Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 14 October 2009

This periodic newsletter commemorates the lives of Faron Young and Marty Robbins. Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story was published in 2007 by the University of Illinois Press, and the publication goal for Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins is 2012. I’ve just finished writing chapter twelve and have reached the end of 1961 in Marty’s life.

Twenty-seven years ago this week, Marty Robbins was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, less than two months before his death. Marty said, “I don’t believe I deserve it yet, because there’s three other people I think who deserve it before I get it. One is Little Jimmy Dickens. The other is Webb Piece, and one is Carl Smith. . . . In fact, I was a little embarrassed and ashamed to take it the other night. I walked by Little Jimmy when he was sitting there, y’know, and I wished so much–if my name hadn’t been on it, I would have given it to him. I can wait 15 more years because I’m going to be here 15 more years, y’know. He should have gotten it. Jimmy will probably nominate again next year, y’see. Carl Smith and Webb Pierce should be nominated, also, y’see.” Marty was correct in that Dickens was nominated–and selected–the following year, 1983. Webb Pierce was inducted posthumously in 2001. Carl Smith was in the audience when he received the honor in 2003 but not invited onto the stage. Faron Young went into the Hall of Fame in 2000, four years after his death.

Christina Andrews writes, “Just finished reading your book Live Fast Love Hard of Faron Young. Brought tears to my eyes and much sorrow to my heart. Excellent book! I certainly wish I could have gotten the golden opportunity to have met such a legend in my eyes. I am always looking to find pictures or anything of Faron Young. I have quite a few CDs albums and 45s of his. My husband had the pleasure of opening a show for him and sitting on his bus chatting with him in 1972. I look forward to hearing from you. . . . I, just turning 39 years old, think Faron’s music is the all time greatest. There is no other that can come close to touching his voice. He is definitely a legend in my book. I spend many hours listening to his music. I would also love to be on your distribution list!”

Patti Shelby asks, “Who is Trey Young? During shows, he lets the announcers introduce him as Faron’s son. And he brags to those around him about being his son. I just don’t get how these older stars go along with this. His MySpace page has a picture of Faron and Eva. He lets people assume they are his parents. The shows even announce him as Faron Young’s son.”
Response: Trey didn’t answer my requests for an interview when I was writing Faron’s biography. In the 120+ interviews I did, no one mentioned him, other than the few who asked the same question you’re asking. I would guess people accept him for who he says he is. I’ve listened to one of his “duets” with Faron, and it sounds like an overdub. If Faron had been in the studio that day, we would hear him talking on the record. I’ve heard rumors that Eva Richey is Trey’s mother, but I don’t know that Faron met her before the 1980s. If Trey were Eva’s son, and Faron’s, he would have been mentioned when Eva testified at Faron’s divorce trial. Also, if it’s true that Trey is 48 years old, Eva was 12 at his birth. If anyone can place Trey in Faron’s life prior to 1993, I’d appreciate that information.

Bruce Oksol in San Antonio, Texas, says, “I wish you the best with your book on Marty Robbins; I will keep an eye out for it.”

David Corne sends this note from the UK: “Thanks for the interesting newsletter, Diane. One of my favorite Faron Young recordings is ‘I’d Just Be Fool Enough’ which was written by Melvin Endsley. Johnny Cash also did this song. His other big song ‘I Like Your Kind Of Love’ by Andy Williams is another great song from this talented guy. I think Guy Mitchell’s version of ‘Singing the Blues’ was top notch. It is one of the great records of the 50s and probably had a more commercial sound to popular audiences with the whistling than Marty’s more Country/Rockabilly sound. Not only did Mitch Miller cover Marty on both Endsley ‘Blues’ songs, but he also did the same to Ray Price with Guy covering both ‘Heartaches By the Number’ and ‘My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You.’ Mitch Miller was astute in the fact that Columbia Records was both having its cake and eating it by covering their own artists from the country field and giving the songs to Guy Mitchell who had been one of the biggest record sellers around the world during the 50s. Record companies are of course in the business of selling records and Miller’s initiative would have gone down well with the board members of Columbia Records if not the artists on the receiving end of the cover versions. As I said in a previous note, Marty was the most covered US singer in the 50s in the UK and was robbed of several potential hits by the covers of local artists and most of them are not a patch on the Robbins originals. When I hear some of them today, I wonder why Columbia unlike a lot of other American labels didn’t put out Marty’s versions before the British labels issued their usually inferior covers.”

Ronald Reagan reminds us, “Hee Haw is repeating now on RFD-TV but in about 4 weeks they will be showing episode 5 of season 3 which features Marty Robbins. He is also featured on episode 17 of season 3 which will most likely air in a few months.”

One Response to “Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 14 October 2009”

  1. Helen Shields Says:

    I am a lifetime fan of Martin David Robinson (Marty) and no one will ever surpass his beautiful voice. I am now 63 and have been a fan since first hearing him at the age of nine or 10 and fell in love with ‘a voice’….not knowing who it was….(Carl Smith was a close 2nd). I still enjoy putting on one of his songs (believe it or not, perfer listening to the old vinyls instead of the new cd’s…..sound and memories is everything). Arizona still does a tribute to him every year in Sept (his birth month)….and the El Paso airport still plays El Paso over the PA. He was and still is #1.

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