Monday, September 28, 2015

Tennessee Ernie Ford on the cover of Holiday Inn magazine, 1971

Country Music Hall of Famer Tennessee Ernie Ford appeared on the cover of the September 1971 Holiday Inn, a "magazine for travelers" that was given away at Holiday Inn hotels. 
Ford's 1971 hit, "Happy Songs of Love"

Ford had been a major recording star in the 1950s and the host of television's The Ford Show into the early 1960s. By 1971, when this issue of Holiday Inn was published, he was still recording for Capitol Records but wasn't having big hits anymore. He had only one country hit in 1971, "Happy Songs of Love," which you've probably never heard of. It peaked at #58 on Billboard's country chart.

In the '70s, Ford capitalized on his past recording success by working as an advertising spokesman for furniture companies and flour companies and continuing to release records to a shrinking but loyal fan base.

Tennessee Ernie Ford is served by Chef Clary.
The Holiday Inn cover pictured Ford at Oscar's, a revolving restaurant on top of the Holiday Inn in Hollywood, California. The article said, "Tennessee Ernie Ford recently used the Director's Room [a banquet room in the restaurant] for rehearsal during a visit to the Inn. While in Hollywood he previewed a television special for the press and recorded a new album." 

Ford, like most major-label country artists, was cranking out two to three albums a year at that time, so it's hard to say which of his albums from 1971 or 1972 was being recorded.

Despite being featured on the cover of the magazine, Ford is mentioned in only one paragraph in an article about Oscar's restaurant. He also appears in a second photo that is nearly identical to the first. In that photo, the tablecloth, the chef's scarf, the cloth in the basket of rolls, and that weird decorative element on the plate all appear to be made from the same fabric.

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