25 January 2006

FARON TWENTY-FOUR YEARS AGO: In January 1982 Faron moved out of the Harbor Island house he had bought from his friends, Casey and Liz Anderson, when he and Hilda separated in 1976. Located on a privately-owned island on Old Hickory Lake and decorated in Faron’s favorite colors, blue and white, the house had an indoor swimming pool and five floor levels. Liz Anderson said, “Casey and I designed every inch of it, and Casey built it. It was very beautiful and different.” When Faron and Hilda reconciled after five years, they sold both their houses so they could build on a 14-acre property along Old Natches Trace Road. But the deal on Faron’s lakehouse fell through when the buyer left town. Lynn Anderson wanted to buy her parents’ house from Faron, and she had made a cash offer, but Faron’s real estate agent advised him to turn it down in favor of another offer. When the buyer failed several times to attend scheduled closings in January and February, Faron realized he had no sale. Lynn had already bought another house, and Faron sued the absent buyer and the two real estate agents for breach of contract and negligence. Although the judge granted a default judgment against the buyer, it was worthless because he was never found. The judge proclaimed the real estate agents faultless, and Faron had to pay the court costs. By that time he and Hilda and their children had moved back into the lake house, where they lived until 1985.

INTERVIEW: When I made my first research trip to Nashville, I knew nothing about writing a biography and nobody connected to Faron Young. By being the first person to offer encouragement and advice, Ralph Emery helped me get started. I called his office and he said he’d received the letter I sent earlier. He gave me a tape of one of Faron’s concerts and showed me the Joel Whitburn book of Billboard chart songs. He suggested I contact the musicians’ union to get Deputy addresses and that I buy a recorder to attach to my telephone for interviews. He went through his notes of his radio shows with Faron, and he told me stories. He said he didn’t want me to go back to Los Angeles and say those SOBs in Nashville wouldn’t talk to me. Later he brought his radio shows to someone who made cassettes and mailed them to me. I could not have written nearly so complete a book without the tapes of those shows. Ralph Emery has my deepest gratitude.

Pete Barnes writes, “Enjoy your very interesting news letter each time it comes in. Today’s news letter brought sadness to my heart to hear Gordon Terry was sick and confined to his house. I met Gordon in Fort Jackson , So. Carolina in July of 1952. I was from Athens, Al at that time and Gordon was from around there some place. Anyway I had heard him on the Grand Ole Opry as one of the Blue Grass Boys with Mr. Bill. He was very nice and friendly. He even played one night for us. He did a fiddle tune and sing a song about a mule. Funny. I wonder if he stills remembers that. I never saw Faron in person. Guess we had something in common though. We were both in the army at the same time. When you talk to gordo, give him my regards. I been telling people for 54 years that I met Gordon Terry.”

Response: Gordon once told me, “Two towns in Alabama claim me, Decatur and Moulton. Decatur claims I’m from Moulton; Moulton claims I’m from Decatur.”

Debra in the UK asks, “Could you tell me who wrote the song Second Hand Emotion? For Christmas I got an ASCAP award that Faron got for that song in October 1979.”

Response: “Second Hand Emotion” was written by Charlie Black and Rory Bourke.

WEBSITE: Mick Buck at the Country Music Hall of Fame just sent me an interesting website. We had been discussing the tape that astronaut Pete Conrad carried to the moon on the Apollo 12 mission in 1969. The flight journal has been transcribed and posted to the NASA website. On day ten of the flight, just before splashdown, the last song broadcast from outer space was “Wine Me Up.” You can read about it at http://history.nasa.gov/ap12fj/20day10_sf3th.htm.

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