14 December 2005

FARON FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: When Faron returned to Nashville and started touring as a civilian again, Hubert Long booked him on shows with Marty Robbins and the Wilburn Brothers. Faron put together his own band in December 1954. The first member was Gordon Terry, who had been the military supervisor and fiddle player for PFC Faron Young and the Circle ‘A’ Wranglers in the Army. His discharge came several months before Faron’s, and Faron asked him to wait. Gordon worked temporarily with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys until Faron returned to Nashville. In December Gordon and the other band members met at Hubert Long’s house and started rehearsing. The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, fronted the show. (They knew Faron from their Shreveport days. Faron and Teddy went to high school together.) Tom Pritchard played upright bass. Joe Vincent, who played steel guitar for Marty Robbins until Hubert invited him to work for Faron, completed the original Faron Young Band. They became the Country Deputies six months later.

INTERVIEW: I interviewed Connie Smith at a hotel in North Hollywood in 2000. She had given me her manager’s number one night at the Opry so I could call and set up a telephone interview. I lived in Los Angeles at the time and waited for a call. One day my voice mail contained a message from a man whose voice I recognized as Marty Stuart. He concluded with “you know our number.” Well, no, I didn’t, so I called the manager to say I’d like to be contacted again. I answered the telephone in my office one afternoon, and Connie Smith was on the line! She said she and Marty were in LA for a few days and she invited me to her hotel for an interview. I used an Internet map with incorrect directions and was an hour late in finding the hotel. But Connie waited for me and graciously granted me an interview. She told me how her first unfavorable impression of Faron turned into a deep friendship, and she gave me the details of the death of Red Hayes during their British tour.

LETTERS: Nancy Clark has been a Faron Young fan since 1954.

Duane Murley of KWMT Radio in Fort Dodge, Iowa, writes, “We play a lot of traditional country music. We play a lot of Faron Young…. If you would like to talk about your book some time, I would be glad to visit with you about it on the air…..we are a regional station covering 7
states…..believe me, we have the audience that you are looking for.”

Response: I look forward to doing an interview with you, Duane, especially since South Dakota is my home state and part of the region you cover.

Bobby Jones says he’s received several e-mails expressing interest and offering help in establishing a Faron Young Memorial Fan Club. He asked me to print his e-mail address again, so here it is: BJones3328@aol.com

Cecil B. writes, “I would be proud to be on your mailing list for Faron .I have been a fan of Faron’s since I heard ‘I’ve got Five Dollars and It’s Saturday Night.’ My favorite back then was ‘Country Girl.’ I had the privilege of meeting Faron and his lovely wife Hilda back in the early 60s and his two sons. It was a grand ole Opry show that was held in Windsor Ontario Canada. I even helped sell his magazines for him. He was a great person to be around and a lot of fun. The last time I remember Faron being in Michigan, he and Little Jimmy Dickens were playing at a local night club. I asked Little Jimmy where Faron was and he said he was up at the Bar.”

Would Charles Hollie please send me another e-mail? His subject line said he wanted to added to the list but the message was corrupted and I couldn’t get an address.

Cliff Haning of Lima, Ohio, writes, “I only met Faron one time and that was the first time that he had been backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 23 years.”

WEB SITE: Doug Davis, who includes my newsletter in his, publishes a daily Country Music Classics newsletter. He says, “Enjoy your newsletters and so do our subscribers.” His website at http://www.countrymusicclassics.com/ contains lots of great information on classic country music, as well as photos.

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