3 January 2007

Happy New Year! The University of Illinois Press will publish Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story on its Fall 2007 list. That means I’ll achieve my goal of getting Faron’s biography published during the year in which we commemorate the 75th anniversary of his birth.

FARON YOUNG, FORTY-SIX YEARS AGO: On January 7, 1961, Faron recorded four songs, two written by Justin Tubb and two by Willie Nelson. The single released from that session contained Willie’s songs, “Hello Walls” and “Congratulations.” Although Ken Nelson produced most of Faron’s Capitol sessions, Marvin Hughes handled this one. Ken told me he regrets Marvin didn’t receive proper credit for it. Faron described the recording session by saying, “I remember the musicians in the studio sayin’, Hello microphone, hello chair, hello studio, just makin’ fun of the song. I said that’s the reason that’s song’s gonna be a hit, because it sticks in your mind.” He added, “And for once in my big mouth life I was right.” Released on February 27, “Hello Walls” debuted on the Billboard country chart three weeks later and reached the top on May 8, 1961. It stayed number one for nine weeks, and also charted number one with The Cash Box.

Michael Kaye writes from Somerset, New Jersey, “I was looking at your information about Faron Young and found it very interesting. I see you are coming out with his autobiography next year. I think that’s great and hope to get a copy. I always felt that his talent was underrated. A lot of people I talk to have never heard of him, and that’s a shame. Here in NJ I sing country music nights at local bars and I always do a couple Faron songs. In fact, my first album NASHVILLE MEMORIES came out this summer, and it starts and ends with his big hits. I do a Marty Robbins tune on it also.”

Jack Michael says, “Please add my name onto the list. I think Mr. Young was one of the great country singers ever. Thanks. Take care from an old worn steel player.”

Stephanie Deutsch, a member of my Washington D.C. biography group, writes, “My husband and I had Christmas dinner with just our two sons, ages 29 and 26. After a good meal we started playing favorite records (not CDs…) and quickly their choice turned to Marty Robbins, a favorite from their childhood. We played the whole album (can’t remember the name of it but it’s red and he’s pulling a gun from a holster I think). We all sang along to most of the songs and particularly my older son, Noah, waxed eloquent about how wonderful Robbins; voice is, how spiritual some of the songs are. It was quite lovely! You can be sure that when your book comes out, I’ll be buying at least two copies. Happy new year.”

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