7 February 2007

The University of Illinois Press is publishing Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story on its Fall 2007 list. This weekly newsletter will keep you posted on the progress. Recent questions from the publisher have concerned a cover photo and how to advertise at Book Expo America in New York City in May.

Thanks to Duane Murley for interviewing me on his Afternoon Drive show on KWMT Radio in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO: Faron headlined his third tour to the United Kingdom in 1979. (Earlier tours were with Connie Smith in 1973 and Hank Locklin in 1977.) Faron talked Bill Anderson into flying home with him on a Concorde instead of using their already-purchased Boeing 747 tickets. Faron’s friends Jean and Alan Earle went to Heathrow to see them off. Jean recalls that Faron “was so thrilled to be flying on that beautiful little plane.” She said Faron spoke of his flight as being a highlight in his life. The tour included a show in Belfast, Ireland. Ray Emmett remembers staying in the hotel where they’d been scheduled to stay two years earlier but couldn’t because it had been blown up in the Catholic-Protestant “troubles.” The hotel was completely rebuilt. “They had a guard fence all around,” Ray says. “You’d be walking down the street, and here would come some soldier carrying a big machine gun.”

Tom Lipscombe writes, “We have posted your newsletter on the ATL Forum at http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/243824250/fetch/655585/. Interesting to note, Faron calling his music ‘Hillbilly’, when he was one of the most polished entertainers in Nashville. During the early days of his career, I could understand that; but in 1971, he seemed to have directed his talents along the same road as Ray Price, Jim Reeves & Eddy Arnold; in other words, ‘Up-Town Country’….just my humble opinion of course 🙂

Response: Faron often poked fun at himself, and using the term hillbilly was one way of doing so. He told me in 1992 that no one would want to visit the grave of an old hillbilly singer. Here’s another example, from when he learned to sing “Galveston” for a show with a forty-piece orchestra in Kansas City. “Boy, you’re talkin’ about a nervous hillbilly out there, with forty musicians sittin’ out in the pit,” he said, adding, “I’ve went through all this misery this week, being so nervous singin’ it, I’ll just go home and get me some hillbillies to cut it.” The song is on his “Wine Me Up” album.

Paul Gordon says, “Thanks for being there for my disappointment shirt experience. I think Faron was the best that county music ever produced and the biggest star that ever graced the stage at the Grand Old Opry. I grew up in the 50s. He was my best friend even though I never met him but I was at several country shows when he performed. I hope he knew how loved he was by his fans.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.