Click to listen

Feb. 9: The event that put Crisp, Texas, on the map — eventually — happened 96 years ago today. With the birth of Ernest Tubb, Crisp gave the world a pioneer in electrified honky-tonk music, one of the four pillars of the Grand Ole Opry, the leader of arguably the best small dance band in country music history, and, in the mid-1960s, the first duet partner for budding star Loretta Lynn.

We’ve talked before about Decca Records’ penchant for creating duets by pairing artists in its stable, such as Webb Pierce and Kitty Wells, Wells and Red Foley, Foley and Ernest Tubb, Tubb and the Andrews Sisters. The label decided to partner Tubb, one of its biggest stars in any genre, with the up-and-comer from Kentucky who was making a name for herself as a performer and a songwriter. This number, which barely missed the Billboard country Top 10, was the title track to the first of three Tubb-Lynn studio albums. Ernest’s band, The Texas Troubadours, provided the familiar, simple backing.

The ’70s would bring a new duet partner for Lynn: fellow Decca artist Conway Twitty, who frankly was a better match for her stylistically and (by that time) in star power than Tubb. But I do like the sound of Tubb and Lynn together on songs like “Mr. And Mrs. Used To Be.”

(By the way, can you name the three who, along with Tubb, were “pillars of the Grand Ole Opry”?)