Archive for December, 2009

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 23 December 2009

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009


Faron Young recorded an album of Christmas songs in 1979 for television sales. I couldn’t find a photo of the cover of A Christmas Card From Faron, perhaps because it was recorded for a private label and is rare. The album was reissued twice, as Silver Bells in 1988 and by Step One Records as Country Christmas in 1990. Faron’s secretary remembers him having trouble singing “Happy Birthday Jesus” in the recording studio. When she teased him about saying birsday instead of birthday, he snapped, “Well, you have your tongue half cut off, and see how you say birthday.”
Marty Robbins recorded Christmas With Marty Robbins in 1967. That summer he’d told Jeannie Pruett, who was one of his writers at the time, that he needed “a couple of good Christmas songs.” (more…)

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 9 December 2009

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

This week marks the anniversary of when we lost Faron Young and Marty Robbins. Marty died of a heart attack on December 8, 1982, at age 57, and Faron died of a self-inflicted bullet wound on December 10, 1996, at age 64. Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story was published in 2007 by the University of Illinois Press, and the publication goal for Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins is 2012. (more…)

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 2 December 2009

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

For the past two months I’ve been working on Marty Robbins chapters that talk about “El Paso” and the gunfighter ballads. Then one day I was shocked to realize this was FIFTY years go. I’m always a decade behind, and I’d thought it was forty years. Ranger Doug Green told me the Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album is “part of Cowboy 101. It’s a must listen” for anyone who sings western music. My Internet searches often turn up references to this song and this album. How many others are routinely talked about fifty years after their release? 1959 closed with “El Paso” sitting in the number one spot nationwide on both pop and country charts. Three weeks before his death, Marty was asked how many times he’d sung “El Paso,” and he said, “Tell me how many personal appearances I’ve made since 1959, and then I will know.” (more…)