26 September 2007

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO: When I checked to see what Faron was doing on the last birthday of Marty Robbins, I was surprised to find the similarities in their schedules. Both concluded a tour on Saturday, the 25th, the day before Marty’s birthday, and started another on Wednesday. The surprising thing was that they both performed at the county fair in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, Faron on Saturday (ending his tour) and Marty on Wednesday (beginning a tour). So I would guess Marty celebrated his 57th birthday at home. Today would have been his 82nd birthday.

Friday, October 12, Chuck Dauphin will devote his entire 6-10 AM shift on WDKN Radio in Dickson, Tennessee, to Faron’s music. I will be in the studio with him the second half of the show to discuss Faron’s life.

Saturday, October 13, I will be in Nashville at the Southern Festival of Books. My 11:00-12:00 session is titled “From the Hills to the Honky Tonks: Two Country Legends.” A book signing follows the session. I don’t yet know who the other legend is.

Saturday, November 10, we’re celebrating book publication with a Faron Young tribute show during the evening at the Troubadour Theater in the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. No details on that yet, other than to announce that Robyn Young and his band, NEXTAKYN, will open the show.

Saturday, November 10, the evening culminates with a reunion of the Country Deputies on the Midnite Jamboree at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. Darrell McCall will host the show, and it will be carried live on WSM 650 Radio. See http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm for more info–or to order the book.

Barbara Holtmann of Trent Radio in Norwood, Ontario, writes to say, “Hello Diane, it was nice speaking with you – we actually had a few calls saying how much they enjoyed the interview.”

Response: Thanks for inviting me to be on your radio show Saturday morning, Barbara. Our readers can listen to this volunteer-run radio station at www.trentradio.ca.

Jean Earle writes from the UK, “We were happy to receive your book yesterday. I am very impressed!! Started reading it straight away….sitting comfortable, with a nice cup of tea. Did you know that Faron enjoyed a good cuppa of tea? While he was in England for the Wembley show he came out to see us in our little home in south London. He was driven to our house by a friend Monika Kaye who was a P.R. for Mervyn Conn.who had organised the weekend festival. Just imagine the thrill it was for us to see Faron walking up our garden pathway!! He stayed the afternoon with us ….and the reason I am telling you this is because he sat in our front room, and very much enjoyed drinking a cup of tea from a china cup!!! and eating a salmon sandwich. He was such a lovely man and we treasured the time he allowed us to share with him.”

Linda Clark in Washington DC says, “I’m a country music fan from way back and always liked Faron Young as well as so many others. I’m glad to see that there are others out there who are trying to keep the country music legends going. . . .Marty Robbins was a great singer also. I would have to say that my all time favorite was Conway Twitty. He used to have so many hits that would tug at my heart strings. . . . Country music was very big here in the DC area in the 60’s.”

Another note from Faron’s friend, Andy Williford: “Faron’s nickname growing up was Puppy, given to him by Tommy Dean, one of the inner circle. Faron wore his hair at the time that made him look like a puppy dog. Tommy told him he looked just like a little puppy dog. After that we all called him Puppy, right up to his death, as a matter of fact, Tommy was in Nashville and talked to Faron and wanted to go see him, but Faron made an excuse for him not to. Tommy could hear something strange in his voice but didn’t think much of it at the time. Very shortly after that, Faron committed suicide.”

Betty Allbritton Strange writes, “I, too, went to Fair Park with Faron, and Andy Williford asked me if I’d sent this to you.  Faron was one of my friends in school and after graduation. In the early 80’s, when I worked for NSU College of Nursing, he would sometimes call and chat awhile. Bobby, my husband, and I always tried to remember to send him a birthday card (February 25), and he’d call and thank us for it. The last year he lived, I sent him his birthday card, and he was on a road trip somewhere, evidently. In April, I got a call from him, and he went to apologizing for not getting around to thanking us for his card any sooner, but seems like his secretary had, erroneously, misplaced some of his mail from February, and didn’t give it to him till April! . . . Faron sent us, the next couple of weeks, two 8 x 10 pictures – one black and white one and one in color, autographed, of course, saying he loved us. I have the colored one framed and in my den. That was the last time I got to speak to him. . . . He was such a sweet character, and I do miss getting a phone call or letter from him ever so often.”

Charlie Roberts in Union City, TN, says, “I got your great book last week I must say that it surpasses all of my expectations. Diane, my friend, you are to be commended on writing a story of a man of exceptional talent who is at the same time a complex Individual with many of the demons common to others. From those of us who knew the man and loved his music I thank you for giving us this definitive look at a man and a legend whose story needed telling. You are to be commended for a job masterfully done.”

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