Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 10 April 2013

Faron and Marty 54 years ago
On April 7, 1959, Faron Young returned from a Hawaiian tour. His band, the Country Deputies, traveled there with him, as did his wife, Hilda. Other entertainers were Webb Pierce and Roy Drusky.
Also on April 7, 1959, Marty Robbins, in an 8-hour session in Nashville,¬†recorded all twelve tracks for an album that would still be popular more than half a century later: Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.¬†Two years after that, on April 12, 1961, he was awarded a Grammy for the most famous song on the album, “El Paso.” It would always be Marty’s favorite song and he sang it at every show for the rest of his life.

Hank Corwin (1939 ~ 2013)
Henry F. “Hank” Corwin, Jr. of D’Iberville, Mississippi, died March 25 in Gulfport at age 73. He had been in poor health for quite awhile. Barbie, his wife of 36 years, sent me occasional updates. I told her I’d say farewell in my newsletter and she said Hank would have appreciated that. Hank played steel guitar for Faron in 1975-76.

Joan Fitzberger says, “Loved your book about one of my favorites, Faron Young. There has never been anything written about another great singer, Webb Pierce. How about writing one while there are still people still living that knew him? That would be awesome.”

Susan Molina writes, “I have enjoyed your newsletters and books. I read a lot on country music and your Faron Young book is my favorite. I have not read much on Ray Price and I think he has had an interesting life and such an impact on country music. Also so many musicians have come up through his bands. Is that someone you would consider writing about? Thanks for all you do.”

Andy Williford reports, “I play golf with a good friend whose daughter is a country singer, 18 years old and just getting started. She performed at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas on March 22. Her dad said she has not auditioned for anyone, but did share the stage with Vince Gill at one time. Is there any way that anyone would audition her or listen to a tape? Her name is Kristyn Harris and her website is Kristynharris.com. I know you have a lot of clout and let me know, please, if there are any possibilities.”

This week completes the Sideman Sidebar. It took me three years to mention all the surviving members of The Marty Robbins Band and Faron Young’s Country Deputies. These final three played drums for Faron. Jim Isbell was one of the young musicians hanging out at Linebaugh’s restaurant in 1962, waiting for a road gig. Faron hired him for two months and encouraged him to “stay in town and do your sessions. I know that’s what you want to do.” Jim then played Nashville sessions for 28 years. Glen Davis came into the band when Cootie Hunley left in 1963. He stayed for a year, until Cootie returned, and then he went back to working for George Jones. Marc Gullen replaced the late Steve Nath in 1992 and was the final drummer in the Country Deputies band.

Nashville Book Release Parties
It’s been a year already since we were at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to celebrate the release of Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins. And it was 2007 for the publication of Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story. Writing these books and meeting all the people involved certainly changed my life.


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