19 April 2006

I am seeking photos to publish in the biography. If you have a photo you think might be appropriate for the book (not Faron-hugging-a-fan photos), and you own the publishing rights or have contact with the person who does, please send me a note of description.

FARON YOUNG, THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO: Nashville’s first Fan Fair took place in mid-April, 1972. Faron, on the Mercury label at the time, performed during the Mercury show at the Municipal Auditorium. When he came on stage, he asked the audience if they had to pay to get into the show. Everybody yelled yes. He said, “I don’t think you should have had to pay.” Everybody applauded. He told them the entertainers were doing the show for free. He said, “Some big stuffed shirts sitting up in the office are getting all the money. You people shouldn’t have had to pay.” Everybody roared, and he got a standing ovation.

Jean Earle sends this e-mail from England: “Easter time brings back some wonderful memories for many Country fans in England . For several years at Eastertime, we were able to go to London to the Wembley International Festival of Country Music. It was a wonderful chance for the fans to meet with the stars….who were always happy to see their fans and spend time talking to them. My biggest thrill was to see Faron Young on stage at Wembley on April 4th, 1980. Unfortunately, Faron was not able to make the trip to G.B. very often, so his many fans over here treasured this appearance. What an evening that was !!!!”

Tom Lipscombe comments, “From what I understand, despondency over his deteriorating health, caused Faron to ‘end it all’. I have also heard that he felt depressed about the new trends in Country Music. Of course, when one’s health is failing, it’s easy to get depressed about anything…the whole world takes on a ‘grey hue’. In other words, do you honestly believe Faron had any ‘real’ doubts as to the loyalty of his fans and/or the Industry’s appreciation for the huge volume and high quality of work he had produced over the years?

Response: I doubt if Faron looked at it from the perspective of his fans. Depressed and suicidal people don’t think about how others feel. It was depression that did him in, not his physical health or the state of country music. Suicide, as I’ve learned in my research, was a logical end for someone in his state. I think Faron could talk about his physical problems but not the emotional ones. That wouldn’t be macho.

WEBSITE: The National Institute of Mental Health has a section of its website devoted to men and depression at http://menanddepression.nimh.nih.gov/. It’s called “Real Men, Real Depression” and contains information on depression, as well as stories of men who sought help.

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