Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 17 February 2010

Faron was born in a little two-bedroom rental house on Hoadley Street in Shreveport, Louisiana, on February 25, 1932. The family soon moved around the corner to Seymour Street. Here’s a photo of the corner of Seymour and Hoadley today. The pole is in the location where Faron’s house stood. Well, I say today. It’s been ten years already since my sister and I visited Shreveport. Faron birthplace

Faron’s first homes were a step above those of Marty Robbins, I don’t know if there’s any way to pinpoint the exact location of the shack on the desert where he was born.

Bill Johnson’s son, Robin, is disposing of his father’s estate and wants to find someone who would appreciate owning Bill’s custom-made Emmons steel guitar. Bill played steel for Marty Robbins from 1960-1975, except for the two years he was in the Army. He also played on many of Marty’s records. His files contain a copy of his plane ticket and a letter inviting him to visit the factory while the instrument was being made. Anyone interested in this piece of history can contact Robin at intoou24@gmail.com or 214-862-3103. Here’s a clip of Bill and his steel and Marty and a great song, “The Shoe Goes On the Other Foot Tonight”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNQjGr5lCGM

A thrilling note from Ronny Robbins: “I don’t tell you often enough, but I think you’re doing a great job.”

And one from Jody Nix: “I always enjoy reading your note so much…what treasured words, I can’t wait to read Marty’s story…he was so great..and all the things about Faron, Carl Smith…my friend, your research is top notch….A Fan Of Yours And Fan Of Them.”

And Navy buddy, Randy Yerigan: “Hey ship-mate, you are obviously doing well and having fun. It’s so nice to read all the 5 star ratings of your letter/research and news…really means a lot to a lot of people. You are touching so many people’s hearts and regenerating many of their happy memories… When you take on Led Zeppelin or ZZ Top I will participate more.”

Mona Vanek, a fellow writer, says, “Hooray!! First draft is a huge milestone!”

Andy Williford, Faron’s boyhood friend, sends this message: “Tell Kevin K. that we tried to reach Faron, but he wouldn’t let any of us out to his home in Old Hickory. Tommy Dean, one of our group, called him while in Nashville and he would not let him come out. Knowing him as well as I do, he would not let any of us see him the way he was because he would have, deep down, been too embarrassed. If just one of us had been there, I think he would be alive today.”

Kevin Zoch sends a sorrowful note to announce the death of his father, Bud Zoch, the husband of Dru Taylor Zoch, who started Faron’s first fan club: “Bud has been fighting illness for a long time and has fought the good fight and rallied against most, but at approximately 8:50 PM Friday, February 12, 2010 Bud went peacefully to be with the father. Both of the boys were able to be with Bud and Dru during Bud’s final hours.”

Jim Hannaford, in response to my request, sends this explanation of piano and trumpet in the Marty Robbins band: “Conrad Noddin, while also playing piano (which was the majority of the show) when there weren’t any trumpet parts to be played, did play 1st trumpet, meaning he played the higher pitched notes/melody between the two parts. When Wayne was there, however, Conrad played 2nd trumpet, the lower pitched notes. I didn’t really have the chops to play 1st trumpet, and certainly didn’t consider myself a trumpet player. I replaced Wayne who was a legitimate and good trumpeter who had toured with James Brown and the Doobie Brothers and other big names. Wayne could also take rides (improvise a solo in the middle of a song) on given songs, which would feature him and was a good entertainment element of Marty’s show. Before Conrad left, Marty acquired an electronic keyboard synthesizer for me to play ‘strings’ (as in orchestral strings) on non-trumpet songs. Marty didn’t really like the sound. He didn’t think it was country. Also, synthesized strings, especially back in 1982, had a fake mechanical sound that was simply a reasonable facsimile to orchestral strings. Of course, once Conrad left, I did move over to the piano and played the piano only. . . . Best wishes in your progress and ultimate completion of this writing project. I enjoy reading your monthly newsletter. You go, Captain!”

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