In 1946 Kentuckian Merle Travis recorded the album "Folk Songs of the Hills" and here you will find the first recorded version of "Sixteen Tons" (Travis). Who actually wrote the song is in dispute. The Merle Travis finger picking style on guitar is still around today having influenced Chet Atkins and Scotty Moore. Although it was perfected by Leo Fender, Merle designed the first solid-body electric guitar.
"The old pea picker" and American icon Tennessee Ernie Ford topped the Country and Pop charts in 1955 with this B side of "You Don't Have to be a Baby to Cry". Ernie was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: radio, records and television and is a member of the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in recognition for albums like "We Gather Together", "Hymns at Home", "Nearer The Cross", "Hymns", "Spirituals", "I Love To Tell the Story", "Sing a Hymn With Me" and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.