MARTY ROBBINS BOOK RELEASE EVENT
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville hosted my book release party for Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins on Saturday, March 31. Included in the crowd were 16 people who were in Marty’s life and in the book, Marty’s children, Janet and Ronny, were there. Band members present were Joe Babcock, Jim Glaser, Jeff Chandler, Earl White, Larry Hunt, and Buddy Rogers, Country Music Hall of Fame members Bobby Braddock (also a band member) and Harold Bradley were there. Others included Okie Jones, Carol Smith, Sandy Daens, Diane Jordan, Robert Gardiner, and Steve DelVecchio. The show ended with Joe Babcock and Jim Glaser harmonizing with Ronny on “El Paso.” Joe says it’s the first time he and Jim have sung together in fifty years.
I’ve updated my website with a few photos and links to a radio interview and online book reviews: http://dianediekman.com/?page_id=7
Arie den Dulk writes from the Netherlands, “I finished reading your book and I loved it very much. Easy to read, well written. It was a wonderful experience watching Marty from the first row in Rotterdam, Holland.” He asks, “I wonder if you have any or do you know anyone who has souvenir program books of Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry of either Marty Robbins or Faron Young from the 1955 to 1964 period?” firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Atkins in St. Paul, Minnesota, says, “I just finished reading this wonderful book. I have always been a fan of Marty Robbins, and to find out more of his personal side in this book was very revealing. I saw Marty perform at Reeds’ Ferry Ranch in Nashua, New Hampshire, back in the late 60s and had a great time. Thank you Diane for authoring two wonderful books. I have read your bio on Faron Young, and now Marty Robbins. I hope your next one will be as enjoyable as these last two have been. I hope all country music fans will read these two books about these two great singers.”
Chris Pierce writes, “I hope the book sells well. Marty was a dear friend and if I’d not been here in Ireland for Holy Week I’d have been present with you all on Saturday. Jim Glaser and Jeff Chandler were quite pleased with the way things went. Haven’t spoken to Joe Babcock but he looked as happy as a cat with a bowl of cream in the photographs. Doesn’t seem possible that it’s almost 30 years since Marty died. A writer known for indepth profiles of celebrity types in the 70s and 80s travelled with Marty and the band for most of a month. Since he was a freelancer his work usually went to the highest bidder. In Marty’s case, Penthouse made the high bid. When the article went to print Marty was terrified that Marizona would find out. He made me swear to never tell her. It would have been a difficult day if Marizona or any of the ladies in the office had found the magazine while he was alive. I bought the magazine for him so he could see what the article looked as published. No one thought twice about a male college student making such a purchase. Believe it or not the article being published by Penthouse caused quite a stir 30 years ago in Nashville.”
Tom Kaufman in Denton, Maryland, says, “I still am enjoying your newsletters and am wondering if you know of any plans for the Marty book to be made available to NLS? I think it would be wonderful for us who are blind or visually impaired to be able to read what I’m sure is a fine book. Thanks…and keep up the good work.”
Response: NLS decides which books to do. I suggest contacting them and requesting Marty’s book. Having readers ask for it would be the best way to get attention.
Roy Keith Trawick writes on Facebook, “I was just reading that chapter in your book on Faron Young where he is sued by that nasty Catlett family for his spanking of their feral daughter. I got soooo angry at the sloppy journalism and the misrepresentation of the facts….Almost any performer would know what to do today…but back then we just believed in the best in people. Ha!! A gripping read!”
Mike O’Neill writes from Nashville, “Great interview with Eddie Stubbs. You sounded very warm and friendly with great information on your Book.”
Barbie Corwin sends this update on her husband, “Hank had a fall on March 5 & was taken to the hospital. He has a fracture in his pelvic bone. They felt that his irregular heart rhythm had caused the fall, so a pacemaker-defibullator was installed. We have hopes of bringing him home today. He is still in pain with his back, but they feel that it will heal without surgery. I’ll let you know how he’s doing later in his recovery.”
Don Powell writes, “Yesterday was my birthday and my daughter Ronda (Phyllis’s daughter) gave me a copy of Faron’s book and Marty’s book. I could not have received a better present. She also bought her a copy and has already read every page that had anything about her mom in it. All our kids hung around Faron’s building and was friends with everyone who had offices there…Faron called them little curtain apes. Ronda said the book is bringing back so many memories. My son Justin (Phyllis’s son) always hung around with Tommy Jennings, and Waylon, Billy Strange, Roger Miller and a bunch of the artists with offices there. Faron had a baby blue Continental and it was his pride and joy…one day Waylon sent Justin over to the grocery store to get boxes of Cheerios that had little stickers inside that looked like B-B holes. These guys put those stickers all over Faron’s car and it looked like someone had shot holes in his windshield and all over the door…they all hid and when Faron came out and saw his car…he just threw a fit and was cussing and then the guys came out from hiding and he knew what had happened. Waylon started telling Faron it was Justin that did it…Justin was 16, and said what am I supposed to do…Waylon said you better start running, so he took off around the building.”
I met Larry Hunt and Buddy Rogers for the first time at the CMHOF event on 31 March. Buddy was Marty’s drummer in 1967-68, and Larry played electric bass from 1970 until Marty’s death. Buddy told me, “We never had to wear anything that had lightning streaks up and down the sleeves or pant legs. With rhinestones or sequins. At one time we had custom made suits at one of the finest clothiers for men in Nashville. Other times we wore jeans and a western shirt and roughout boots. We never had to wear that crazy, wild, slithery stuff, and I really appreciated that.” Buddy left Marty when he opened a music store and started doing the early morning Eddy Hill TV show. Both Buddy and Larry live in the Nashville area.
Larry Hunt is behind me, in the black shirt, with Buddy next to him and directly behind Jim Glaser.