18 July 2007

There won’t be a newsletter next week because I’ll be away from my computer.

FARON YOUNG, FORTY-SIX YEARS AGO: On July 19, 1961, Faron recorded “Backtrack” (which has always been one of my favorite Faron Young songs). When Faron had done a show in Flora, Illinois, mutual friends introduced him to a classical singer and oil field engineer named Alex Zanetis. Their relationship began by Faron insulting Alex, and then they quickly became friends. Their common interest in piloting small planes may have had something to do with their friendship. Alex brought Faron to the airport the next day, and Faron said, “Write me a song called “Backtrack.'” After Faron’s flight left, Alex immediately went to the truck stop near the airport, put a dime in the jukebox, and listened to how Faron sounded. He wrote “Backtrack” and sent it to Nashville. Faron received co-writing credit because, Alex told me, “usually if someone gives you the title of the song, you can consider him a co-writer. Because without the title, even though he might not have written another word, had he not given you the title, there wouldn’t be one.” Alex was disappointed when he first heard the recording because he thought the background should have included female voices instead of male falsetto voices trying to get high enough. A friend reminded him, “Don’t you know you’ve got a Faron Young recording? Be thankful.” Alex agreed. “Backtrack” entered the Billboard charts in October 1961, peaked at number 8 country and number 89 pop, and won a BMI award.

LETTER: Bernard Green in Liverpool, England, sends a new e-mail address and says, “I really enjoyed all the stories on Faron, and look forward to the book release.”

WEBSITE: CMT has online message boards for hundreds of artists. Here are two I check regularly: http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/young_faron/message_board.jhtml and http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/robbins_marty/artist.jhtml. They need postings to keep them active.

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