Nashville in 1950 where he worked in radio and television. In 1955, as Billy Worth, he made his first recordings for MGM but he grew disillusioned and returned to Huntsville in 1957 where he worked in a missile factory. In 1960 Wesley Rose became his manager and he secured a contract with US Decca Records. His first release, ‘Each Moment Spent With You’, reached number 4 in the US country charts. In 1962, after further country hits with ‘You Can’t Pick A Rose In December’ and ‘Forever Gone’, he moved to Hickory Records and found success with ‘Everybody But Me’. In 1963 his recording of John D. Loudermilk’s ‘Talk Back Trembling Lips’ topped the US country charts, although it was a pop hit for Johnny Tillotson. In March 1964 Ashworth became a member of the Opry and remains a regular performer, now known as Ernie rather than Ernest. He was featured in the 1965 film The Farmer’s Other Daughter, and other successes included ‘I Love To Dance With Annie’ and ‘The D.J. Cried’. Ashworth still tours occasionally.
Share this page