18 October 2006

FARON YOUNG, THIRTY-NINE YEARS AGO:  On October 21, 1967, Music City News magazine sponsored the first live broadcast of a country music awards ceremony. Making the show even more unusual, the fans themselves voted for their favorite performers. Faron hosted the Music City News Awards Spectacular Show during WSM Radio’s regular broadcast of Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree. Because the show followed the Grand Ole Opry, it didn’t begin until midnight. In the crowded Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, Ernest and Faron handed out awards for the magazine’s first “popularity poll.” Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn won the awards for Male and Female Artists. Tom T. Hall and Tammy Wynette won Most Promising Male and Female Artists. Bill Anderson was named Songwriter. To the tune of “I’ve Got Five Dollars and It’s Saturday Night,” Faron sang, “I didn’t win anything, but that’s all right, we’re giving out awards and it’s Saturday night.”

Wayne Kepner writes, in reference to Faron’s problems in Tulsa, “I just finished reading the story of The Browns, ‘Looking Back To See’ and after reading that and hearing some of the other things that some of our favorite singers have gone through, it makes me wonder why they go through the hell that they do, just so they can sing for us.  Such a shame.”

Bill Littleton reports that his October issue of “thebridgeworks” is available at http://www.unclewillamsplace.com. Thanks, Bill, for mentioning my Faron and Marty books.

Robert Ackerman, way up in Alaska, sends, “I thought you might be interested in the following CD that has a tribute to Faron on it…http://www.nlt-records.com/.”

Response: It’s great to see a young woman carrying forward the classic country tradition. The CD is “Alone With You” by R.G. Darnell.

This note comes from Tom Lipscombe of the Alabama Talk Line: “Thanks for the great newsletter. We have posted it on the ATL Forum @ URL http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/243824250/fetch/637633/. I enjoyed reading the reminiscences from Faron’s old Army buddy & also the story about his ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ philosophy. Of course, these days, he would have been taken off the stage in handcuffs.”

A reader comments, “I know you’re already working on the Marty Robbins book. But I’d really like to see a Webb Pierce book. There is so little out there about him. The guy was unusual to say the least!!!!”

Response: I agree there should be a book on Webb Pierce, and several people have suggested that I write it. I can only concentrate on one book at a time, but I’ll put Webb on my list of future possibilities (along with books on Roger Miller, musicians’ wives, and country music military veterans). I’ve already collected some info on Webb (including his Bear Family box set) while researching Faron’s life. I did meet Webb once, in a club in Printers Alley in 1972. My friend and I went with him to a party at his house, and we stood at the edge of his guitar-shaped swimming pool. We didn’t get any photos or autographs because we didn’t want to look like tourists.

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