“The Texas Troubadour” was born in Crisp, Texas, in 1914 and before anyone had any clue what happened, he was already headed to Nashville with a guitar case and his dream.
Crisp is nothing but a ghost town now. During the Great Depression, FDR set up the Works Progress Administration there, and Ernest Tubb dug ditches for them. The pay was very low, the work was exhausting, and the Texas songwriter didn’t want to keep living that way for the rest of his life.
He had a radio show out in San Angelo for a short while, and after quite some time that signature voice was what ultimately changed his life. By 1941, the world knew Ernest Tubb. His hit song “Walking the Floor Over You” paved the way for other honky tonk-singing country and western stars, and the rest, they say, is history.
“Waltz Across Texas”, composed by Tubb’s Nephew Quanah, turned out to be one of his most popular songs. It was later recorded by Willie Nelson and the two eventually performed a duet on the singer’s 1978 star-studded tribute album, The Legend and the Legacy.
However, there’s nothing that can beat an original, and Nelson believes it.
See this video of Texas legend Ernest Tubb singing “Waltz Across Texas” live in 1968: