Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 17 September 2008


Last week I heard on XM-13 radio that Mel Tillis and Ray Price would be at a fair in Frederick, Maryland, on Sunday. So I emailed Ernie Reed to ask if he would be there with the Statesiders. I met him backstage after their soundcheck and he introduced me to both Mel and Ray. Each did an hour show, Mel first. He and the Statesiders looked super sharp in their tailored green uniforms, and they sounded great. Ray Price was as good as ever, too. But it was hard to concentrate on his music because I was awestruck to have Mel Tillis sitting next to me. Mel said my Faron Young book is one of the best biographies he’s ever read. He called it a classic and said it “nailed Faron”–that it was an accurate assessment of his longtime friend.

Jim Hannaford says, “Enjoyed reading the newsletter and have printed it out for my 90 year old mom to enjoy.”

Marge Hemsworth writes from Nova Scotia, “Marty was definitely one of a kind! What a sense of humor. I always felt I could take anyone (not a country music fan) to see him in person and they’d end up a FAN. You can’t say that about many. I figured he was the best showman in the country music industry. He played a small venue here once (very out of the way–one Nova Scotia stop) and the place was only half full, but the true professional that he was, put on the same kind of show I’ve seen him do for a packed house! Our first day in Nashville he came and sat with us while we were having lunch and chatted away. Hank said if you ever met Marty ONCE, he never forgot you, and we found him like that! (Also Jim Reeves.) Amazing with all the people they meet . . .”

Ralph Larson writes, “Thank you for your reply and please include me on your newsletter. I have thumbed thru your Faron Young book and hopefully will have the opportunity to read it soon. If your Marty Robbins book is as well researched, I’m sure it will be a winner.”

Jeanne Goldstone requests, “Please add me to your mailing list, if it’s still going. Many thanks.”

Ritchie J.P. Clarke writes from Sheffield, England, “I’m 19, I love the classic country music and my big five are Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Faron Young, Slim Whitman and Marty Robbins. Your Faron Young book was truly amazing. I can’t wait for Marty Robbins!!! I know it’s early but are there any possibilities of you doing any more from my big five??? I was hoping there would be a Jim Reeves book by Leo Jackson but sadly he died recently. Best of luck with Marty Robbins.”
Joe Wright, one of the original Marty Robbins Teardrops, sends this interesting note: “A singer like Marty who did not have a band would let someone like Lightning Chance (his first choice on bass) work all his radio and TV shows. But, if that musician was already on the show with someone else, the artist would use another bass man just to let him make the money. Marty might have Lightning on the first show on the Opry and Lester Wilburn or another bass man on a later show. One night after I left Marty I was at the Friday Night Frolic which later became the Friday Night Opry. For some reason Marty’s piano player wasn’t there. Marty said, come on and play piano with me. I said, ‘Marty, I can’t play piano.’ He said, ‘You can chord, come on and play rhythm.’ Easy $7.50 and the only time I ever made money playing piano.”

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