18 April 2007

You can see the design of the book cover at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/covers/Diekman.jpg. The University of Illinois Press took a photo from the Michael Ochs archive and had it colored. Isn’t it a great cover?

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: Faron recorded “Sweet Dreams” on April 27, 1956. Written and first recorded by Don Gibson, the song reached Faron through Webb Pierce, who told him it would be a hit. Faron’s version peaked at number two and stayed on the charts for eight months. Billboard listed it in the number 13 spot of Top Country Singles of 1956. Five of the top eleven recordings that year belonged to Elvis Presley. Although “Sweet Dreams” has become forever identified with Patsy Cline, her posthumous release only reached number five. She recorded the song a month before her death in 1963. “I want you to hear something I did,” she told Faron. “Come out to the house and I’ll play it for you.” But he didn’t get the chance, and she wouldn’t tell him the name of the song. Emmy Lou Harris brought “Sweet Dreams” to number one on the charts in 1976.

Early reactions to the book cover come from Jean Earle (“Thank you for the peek at the cover for Faron’s book. We both think you have made a good choice of the photograph. He was sooooo handsome !!”), Bill Mack (“The book cover is absolutely IT!  Works perfectly! I can hardly wait to receive your autographed copy!”), and Glenn Sutton (“The cover is beautiful…..I love it………”).

Tom Lipscombe says, “I really hope that Bill Mack’s wishes come true, concerning your book on Faron being turned into a movie. He asks a good question as to who would act the main role.”

NASHVILLE TRIP REPORT: We had a great time in Nashville on my first Marty Robbins research trip. From running into Skip Jackson at the Country Music Hall of Fame our first afternoon to a three-hour visit with Ronny Robbins our last afternoon, we had a full week. My sister, Kayo, and I went to the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree the night Van Howard hosted the show. Five Country Deputies were there. Two were in the band, Hank Singer on fiddle and Pete Wade on lead guitar. In the audience were Skip Jackson (steel), Cal Sharp (steel), and Richard Bass (lead guitar). Check out Cal Sharp’s site for photos: http://www.calsharp.com/music/index.html. Monday night at the Station Inn we listened to the Time Jumpers with Deputy fiddler Kenny Sears. And Dawn Sears, his wife, who has an awesome voice. We also visited George Owens (Deputy frontman), who lives across the street from Faron’s first Nashville house. As always, we stopped in to say hello to Hilda Young. We had lunch with Jim Glaser and Joe Babcock, who reminisced about their days in the Marty Robbins band. I spent three days in the Hall of Fame archives and received great assistance from John Rumble. Now I have pages of material to sort through and a list of phone numbers to call for interviews.

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