8 November 2006

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO: On Sunday, November 10, 1985, Faron and the Deputies played two shows at the Hideaway Lounge, a small nightclub in a shopping mall in Frederick, Maryland. Eddie Stubbs (this was ten years before he moved to Nashville) walked in the door and saw Faron sitting at the bar. He introduced himself and they talked briefly. Over the noise of the local band playing country-rock music, Eddie asked if Faron would be singing his Capitol hits on the 10:00 show. Faron said he would. That was Eddie’s first and only time to meet Faron Young. About the show itself, Eddie remembers, “He came out and he opened up with ‘Step Aside,’ and I was sitting at a table right down in front row center, and it just about blew me out of my chair. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. It was absolutely wonderful.” Although the crowd was disappointingly small, Faron performed as if to a packed house, thus demonstrating his often-expressed opinion of being an entertainer: “I believe you owe somebody if they pay to come see you. . . . They worked at a job somewhere to get that money to see you do your job, and I think you owe them that much.” As part of the show, Faron kept after steel player Cal Sharp to “play it country.” He’d say, “That’s not country enough,” and make Cal play it again. “Faron used to mess with the band all the time,” Cal recalls. “It was never a set-up thing; he just did it on the spur of the moment. . . . Racial jokes and fat jokes were part of the show. He was very politically incorrect. But when he was in the mood he would put on a great show, no matter how many people were there.”

Ritchie Clarke writes, “I am 17 years old from Sheffield in England. I have no idea how i got on the mailing list but I am glad I am. . . . I am really a major Jim Reeves fan, but from being a life fan of him I have come to find more artists who I like too, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Slim Whitman, Everly Brothers – the list of good artists from this era is almost endless. However while I was talking to a contact of mine on the internet he sent me a song from a tribute album for Jim Reeves – that album was by Faron Young, the songs were great and I have been a fan of Faron ever since, it’s such a shame that there is not much material available here in England on him. Your emails have been really informative and of a great help. Many thanks.”

Ron Reagan asks, “On a sidenote, is ‘What Am I Bid?’ available on DVD or VHS
by chance?  I’ve got ‘Hillbillies In A Haunted House’ on DVD with Sonny
James and Don Bowman and I know some other odds and ends are available, so I’m curious if you knew on that one.  Thanks and enjoy the news letter!”

Response: I bought the movie on VHS but I don’t remember where. You can order it from Leroy’s website at http://www.leroyvandyke.com/. You might also try eBay.

Neil Pond, who spent ten years at Music City News as reporter and editor and is now entertainment editor for American Profile magazine, writes, “I’ve got my own memories of Faron. I remember interviewing him for a feature around 1982 or so. He had just gotten a Sony Walkman, which were relatively new at the time, and he marveled at how much sound could come out of the little earpieces. ‘It’s like having a band in your ear!’ he said.”

Everett Corbin says, “Been telling lots of people about your forthcoming book on Faron Young, and, like I said: You won’t have to wonder if I’m going to buy that book! I AM! You know of course that I was editor at MUSIC CITY NEWS (1966-67…and for some 10 years total). . . . Vernon Oxford now has 2 videos from his new CD, and THE LAST DAYS OF NEW ORLEANS can be accessed at www.vernonoxfordcountry.com.”

Jeani Burgoon writes from Carroll, Ohio, “I was so excited when I found your web site. My husband and I enjoyed Faron so much. We really got to know his personality after he started appearing on Ralph Emery’s show. He was hilarious. When he opened his mouth and started singing he was truly, a gentleman, and his voice just took over. We were shocked to get the news of his death, wondering why he would take his own life. We have been questioning that ever since. To have read your bio of him, now, answers a lot of our questions. Thank you so much. I have added your web site to my Favorites and will spend more time reading it all. Whenever we visit Nashville, we make a point of going to Tootsie’s and just get goose bumps, thinking of Faron being in there, sad that he was an alcoholic, but, we loved him, and miss him!”

Wayne Jackson, who played trumpet for Marty Robbins, writes, “I was a friend of Faron’s and can’t wait to read the book…please inform me how to get one!”

Ann Allen in Sevierville, TN, recalls, “I remember that Halloween show vividly!   I am sure if I search I have it on a vhs or beta tape.  Faron was definitely one of a kind – and his own worst enemy – loved him dearly.”

Bill Lawrence of Bend, Oregon, wonders, “I was just thinking about Faron Young & reading your out put on Faron. Nowadays the movie people are putting out a hell of a lot of trashy movies, most about sex & all the beautiful people in Gollywood. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if and I say if they would come up with a truthful movie of the life of Faron Young? And not only Faron But how about Eddy Arnold. Marty Robbins.”

Response: I agree, Bill. And I have just the book to turn into a screenplay about Faron’s life. Marty’s will take a few more years.

Joe Carver (former manager of Nashville speedway)
Thomas “Curly” Mills (airline captain and race car driver)
Jack Evans (early steel player for Marty)
Don Haggard (early fiddle player for Marty)
Joe Babcock (Marty’s harmony singer in 1960)
Joe Wright (lead guitar early 1956)
Eddy Fox (drummer in late 60s))
Jeff Chandler (rhythm and harmony in 70s)
Conrad Noddin (piano in 70s)
Bill Martinez (drums in 70s and 80s)
Larry Hunt (bass in 70s and 80s)
Jim Hannaford (keyboard in late 70s)
Gary Adams (rhythm in 1982)
Mike Cutright (harmony in 1982)
Louie Roberts (performed with Marty as a child)
NASCAR drivers–Bobby Allison, Richard Childress, Darrell Waltrip, David
Pearson, and others.
Thanks for any help in finding them.

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