25 October 2006

The University of Illinois Press will publish Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story in the fall of 2007. This marks the beginning of the second year of my newsletter. In that year I signed a publishing contract, revised and submitted the manuscript, and submitted all photos and permissions. Knowing there’s still at least a year to wait until publication is frustrating, but that’s the way the publishing business works.

FARON YOUNG, FORTY-FOUR YEARS AGO: Faron headlined Atlanta Raceway’s first Grand Ole Opry All-Star Jamboree on October 27, 1962. The 3½-hour package show saluted the next day’s Dixie 400 national championship stockcar race. Earlier in the same racing season, Faron played a show at the Bristol Raceway in Tennessee, with Patsy Cline as one of the performers and Ralph Emery as the announcer. Faron wanted to drive around the track to experience its high bank. Ralph later reminded Faron of the incident, saying “You jumped in a car and ran it around the track, and they got really upset with you, because they were afraid their insurance wouldn’t cover you.” Faron responded, “I was doin’ a hundred miles an hour in a Hertz rent-a-car around and round that track. They was chasin’ me with a jeep. Hell, they’d a never caught me.” He had invited Cootie Hunley to go with him. “I had the seat in one hand and the ceiling in the other,” Cootie told me in a telephone interview. “And he went around that damn thing, and they chased him in the company jeep. And I want to tell you, those banked curves are steep. When he pulled up in front of the grandstand, he jumped out and put his hand up like, yaaay, I won.”

Dru Zoch says, “Diane, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed all the extras attached to the latest newsletter. Virginia Gafford (one of those five girls that first met Faron on Oct. 21, 1951) . . . & I were driving to Nashville from Kentucky one time. Ginny said ‘Watch for a Tour Bus along the way.’ She had not got that out of her month, until I said, ‘Stop, stop, there is Faron’s Tour bus.’ We turned around and went back, walked in the cafe and Jerry ‘Cootie’ Wayne Hunley stood up in the back of the cafe and yelled ‘What the h— are you two doing up here?’ I don’t know who was the most shocked, us or him. . . . I just had to write and tell you how many memories you brought back to Ginny & I. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.”

John Moyer writes, “Thanks for adding me to your newsletter. I have videos of Faron Young, Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce and all the grand old Opry stars of 50’s and 60’s all in color. I was just watching Faron singing ”Live Fast Love Hard and Die Young” great song–I am 72 years young and have been a video or DVD collector for several years now, will be looking for your e-mails and newsletters.”

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