21 February 2007

Today I approved the marketing copy (which I was happy to learn I didn’t have to write) for advertising the book. It begins: “An intimate biography of honky-tonk great Faron Young.”

FARON YOUNG, THIRTY-TWO YEARS AGO: On February 18, 1975, Faron played in his third Jackie Gleason Pro-Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Inverrary Country Club in Lauderhill, Florida. Charlie Walker first invited him in 1972. “A lot of people down there,” Walker says, “like Mickey Mantle and some of these guys, were big country music nuts. Mantle got a kick out of meeting Faron, and Faron got a kick out of going down there.” Faron said, “There was so many celebrities that nobody was really important. I got to meet my idol . . . Johnny Unitas, the quarterback from Baltimore.” He added, “I had a ball talkin’ with Mohammed Ali.”President Gerald Ford attended the 1975 tournament and played with Jackie Gleason, Jack Nicholaus, and Bob Hope. “When the President comes around, it’s a mess,” Faron recalled, “because of all the Secret Service people and all, you just can’t hardly move. There’s a guy standin’ on every building.” Faron was on the driving range with several professional golfers when a Secret Service agent arrived. The agent politely asked the pros if they would soon be finished and then told Faron, “And you. Move out.” As Faron explained later to Ralph Emery, “I ain’t gonna even tell you what I told him. I stayed right there, after I had my few choice words to tell him that I was gonna hit the rest of the bucket of balls I had. . . . So I just keep hittin’ my balls, and I look around, and here they come. The President with all them guards. They put the President right over next to me, and then Bob Hope, and I looked around at Gleason, and I said, ‘Jackie, I’ll be through here in a minute, and you can have this spot.’ He said, ‘Take your time, pal. Go right ahead there.’ So I got through hittin’ my balls and I moved.”

Mona Leeson Vanek writes from Washington state, “How wonderful! Sounds like your interview was well received. Congratulations!! Here’s to you being in the spotlight on many more radio shows, followed by oodles of TV appearances!!”

Everett Corbin says, “I think I told you earlier about my visit to The Grand Ole Opry and meeting and shaking hands with Marty Robbins, as I wrote about it in a letter back to my family, which I still have……and I wrote in my book: STORM OVER NASHVILLE: A Case Against Modern Country Music (1980) about the many times I would listen to the Grand Ole Opry, and Ernest Tubb could even be heard over the airwaves, pleading with Marty to:…’get off, so we can get on…’ speaking about the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, as Marty would appropriate some of the ET time, until?”

Marilyn Horchem sends a new email address and says, “Thanks so much for your e-mails. Keep up the good work. Can hardly wait for your book on Faron. All our relatives and friends are going to buy your book. Faron was loved by so many if he had only known.”

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