Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 18 November 2009

I just finished the section of Marty’s biography where Hawkshaw Hawkins was killed in the plane crash with Patsy Cline in 1963, and I thought newsletter readers would enjoy the story of Marty writing a song in Hawk’s memory. Hawkshaw and his wife, Jean Shepard, had named their first son Don Robin, in honor of their friends Don Gibson and Marty Robbins. Their second son was born shortly after the plane crash, and Marty told Jean he wanted to write a song for her. “Marty, you can’t write a song for me,” she said, “because you don’t know how I feel.” He asked, “Can I try?” She consented. When he presented her with “Two Little Boys,” she realized it was a great song. “It’s a very touching song,” she says. “I didn’t think he could do it, but he did, and I love him dearly.” Marty gave songwriter credit to her sons, thus ensuring they would always draw the royalties. I checked the BMI site, and “Songwriter/Composer” lists Don Hawkins and Harold F. Hawkins II. No mention of Marty, although the song is published by his company, Mariposa Music. Here’s Jean singing “Two Little Boys,” obviously not too long after Marty wrote it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN2AD7fn7BM

BILLY DEATON 1935-2009
I met Billy Deaton on my first trip to Nashville to start researching Faron’s life. Not knowing how to begin the project, I stopped by Billy’s office and introduced myself on October 8, 1999. He told me stories for over an hour, starting with how he had moved from Texas in 1970 at Faron’s request. He talked about how Faron used to come into his office when he returned from the road. He’d ask what was going on, and Billy would say, “I’ll get it together and bring it up.” Then Faron would go up to his office and read his mail. Billy never signed a check for Faron’s money. He emphasized to me that Faron handled his own money and signed his own checks. Billy would bring up the list of requests for Faron to choose which things he wanted to do (a myriad of ribbon cuttings and appearances, etc.) and extra show dates that needed Faron’s approval. Billy told me about getting calls from the Hall of Fame Lounge that Faron was drunk and needed a ride home. Billy has been in a nursing home the past several years, and he died Saturday night, October 31, 2009.

Alan Delbalso writes, “I just found out that you are writing a book on Marty Robbins. I think it is wonderful. Marty is my favorite. Thanks I will be waiting for the book.”

Cullen Anderson in Asheville, North Carolina, says, “Thanks for the comments about Faron Young on your webpage. I am a big country western fan as well. We are close in age as I graduated from high school in 1966. I love the country music of 1950s through 1970s, in particular. I am a veteran too, Vietnam I Corps 1969, US Army. I was basecamped with the 3rd Marines, so interacted with the Navy fairly often. I admire what you have made of yourself. A leader made, indeed. . . . Charter Cable plays a good mix of classic country. It has warmed my soul listening to Dottie West, Donna Fargo, Tammy Wynette, Faron Young, Bobby Bare, plus so many more. I re-live the songs and my 20s.”

Judy Bezjak reports, “Rex Allen Days was very good this year. Lacy J. Dalton was the guest entertainer at the concert. Rex had all three of his sons, Wyatt, the ex baseball player, and the twins, Cody and Logan singing with him on stage. He also had his brother, Curtis, singing ‘Ride Cowboy, Ride’ with him and he was great. Rex’s sister, Bontia, and her young daughter, Maddie, were in attendance as well. Pedro Gonzales Gonzales, Jr. plays the pots and pans just as well as his father. He came on stage in a Scottish kilt and gave the audience an entertaining performance. Although the weather was cold, windy, and rainy, the parade was entertaining with beautiful horses, rodeo queens, marching bands, and even a shootout by a group of vigilantes. I already have my hotel reservation for next year!”

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