28 February 2007

Faron was born 75 years ago this week, and today I’m thrilled to be able to publish the University of Illinois Press marketing blurb that describes his biography. You can find it below my signature block at the end of this newsletter. I’m also thrilled to announce the book should be in the stores by the end of September.

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO: On his 52nd birthday, February 25, 1986, Faron appeared on the television show Nashville Now. Ralph Emery told him to “stand here and be good for a minute,” and someone brought out a birthday cake. As Faron held the cake, Ralph asked for the history behind the “Sheriff” title, and Faron explained it. Ralph then asked, “You want us to hold this [cake] for you?”
“You want to stand here the rest of the night and hold this thing?”
“No. Are you through talkin’ to me?”
“No, I want you to be comfortable.”
“That was the worst interview I ever had in my life.”
“I’m not through with you,” Ralph said. “You just looked so uncomfortable, doing an interview, standing there holding a cake.”

Jean Earle asks, “Many thanks again for the latest newsletter. Only really have one question……will we be able to buy Faron’s book in England? I hope it will be available for his many fans over here.”

And Lisa Bayer, marketing director for the University of Illinois Press, responds: “The book will most definitely be available in the UK and Europe, as well as most other foreign countries/markets. Our distributor in the UK is CAP (Combined Academic Publishers). They do a great job for us and will see that the book is available in major bookstores and via Amazon.com.uk and the like. It typically takes a month or so longer for our new titles to be available overseas simply because they’re transported by ship, but you can assure fans of Faron everywhere that they’ll be able to get the books, too.”

Sandy Cooper, who helped me condense the manuscript last year, writes, “Thanks for keeping me in the loop, Diane.  I like the updates on your book, and I also really enjoy reading all the emails from the fans. You’re touching a lot of lives, and clearly bringing back memories for a lot of people!”

Julie Johnson says, “I can’t wait for the book. He was, and still is, my #1.”

Stacy Harris, publisher/editor of Stacy’s Music Row Report, writes, “Interesting story about Faron and the Secret Service. My family used to live at Inverrary. The moral of that story is that ignorance is bliss. Anyone who messes with the Secret Service is asking for trouble. I know of lesser offenses than Faron’s that brought Federal charges. Mine didn’t rise to that level, but I had a scary experience when covering Jimmy Carter during one of Carter’s visits to Nashville years ago. I was within touching distance of the former President at a campaign rally when I snapped a photo of him. I suppose it was bad enough that the crowd of us angling for position practically pushed me in Carter’s face, but I had the added misfortune of briefly fearing for my life when the flashcube (Remember those?) on my camera malfunctioned! The resulting ‘explosion’ was loud enough to scare not only Carter and me, but the Secret Service as well–until they realized, almost as quickly as it happened, that my ‘shot’ was not a bullet!”

Terry Counts says, “Ha! That sounds like Faron!! I remember when my husband played the White House inauguration, the first words out of his mouth when he got back was, ‘Those secret service men have NO sense of humour’…I wonder why!!!! LOL”

Thanks to Dick Shuey for the recent posts of my newsletter on his TWANGTOWNUSA.COM COUNTRY MUSIC REPORTER news board at http://www.twangtownusa.com/news/

The cover story of the 26 Feb 07 issue of Newsweek magazine is titled “Men and Depression.” My research while writing Faron’s biography convinced me that undiagnosed depression was Faron’s problem, and those who knew him might like to read the article and see if they agree. Here’s a link I’ve posted before, with more information on a subject that might be of value to readers: http://menanddepression.nimh.nih.gov/

Diane Diekman
Washington DC, USA
Faron Young info: http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id8.html
Newsletter archive: http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id70.html and

Music / Biography

Live Fast, Love Hard
The Faron Young Story

Diane Diekman

An intimate biography of honky-tonk great Faron Young

“Diane’s level of research is incredible! I learned things about my father that I never knew before.”
–Robyn Young

“Everyone who knew Faron–as a friend, as a fan, or as an enemy–is going to treasure this book.”
–Bill Mack, host of “Country Crossroads” and member of the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame

“Diekman has done such a thorough job that there is unlikely ever to be another Faron Young biography to compete with it.  She has uncovered a great deal of information that will be news to even Faron Young’s most passionate fans and friends.”
–Paul Kingsbury, editor of The Encyclopedia of Country Music and Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Country Music in America

“I’ve never read a book on someone in the music business that inspired so many different feelings–laughter, sadness, pity, and even crying!”

–Glenn Sutton, member of Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

As one of the best-known honky tonkers to appear in the wake of Hank Williams’s death, Faron Young was a popular presence on Nashville’s music scene for more than four decades. The Singing Sheriff produced a string of Top Ten hits, placed over eighty songs on the country music charts, and founded the long-running country music periodical Music City News in 1963. Flamboyant, impulsive, and generous, he helped and encouraged a new generation of talented songwriter-performers that included Willie Nelson and Bill Anderson. In 2000, four years after his untimely death, Faron was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Presenting the first detailed portrayal of this lively and unpredictable country music star, Diane Diekman masterfully draws on extensive interviews with Young’s family, band members, and colleagues. Impeccably researched, Diekman’s narrative also weaves anecdotes from Louisiana Hayride and other old radio shows with ones from Young’s business associates, including Ralph Emery. Her unique insider’s look into Young’s career adds to an understanding of the burgeoning country music entertainment industry during the key years from 1950 to 1980, when the music expanded beyond its original rural roots and blossomed into a national (ultimately, international) enterprise. Echoing Young’s characteristic ability to entertain and surprise fans, Diekman combines an account of his public career with a revealing, intimate portrait of his personal life.

Diane Diekman is the author of Navy Greenshirt: A Leader Made, Not Born and A Farm in the Hidewood: My South Dakota Home. A retired U.S. Navy captain, she was acquainted with Faron Young for the 26 years before his death in 1996.

A volume in the series Music in American Life
240 PAGES. 6 x 9 INCHES
CLOTH, ISBN 978-0-252-03248-6. $29.95 £16.99

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