20 December 2006

The University of Illinois Press will publish Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story on its Fall 2007 list. The manuscript has been assigned to a copyeditor, and I should receive a printout by mid-January. Progress!

No newsletter next week. My daughters and I are flying to South Dakota for Christmas. If ever this newsletter doesn’t show up in your in-box on Wednesday, send me a note; some people are having problems getting it. The next one will be 3 January.

FARON YOUNG, FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: In December 1991, Faron made one of his many guest appearances on Ralph Emery’s television show Nashville Now. Ralph gave Faron an autographed copy of his autobiography, Memories. He told Faron, “I wrote, ‘To my old friend, Faron Young, whom God protects.’ . . . I tell a story about you, and you’re having a rough day, and I finish the story by saying, ‘Surely, God protects children and Faron Young.'” Ralph thought he’d chosen a funny story, but Faron wasn’t happy when he read it. He later told an interviewer, “I threw the book in the garbage can. . . . I hope the garbage man enjoyed it, because that’s where the book is.” He wondered why Ralph couldn’t have talked about some of the good things he’d done, and he asked, “Why would you have to pick out one thing here that I’ve done something bad to put in your book?” Such a reaction might sound surprising from someone who enjoyed his troublemaker reputation and joked about being a drunk. Perhaps Faron didn’t like that image contrasted against the other people in the book. “There wasn’t no reason for [Ralph] doing that,” Faron said, “cuz the rest of the time, he was dropping names. ‘Me and Barbara Mandrell. Me and Eddy Arnold. Me and Kenny Rogers.’ He gotta write, ‘Me and Faron Young–he was drunk.'”

Bill Mack, the XM Satellite Cowboy, writes, “LOTS of inquiries / interest in the upcoming book! I’m announcing it will be the perfect gift for next year! Let’s do another telephone interview, soon, to let the people know more about what to expect.”

John Krebs in Houston, Texas, asks, “I remember seeing Faron’s son, I think, a big guy, on Grand Ole Opry live a few years ago singing one of Faron’s hits.  He was pretty damn good. Who was that?”

Response: That would have been Robyn Young, Faron’s second-oldest child. He sang on the Opry ten years ago, a few days after Faron died. I don’t know whether he’s appeared there since, but I know he performs on occasional package shows.

Jo Hamrick says, “Sunday Dec.10th was a very hard day for me. Though I would not let anyone play Faron’s music. I don’t think I could have taken it. This 10 years has been the longest that I can remember. When you see someone as often as we did, it is like family, and we felt of him as part of the family. My sons grew up with Faron. (Though sometimes I had to think that they grew up, and he didn’t.) We loved him for years and still do. I have a room that my computer is in the walls are items that he either gave me or I salvaged from that estate sale.”

Arie den Dulk asks, “Do you know of anyone who has got pictures of Faron’s plaque in the Shreveport ‘Walkway of Stars” and the ceremony, please? I’d like to publish them on my website.”

Response: No, I haven’t received any reports of the ceremony.

Gigi Viellion asks, “How can I get on the list for the Faron Young newsletter? I am a long time fan and still miss his music so much. Was thinking about him and the Deputies this a.m. and found this info on-line. Would love to keep updated on news about him and the upcoming bio.”


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