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We are pleased to welcome local author John Cherry for a reading and discussion of his memoir Keeper of the Clown My Life with Ernest!
John Cherry was partner and head of creative at Carden and Cherry Advertising in Nashville, Tennessee. In the early 1980s, the agency created a character for TV ads and dubbed him Ernest P. Worrell. About the same time, an actors’ strike in Hollywood brought actor/comedian Jim Varney back to Nashville from Los Angeles. Varney had been featured in an earlier series of “Sgt. Glory” commercials produced by the agency. Cherry put Varney into Ernest’s denim vest, and together they made advertising history and ten movies.
In a memoir released June 2013, John Cherry recounts the thrill ride of taking the character Ernest from local TV ads to big-screen movie hits – all the while being bounced around by bankers, the IRS and Disney executives. In this mostly true look behind the scenes, Cherry reveals how he sold TV commercials to scores of clients, nabbed Barbra Streisand’s manager as his own, and successfully directed Varney’s unpredictable creative genius.