23 August 2006

FARON YOUNG, FORTY-FOUR YEARS AGO:  Faron and Hilda moved into their 5836 Hillsboro Road house in August 1962. They had admired the house whenever they drove down Hillsboro Road to visit friends in southwest Nashville. Set back from the road, behind a curved driveway and a tree-filled yard, the long rambler with double front doors looked impressive.  They especially liked the eight-acre yard. When they noticed a For Sale sign, they contacted a real estate agent and went to see the house.  It was in foreclosure, and they bought it.  The house had radiant heat and no air conditioning, and the Youngs ordered renovations.  The work was not close to being finished when Hilda needed to get Damion registered in the second grade in his new school. A bathroom and bedroom were ready, so she moved.  She and Damion and Robyn lived in the master bedroom, with sheets on the windows, while workmen roamed the house.  Faron was on the road most of the time. They lived there until 1976. That house no longer exists. It was torn down several years ago after the current owners built a new house behind it.

Thanks to John Prime of the Shreveport Times for his excellent article on Faron’s biography. Here’s the link: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060816/BREAKINGNEWS/60816009

This past week marked the third anniversary of the death of my brother, Kenny Diekman, on 18 August 2003. He contracted hepatitis while on National Guard maneuvers in 1980, and spent his 25th birthday in the hospital. A liver transplant in 1989, when he was close to death, gave him an additional 14 years. He joined me in Nashville on one of my research trips, and he videotaped the first Country Deputy reunion (January 2000). When I think of Merle Kilgore, I think of Kenny, who went with me to Merle’s office for an interview. My daughters and I were in Nashville on another research trip when Kenny died.

I found the Faron quote about him not wanting to do a live album. He told Bob Powel during a 1977 interview on the “London Country” radio show: “I was the first guy I think to ever have this idea.  And I went to Capitol years ago. I said let’s go to some good place and do a live album. ‘Ah, that’s not a good idea. Nobody’s gonna buy that.’  By the time we got around to thinking of doing it again, a hundred and fifty people had done it. They said, hey, I got an idea, let’s do a live album. I said that’s nothing new. So I won’t do it now.” (Thanks to Jean Earle and Glenn Sutton for sending me copies of the interview.)

Helmuth Schumacher says, “Hello from Germany . . . All you wrote [about Faron’s ‘Live in Branson’ album] launched my urge to own this CD. Please tell me about the label, order-#, and like. Do you know whether this one is still available, or is it out of print? Keep on your great ‘Faron’ work.”

Response: The CD is sold on Amazon.com and is often for sale on eBay. The label says “Faron Young: Live in Branson, MO, USA (1993) –  Laserlight (12 137).”

John Morris writes from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, “Here’s a bit more about the Wheeling show that makes it even more puzzling. I think it was March of 1978 there was a TV special promoting this new K-tel LP. I can’t remember now if it was on ABC or NBC but it aired on one of our Canadian affiliates. . . . Just thought I’d add some information for what it is worth. I hope your book comes on audio format as well but if not I will get my print copy transcribed. Keep up the great work.”

Terry Counts writes, “Hi Gang, I am certain I have all of the k-tel albums Faron did…I just can’t find them right now. FYI all of you out there, HEE HAW IS RERUNNING ON CMT and I taped a Faron Young episode last week, with Willie Nelson on it, brought back some good ole smiles for me, I remember that ugly hat he wore and he always asked me what I wanted him to sing on some of the shows and of course my fav’s were the older hits. As soon as I get moved (sigh, again) I will look up the k-tel albums.”

Keith Jenkins says, “I can’t say how much I’m anticipating the delight of reading ‘Live Fast . . .’, but when I saw you were considering Marty and Roger as possible subjects, I just had to pipe up, or chime in, or whatever – I’d love to read Marty’s life, but if there is one Country biography begging to be written, it has to be the wild child, Roger Miller. Every story I’ve ever heard or read about Roger has made me want to know more. Listening to some of my heroes telling their favorite Roger stories has left me laughing until my sides ache or crying until I felt my heart would break. If you must do Marty next, okay, but please, don’t let Roger’s story go untold. Thanks.”

Response: I agree with you on the importance of a Roger Miller biography. The reminiscences in “Ain’t Got No Cigarettes” made me wish I could read the story of his life.

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