Archive for April, 2008

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 30 April 2008

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

So many letters came in this past week that I’m sending another newsletter on “Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story” and “Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins.”

Chris Young, Faron’s grandson, has a request for my readers. His email address is and he says, “I am Robyn’s son and I was wondering if you could help me with a question. I am trying to find some of my grandfather’s old memorabilia, like guitars, guitar straps, and stage clothes and I was wondering if you knew of any channels or ways I could acquire some of this.”

Finding Marty Robbins in the South Pacific

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Marty Robbins didn’t talk his World War II combat experience in the South Pacific. He seemed to put it behind him during his life as a country music entertainer, Nashville businessman, and NASCAR driver. Because he died in 1982 at age 57, Marty didn’t live long enough to willingly discuss that period of his life. Many veterans waited until their 70s and 80s to feel comfortable about reminiscing.

I am now writing the biography of this Country Music Hall of Fame member,and I’ll have to reconstruct those experiences without much help from him. (more…)

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 23 April 2008

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

This is my periodic newsletter on “Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story,” published last year by the University of Illinois Press, and on progress toward writing “Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins.” I’m up to the second chapter.

Becoming a Mother at Age Fifty

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Since age 28 or so, I had wanted to be a mother. I enjoyed my independence as an officer in the U.S. Navy and was not particularly interested in getting married, but I checked into adoption possibilities whenever I moved to a new state. Each time, I was told that only couples could get their names on the long waiting lists for infants.

By the time I went to Guam in 1988, with my 40th birthday approaching, marriage had started to look somewhat attractive. I put the matter in God’s hands. I decided if He wanted me to have a husband and/or children, He would send them to me. If not, I would be content alone. (more…)

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 9 April 2008

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

I’ll be participating in the 10th annual Southern Kentucky Book Fest on Saturday, 19 April, at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green. I’m on the panel titled “Tradition, Legends, Troubadours: Music of the American South,” and will be reading an excerpt from Faron’s biography. There will also be autograph sessions and book sales. The Web site is

Researching a Biography

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Faron Young died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1996, while I was stationed with the U.S. Navy in Japan. One of my favorite singers, he was also an acquaintance. After his death, he seemed to be almost forgotten, and I started thinking about writing his biography. I wanted to write books as a retirement career, and it would be great to meet famous country musicsingers and listen to their memories of Faron.

But I didn’t know anyone in the music business, or the publishing business, or anyone who knew Faron. And I didn’t know how to write a biography.