Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 12 August 2009

MARTY ROBBINS ON THE GRAND OLE OPRY 53 YEARS AGO On August 11, 1956, Marty Robbins and Webb Pierce appeared with Carl Smith on the Grand Ole Opry. Dressed in western garb and gunbelts from their recent movie, they sang “Why Baby Why.” They were fulfilling a promise they had made to Charlie Lamb a few weeks earlier in Hollywood “that they would return to Nashville and wear their same western dress on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.” The outdoor scenes of the movie, Buffalo Gun, had been filmed in Kanab, Utah. Webb played a government buffalo-gunagent who deputized Carl and Marty to help him find stolen buffalo guns. Marty narrated the movie, which begins with his voice saying, “That there’s Webb Pierce, and that’s Carl Smith, and that’s me, Marty Robbins. Sure can’t figure out why but we’re all in–” and the Jordanaires start singing “Buffalo Gun.” At the end of the song, Marty says, “This story begins in 1875.  Me and Smith and Webb Pierce are on this cattle drive….” The seriousness of Buffalo Gun can be shown by the scene where an Indian has just stolen Carl’s horse. Webb rides up, dismounts, and says, “Things like this just don’t happen in Nashville.” Eddie Crandall, who was Marty’s personal manager at the time, played a buffoonish merchant who switched his role halfway through the movie to be an emcee trying to get Carl and Marty and Webb and the Jordanaires to sing. (I just watched the movie the other day because I’m working on 1956 in Marty’s biography.) LETTERS In answer to Jeanne Goldstone’s request for Faron Young sheet music, Terry Counts suggests she “might try emailing the Ernest Tubb Record shop as they carry sheet music and most likely can get it.” Ron Harmon writes, “The Faron Young song that the person heard Dawn Sears perform is ‘Leavin’ And Sayin’ Goodbye’ that Jeannie Seely wrote. Down does a fantastic version of the song with The Time Jumpers!” Ray Emmett agrees: “The answer is ‘Leavin and Saying Goodbye,’ one of my favorite Faron Young songs.” Ann Allen writes from Glendale AZ, “I thoroughly enjoy your newsletter – and looking forward to book on Marty. Thanks for all the labor of love.” Jo Wenger writes also from Glendale AZ, “Thanks so much for sharing the photos of these wonderful folks who were such a great & magnificent part of Marty’s life. In both life and legend Marty still brings people together and his life has enriched so many and will continue to do so for generations to come. He had a very special magic that remains and speaks to the heart of those who hear. Tell tarquin45 thank you so much for the youtubes he has given me so much joy listening when I need a break. And once I start I can’t stop watching and listening. Marty’s fans still meet in Glendale in his spirit every month and we are growing…word of mouth. Folks sometimes bring guitars and we all sing along after dinner, everyone has a great time.” Juanita Buckley sends this update on the Friends of Marty Robbins: “We have opened the Museum at 156 N. Railroad Ave, Willcox AZ 85643. We are open Monday through Saturday 10:00AM to 4:00PM. It’s still a work in progress. We are working on the movie  room so we can show Marty’s movies, videos etc. We opened July 18, 2009, for Western Heritage Days. We had a nice turn out. The people in Willcox have really welcomed having something about Marty Robbins they love him. Our email address will be changing to infomartyrobbins@vtc.net.” Judy Bezjak in Lemont IL says, “I enjoyed reading your comments in the Country Classics e-mail newsletter. I didn’t know you have a separate newsletter. . . . I have enjoyed the postings on YouTube by David Corne (tarquin45). That is where I viewed and listened to Marty and Ronny Robbins sing so many songs that I enjoyed.” Damien Pena of Montebello CA writes, “I have a quick question regarding the song and a quote given by my grandfather during WWII. In a soldier’s diary from the early 40s, my grandfather wrote ‘It’s a great life if you don’t weaken — who wants to be strong?” I googled the phrase and found that Mr. Young wrote the song some years later. Please don’t feel as though I am questioning the authenticity of Mr. Young’s original lyrics, I’m just hoping you could shed some light on where they came from. I’m guessing that the line was some type of motto or slogan used during WWII. ” Response: It could well have been a World War II slogan. I’m sure some of my readers from that era will let us know. Joe Allison told me in 2000, “I had that saying as a hook for a song, and Faron came out to the house and worked on it with us.  So my wife Audrey and Faron and I, the three of us, put that one together.” Thanks to Jamie McGrath Morris of The Biographer’s Craft for including me in his Writing Room: http://www.thebiographerscraft.com/room.html

Diane Diekman Washington DC, USA diane@dianediekman.com Live Fast, Love Hard: http://dianediekman.com/?page_id=27

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