31 May 2006

I’m immersed in editing the manuscript, and what a job! I cut 8 of 33 chapters by inserting pieces of them into other chapters. Although I got the manuscript down to 95,000 words, I was shocked to count up the endnotes and find 10,000 words there. A biography should have good source information, but something’s got to go.

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: Newlyweds Faron and Hilda signed the contract to purchase their first home on May 24, 1955. They had been living with Hubert Long their first six months in Nashville after Faron’s discharge from the Army. Their house sat at the top of a hill on Bel Air Drive, in a new development directly southwest of the Nashville airport. They had no close neighbors until houses were built on the surrounding lots. Hilda, pregnant and usually alone, occasionally walked down the hill to visit an older couple at the far end of the development. When Faron found time to be home, he worked around the house. He single-handedly built a fence along one side of the property, and took great pride in the achievement.

INTERVIEW: In my early days of research, while trying to identify the correct origin of Faron’s “Young Sheriff” title, I ran across a quote where Faron said the winning entry for the name-the-band contest came from “one little girl up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.” Sioux Falls! My college town, the city I fly into whenever I visit my family, the city with the radio station I’ve listened to since it came on the air in 1969. I immediately contacted Joe Morrison at KXRB Radio and asked him to try to find the “little girl.” But he already knew her, and he put us in touch. Sharon Williams was 15 years old when she entered the contest; she received a telegram on May 24, 1955, saying she’d won. Sharon still lives in Sioux Falls, and I visited her the next time I went home.

Robyn Young sends this surprising note: “Over the past month or so, I have been interviewed by Bill Mack for world wide syndication . Eddie Stubbs for WSM and XM satellite radio. Plus a couple of other DJ’s for local radio shows. Also have received numerous letters and e-mails from Music City News readers. * ALL * have asked questions concerning the biography book that is being written about Faron Young. . . . Mostly they want to know what I think. They want to know if the book will tell of the real Faron? If it captures his spirit? If the details are right? Will his fans like it? Does the family like it? When will it be out? Where can they buy it?”

Response: I’m flabbergasted. I had no idea there was this much buzz about the book. It’s great to hear that people still remember Faron and that they want to read about him.

Jean Earle says, “We met Billy Walker in Faron’s office, many years ago. A lovely man. We were also lucky enough to see him on another visit to Nashville,when we were taken backstage and we saw him in his attractive blue suit. We were sent the address to write to, to give our condolences to i.e. the”GuestBook”. so we have sent a few words, just to let his friends and family know that Billy had many fans over here in Great Britain.”

Doug Davis writes, “Enjoy your newsletter and so do our subscribers.” His newsletter can be requested at Classics@countrymusicclassics.com.

Fred Bessell says, “I saw info on you & your Faron Young book on a Classic Country Music newsletter. I am interested in signing up for your news letter. Also would like to have a copy of the book when ready Also, when I got on your web site I saw a lot on Faron. . . . I am glad some one is doing a Faron book. I still listen to his recording & even old 33 1/3. I sure wish country would get back to COUNTRY again.”

Chris Merkley writes from NorthBay, Canada: “Thanks Diane for another great newsletter, I too am anxious for your book. If you could pass along also in case some others might not know, they can do an MSN search under Faron Young and several topics will come up under his name. Click on Faron Young and anybody can catch a cool clip of Faron singing Just Married back in 55′ on the Opry. Gordon Terry and looks like Doyle Wilburn in the background. Just click on the song’s title to begin video.”

Mayf Nutter writes, “Congratulations on your publishing deal, Diane. You deserve it. Hope it sells millions and you get paid handsomely.”

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