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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 1954 Tennessee Ernie Ford broke into television on I Love Lucy as Lucy Ricardo?s cousin Ernie. In 1955 ?Sixteen Tons? became the fastest-selling single in the history of the recording business. From 1956 through 1961, NBC?s The Ford Show brought Ernie into 30 million homes every week. Among his many honors were three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?for radio, records, and television?the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In River of No Return: Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Woman He Loved, their son Jeffrey 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.