3 May 2006

The year 1996 brought a triple whammy for me, first with the death of my nephew, then the suicides of Admiral Mike Boorda (the Chief of Naval Operations) and Faron. Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of my nephew’s funeral, and I post this article in Cody’s memory: http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id50.html.

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: Faron and Elvis both toured with Hank Snow’s All-Star Jamboree in a hectic schedule that covered 20 mid-South cities, beginning in New Orleans on Sunday, May 1, 1955, and concluding May 19 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tom Parker served as booking agent and, although not yet Elvis’s manager, he worked to make Elvis bigger than an opening act. Gordon Terry said Parker paid teenagers to sit in the front row and make a scene and try to tear Elvis’s shirt off. Parker would have photos sent to the newspapers of the next towns on the tour. Soon, the teenagers were primed, and Parker no longer had to pay them. Gordon told me, “You could see Elvis getting bigger every night, and getting more confidence in himself. It just kept snowballing.” With the teenagers screaming, Elvis was called back for encores on every show. Finally, the promoters moved him up to right before the headliner. That was usually Hank Snow, but the tour sometimes split, with Faron headlining one show and Hank another. An article in the Orlando newspaper described Faron as “real sharp singing that ditty about living fast, loving hard, dying young and leaving a beautiful memory, but what really stole the show was this 20-year-old sensation, Elvis Presley, a real sex box as far as the teenage girls are concerned.” That comment would not have pleased 23-year-old Faron, if he read it.

Ray Griff, who wrote my all-time favorite Faron Young song (“Step Aside”), writes from his home in Canada, “I’ve been enjoying your stories and reports about Faron very much.” His web site is www.raygriff.com.

Evelyn Otteson writes, “Your great newsletter brought up a name I have been thinking of a lot these last few month, along with another name, Gordon Terry, who I had tried to find for a few years. He was one great fiddle player and I wanted to say Hi to him and let him know. But too late now. But to get back to a name you had in your newsletter, Joe Vincent. I haven’t seen or heard of him in years. I have often wondered what he is doing these days?” She adds, “Keep up the great work you are doing for Faron. He was one great singer. Used to joke with him when I saw him.”

Response: Joe Vincent lives in Nashville. He left the music business in 1957 to attend a two-year school at Baptist Hospital in respiratory care. He worked there until retirement.

Tom Lipscombe writes, “Great Newsletter, as usual. We have posted it on the
ATL Forum at http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/243824250/fetch/595735/.
One may find the lyrics and guitar chords for “Alone With You” at
http://www.cowboylyrics.com/tabs/young-faron/alone-with-you-36.html. The
late Roy Drusky was an outstanding songwriter & performer.”

Hennie Beltman writes, “I don’t know if you are aware of these, but they are awesome…I’ve been watching them several times over, through some tears. http://www.youtube.com/results?search=faron+young&search_type=search_videos&search=Search Love your newsletters and I’m anxiously awaiting the book.”

Response: No, I wasn’t aware of them. Thanks, Hennie. The later ones definitely bring back memories. I posted a link to my website to showcase Faron singing “Just Married” in 1955. It shows Doyle Wilburn and Gordon Terry in the background, as well as Joe Vincent’s mid-section behind his steel guitar.

WEB SITE: Song licensing agencies provide on-line data bases of registered songs. Here’s how to find the songs Faron wrote or recorded for BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.). First, click on this link: http://repertoire.bmi.com/writer.asp?page=1&blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&fromrow=1&torow=25&affiliation=BMI&cae=33407119&keyID=379197&keyname=YOUNG%20FARON&querytype=WriterID. If that doesn’t work for you, start with the BMI web site at http://www.bmi.com/. At the bottom left of the screen, click on “repertoire search.” The next screen has a drop-down box on the right side — choose either “artist” or “songwriter/composer” and type Young Faron (not Faron Young) in the box below it. Click on “Search.” (Somewhere in the process you might get a screen asking you to acknowledge and accept terms of use.) Notice who recorded Faron’s song, “Is It So Strange.”

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