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River of No Return

River of No ReturnTennessee Ernie Ford and the Woman He Loved

In 1942 Ernest Jennings Ford married nineteen-year-old Betty Jean Heminger, whom he had met at Victorville Army Air Base in California. 'River of No Return: Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Woman He Loved' is the recounting of their life together, of Ernie's spectacular success as an entertainer, of... more

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Overview

In 1942 Ernest Jennings Ford married nineteen-year-old Betty Jean Heminger, whom he had met at Victorville Army Air Base in California. 'River of No Return: Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Woman He Loved' is the recounting of their life together, of Ernie's spectacular success as an entertainer, of their growing spiral of self-destruction as his career flourished, and of their two sons' despair as they watched the light slowly fade from their parents' eyes and the joy vanish from their lives. For Betty it was vodka, valium, and tranquilizers. For Ernie, it was beer for breakfast, Cutty for lunch at the club, and whatever later in the day. In 'River of No Return' their son Jeffery remembers when his family's joy of being together was infectious, when the promise of every day and the thrill of being at the center of the spotlight was rapturous. It was a time when the name Ernie Ford was in the air and his fame worldwide.