19 September 2007

FARON YOUNG, THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO: Faron was in England when he did an interview with Bob Powel on September 19, 1969, for “Country Music People.” He listed the Deputies at the time as Dave Hall on bass, Ernie Reed on fiddle, Doug Jernigan on steel, Cootie Hunley on drums, Charlie Murphy on lead, and “myself playing like Chet Atkins on my guitar.” Bob said, “A few years ago your recordings were more modern than now. Why have you reverted to your old style?” Faron explained that he’d gone through a period of trying to repeat the pop success of “Hello Walls,” but “I wasn’t selling country records or pop records either. I thought what the hell am I doing? I’m a country singer; I’d better get back over there where I belong. So I picked up a couple of fiddles and started doing country music again.”

Jean Earle writes from the UK, “Terry Counts tells me that it is Billy Deaton’s birthday tomorrow….her old boss as I am sure you already know. I have asked her to give him our very best wishes when she phones him tomorrow (Monday).  He was always so very kind to us when we called in at his office, taking the time out of his busy day to spend time talking with us. He even took us out for a lovely lunch one visit.”

Harvey McFadden writes from Texas, “Can you believe it?  I performed at the Y O Ranch last Saturday night. Sang for almost 5 hours. The headliner was David Frizzell. . . . It’s actually closer to 15 or 20 miles off I-10 but still out in the country even today.”

Joan Orsini-Wood says she bought the book for Ron Rankin, who “loved Faron–says he used to come to Berk Sprgs/Martinsburg and sing for his annual home shows, Rankin homes……….. And they became good friends.”

John Gervickas writes, “Diane, I just finished your book. You did a wonderful job. Faron is one of my favorite singers, and I had the honor of meeting him once. It brought tears to my eyes to hear how sad his last few years were, but overall he had quite a life. I was stunned when I heard of his suicide. Thanks for the book.”

Jimmy McDonough says, “Got the book today. It looks spectacular, I can’t wait to devour the contents. Even a few quotes from that man of few words Ben Keith!  And let me state for the record I love the cover. The quote from Glenn Sutton was a beautiful addition. He would’ve loved the final product. Best of luck on the Marty Robbins project.”

Brian French, a former shipmate from NAS Jacksonville AIMD, writes, “I
completed 8 years in the U.S. Navy and I am proud to have served in your
command during my shore duty tour. In my sea stories, your name comes up as
someone I greatly respected and admired. . . . Faron Young’s story should be
very interesting! I’m proud to have served with you in the world’s greatest

Gary Presley writes, “I always find it odd that people expect heroes to live perfectly. Faron Young was a human being, mortal like the rest of us, but he was also an artist with a gift he could share with others, bringing joy and happiness into the world. That he was able to do this in spite of his demons should be admirable rather than ‘depressing.’ And that makes it a story of triumph.”

Maheen Wickramasinghe says, “I was absolutely disgusted with the appalling comments about the hard work you put into your book. Please, do not let those type of people discourage you. You have done many, many research and interviews on this book and also I know your up and coming Marty Robbins book is really going to be a well done complete project. How, just how, can Ann say such an insulting thing is totally beyond me. I mean, throwing Faron’s CD’s in the trash? Come on!”

Jo Hamrick in West Virginia weighs in with this note: “If the lady who is so angry about the book has such things to say she obviously did not know him at all. He was who he was, no making impressions to make people think he was more. Those of us who loved him knew all sides of Faron. it is too bad that she had such a bad impression on the book or. more importantly. on Faron. I don’t like for anyone to put him down. No one is without faults and he would have been the first to tell you that. it is a shame she wants to trash his music but .why not sell it to someone who really cared for him?”

Terry Counts writes, “I can’t wait on this book…the review that was so horrible from a ‘fan’. what’d she expect? Faron was no saint, but he was a good man, kind, considerate and would do most anything for anybody…except when he was drinking.  Well, HELL. Show me 1 person who drinks…who isn’t a complete butt when drunk? I have been around ’em all my life, musicians, singers, and most do drink, some to excess…but when they’re “straight” you can’t beat them hands down…for loyalty, kindness and courtesy!!!!!”

John Morris, who is waiting impatiently for the book to reach the Chapters bookstores in Canada, says, “I got a catalog from the publisher and we read what was in it and it sounded fantastic and I learned things I didn’t know.” He adds, “I just cannot believe a true fan of an artist would pitch all their music in the trash cause of what someone said in a book. . . . I guess there’s no room for an artist to be a human being if you take this kind of thinking.”

Andy Williford checks in again to say, “I have a couple of great memories of Faron and our childhoods. Faron was raised on the old Hatcher Plantation on the corner of The Old Jefferson Road and The Pines Road in Shreveport. He and I used to play in the cottonseed meal that they fed to the cows. His mother would come out in the backyard when she wanted him to do some chores and yell, FARON!!! FARON!!!, I know your out there, you better, (expletives).  He would answer just to me, ‘I ain’t coming.’  My aunt Lula, my mother’s sister, lived on one of the other corners of the same roads. Faron, my cousin Bill, and I sat on the back door steps many afternoon after school, and my aunt would always come to the back door screen and also yell, ‘Faron, I am sick of listening to that loud guitar, get off my porch steps and  go home.’  I can’t even remember how old we were. There are about ten (10) of us in his close inner circle growing up in Shreveport, and afterwards until his death, and I just wish you could have known about us before your book, however, I for one am very proud of you for writing such a wonderful book about our friend. Thanks again and good luck.”

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