Music

Meet Ernest Tubb's Talented Children

Screengrab via YouTube and AP Photo

There's talent in Ernest Tubb's family tree beyond one obvious son.

Ernest Tubb, the Crisp, Texas native known for "Walking The Floor Over You" and other hits, had eight children between two marriages. His first wife Elaine Cook (m. 1934) was the mother of Justin Wayne, Roger Dale and Violet Elaine Tubb. Five more children came from Tubb's marriage to Olene (m. 1949): Erlene Dale, Olene Gayle, Larry Dean, Karen Delene and Ernest Dale Tubb Jr.

The Tubb family's talents extended well beyond Ernest's kids. For example, nephew Billy Lee Tubb played in his uncle's famed backing band the Texas Troubadours before becoming a songwriter and John Anderson collaborator. Another nephew, Glenn Douglas Tubb, co-wrote country standard "Skip a Rope." More recently, great nephew Lucky Tubb toured with another famous kinfolk, Hank Williams III.

For the sake of this discussion, we'll focus on how Ernest Tubb's children and grandchildren followed in his footsteps.

Justin Tubb

The before-mentioned obvious son, Justin Wayne Tubb, first left a mark in Nashville as a teenager.

At age 19, Justin debuted on the country charts with duet partner and Decca label mate Goldie Hill ("Looking Back to See" and "Sure Fire Kisses"). A year later, he joined the Grand Ole Opry, a program he'd first appeared on as a country singer at age 9.

Justin's recording career lasted from 1954 until his 1998 passing and included a stint with another duet partner, Lorene Mann. This knack for duets might've been learned from Dad, a singing partner for everyone from Loretta Lynn and Red Foley to the Andrews Sisters.

Justin was also involved behind the scenes in country music, namely as the writer of the Hawkshaw Hawkins hit "Lonesome 7-7203" and his dad's "My Mother Must've Been a Girl Like You." In addition, Justin managed an influential radio show broadcast from the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, the WSM's Midnite Jamboree.

Justin, a San Antonio native, died on Jan. 24, 1998 at the age of 62. He's buried near his father at Hermitage Memorial Gardens in Nashville.

A small monument at Ernest Tubb's grave includes the following line from Justin, which references his dad's "Thanks a Lot" guitar:

"You gave me Texas and Tennessee. You wrapped up your music and gave it to me. Daddy, the legacy you left me is more precious than gold. You put a song in my soul. Thanks Troubadour Thanks."

Both of Justin's sons, the late Cary Tubb and younger brother Zachary Tubb, have kept a family tradition alive by becoming recording artists.

Read More: From Jimmie Rodgers to Dolly Parton, The Legacy of 'Mule Skinner Blues'

Violet Elaine Tubb

Justin's sister Violet Elaine recorded at least one record with their dad. Under the name Scooter Bill Tubb, Violet Elaine sang lead on a version of "A Dear John Letter," with Ernest Sr. handling the spoken word verses. Scooter Bill's credited alone on the song's hard to find flipside, "Mean Age In Between Age Blues."

The father-daughter duet appears to be Scooter Bill's lone outing as a country artist.

Ernest Tubb Jr.

Back when stars the caliber of Tubb had television shows, it wasn't unusual for the host's children to make guest appearances. Such was the case when Ernest Jr., also known by the nickname Tinker, sang this Mel Tillis song while backed by future stars Jack Greene, Cal Smith and the rest of The Texas Troubadours.

Like every sibling but Justin, there's no evidence that Tinker tried to yodel his way into the Country Music Hall of Fame beyond childhood involvement in his dad's act.

Now Watch: Songs Every Waylon Jennings Fan Knows By Heart

recommended for you

Meet Ernest Tubb's Talented Children