Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 13 January 2010

I sometimes describe biography writing as fitting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. For me, it’s pure excitement whenever a piece snaps into place. I experienced the feeling recently when working on the chapter about Marty’s 1974 NASCAR races. I had just described his career-high fifth place finish at Michigan and was writing about Charlotte, where he slammed into a concrete retaining wall to avoid broadsiding the driver’s side of Richard Childress’s car. Imagine my thrill when I came across a magazine article that quoted Childress, who finished sixth at Michigan, as saying there, “Marty Robbins is one man I don’t mind trusting my life to at one hundred eighty mph.” I dropped the quote into my manuscript and started the Charlotte paragraph by saying, “And that’s exactly what happened four months later.” Richard told me in an interview, “Marty turns right and goes into the wall instead of hitting me.” Who knows–if Marty hadn’t chosen to take the wall, there might not have been a NASCAR champion named Dale Earnhardt.

Thanks to Stuart Weiss for the interview on New Year’s Night on his Internet radio show, The Pop Shoppe. The hour went by way too fast, as we talked about Faron Young and Marty Robbins and listened to their music.

Ronnie Allen says, “I have been a close friend of Stu Weiss for the past eight years. I was a country deejay on WTTM in Trenton from 1982 through 1990. Faron Young and Marty Robbins were two of my most-requested artists. I look forward very much to your interview with Stu! Faron and Marty are so sadly missed and I applaud you for doing your part in keeping their musical legacy very much alive! Currently I do radio interview shows for a website called Jersey Girls Sing. Next year I hope to expand and do some shows with country artists who were successful in the 50s through the 70s. Are you in close contact with anyone who might want to be the subject of either a half-hour or one hour show which would be a celebration of their musical career? If so, please let me know.”

June Bourke writes from Paraparaumu, New Zealand, “I am a song writer and have recorded my own material, here and Australia. I have been singing since I was 3 years old, with my brother and family. Became song writer of the year in 1986, highlight of my career, such as it is. I still do shows and am kept busy, plus once a year put on a charity concert for the hospitals’ children’s wards. My folks wrote songs and recorded in their early days, and met up with people like Hank Snow, Shirley Thoms, Tex Morton, Slim Dusty, and others. They were known as the Hilly Billy Pals and recorded on the old 78s.”

George Barreras says, “I was only in the single digit age group when I first heard FARON YOUNG sing. I am now 60 years of age and still play his music on a weekly basis. I think there are maybe a handful of entertainers since the 50s that could come close to his talent. His voice was created for COUNTRY MUSIC. He was right when he said ‘The Country Music Industry soon forgets its pioneers.'”

Esther Kilgore requests, “After Marty’s death I saw an interview his wife gave on TV.  I don’t remember name of show or year she talked about driving him to hospital on Dec. 8 1982 and calling him her singing cowboy. I’m wondering if you had heard of it. I would love to see it again.”
Response: I’m sorry, Esther, I don’t know what that would be.

Jo Hamrick is back on this newsletter list: “Thank God, your mail found me. I have Faron’s Christmas Card here. I’ll never forget coming home from working a very long day. Tom had the album standing up on my desk. ‘To Jo. I love You. Faron.’ I treasure the album as I do all of them. It has been a very long 13 years. I miss him so much. There never has been, never will be, another Faron. I play in my car, at all times, only his gospel songs. There is none like it. When I go, that tape is to be played day and night. It is in writing.”

Brian Turpen writes, “Thanks for your continuous newsletter, they are always so interesting. I’d also like to relay our Holiday greetings, so Merry Christmas & Happy New Years. Keep up the great work.”

Sutton Taylor says, “You met my wife & I when you did your book signing/release at ET’s in Nashville. We talked for sometime in great detail about Faron, as I’m a huge fan, as well as being an aspiring singer/songwriter, and he’s my greatest influence. I had on a shirt I had made with Faron’s picture on the front, and the date of his induction to the Hall of Fame on the back.  My real name is Ronnie McDowell, but I don’t use that name when dealing with the business for obvious reasons. Anyway, there’s a great site out there called www.ioffer.com. It’s very similar to e-bay, but instead of bidding on an item, you may either accept the seller’s asking price, or make them an offer.”
Response: Thanks for that info, Sutton. I went to the site and purchased a DVD of the Grammy awards show. I now know Marty said when he received his Grammy, “I thank God for this, and I thank God for my woman, my woman, my wife.”

Dominique “Imperial” Anglares writes from France, “Thanks for your periodic newsletter and to take care of the legacy. I always enjoy your words and those post made by my unknown friends in music. I was very glad to find few words about Socko by his son ’cause I am always working hard on the Louisiana Hayride and Shreveport’s legacy. Socko was member of the Lump Lump Boys with Lum York and played with a lot of great names in Shreveport. On Dec 21th 2009, a bronze plaque was set on Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium. The place has been designated National Historic Landmark by the US Government.”

Jean Earle sends this from the UK: “Thank you very much for all of the newsletters that you have kindly sent to Alan and I. We have enjoyed reading them all. We hope you have a most HAPPY CHRISTMAS with your family. Best wishes for 2010.”

Thanks to Jamie McGrath Morris for interviewing me for his newsletter, The Biographer’s Craft.


Thanks to those who helped me find musicians Del Delamont, Conrad Noddin, and Jay Dee Hoag. I left a telephone message for Claude Headrick but don’t know if it’s actually Eddy Fox. I’m now looking for Larry Mahan (rodeo cowboy) and Carol Hudson (secretary).
I would still like to find movies From Nashville With Music (1969) and Country Music (1972) and the simulcast with Ralph Emery (Oct 1970).

Welcome to 2010! This is the year I’ll sign a publishing contract for my Marty Robbins biography and become a successful commercial real estate investor.

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