26 July 2006

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO:  Faron returned to Fort McPherson, Georgia, for a surprise performance at General Bolling’s retirement dinner on July 29, 1955. This was eight months after Faron’s discharge, during which time he’d acquired a band, had a number one record, and made his first movie. The Special Services Officer, who formerly worked with Faron, arranged for him and the Country Deputies to arrive secretly. After a four-course French dinner, the 200 guests settled back to enjoy the entertainment listed in the program as “Third Army Special Services.” Gordon Terry recalled, “At this time we all walked onstage.  Here comes the old man [General Bolling]–he was way in the back of the building–across the dance floor, and I mean he was bawlin’.  It was really a touching little scene.” Billboard magazine reported, “A highlight of the evening was Faron’s reminiscing of the time he put in under General Bolling’s command, when he entertained at the Officers’ Club almost every week.  The show-stopper, however, was the duet on ‘Cheatin’ Heart,’ as sung by Young and General Bolling.  Top civilian officials as well as high-ranking officers from the Pentagon were on hand to see General Bolling move into civilian life after some 35 years in the Army.”
Lieutenant General Alexander Bolling, a decorated combat veteran of both world wars, had controlled ten Army posts in a seven-state area, training and mobilizing troops for the Korean War.  The Third Army gained fame during World War II under the leadership of Lieutenant General George Patton. Because of General Bolling’s affection, Faron received privileges otherwise unknown to privates and sergeants. “He got to lovin’ me; I was like his son,” Faron acknowledged.  “I’d go down to the officers’ club and I’d carry him the words to country songs like ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart’ and stuff, and he’d sing them.  Naturally, he’d get an encore.  He was the Commanding General of the Third Army.”

Ernest L Margheim sends greetings “from  beautiful Colorado!” He says, “I always look forward to your section in the Doug Davis CountryMusicClassic. I was and still am a great fan of Faron Young. I am age 85 and am so proud that you have undertaken to document him in the forthcoming book. I certainly want to be on the notification list as to where  I can order it when it becomes available or add my name and address to the pre-publication order list. With the new culture of country music, I am so glad there are folks like you that keep THE REAL COUNTRY MUSIC ALIVE.”

Julie Johnson writes, “Please add me to your list. He was, and is, a dear friend for over 30 years. I am really looking forward to the book. I always like to see if they tell it like it is. From what I have heard about you I’m sure it will be. So many have had a lot of bull about him.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.