Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 2 December 2009

For the past two months I’ve been working on Marty Robbins chapters that talk about “El Paso” and the gunfighter ballads. Then one day I was shocked to realize this was FIFTY years go. I’m always a decade behind, and I’d thought it was forty years. Ranger Doug Green told me the Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album is “part of Cowboy 101. It’s a must listen” for anyone who sings western music. My Internet searches often turn up references to this song and this album. How many others are routinely talked about fifty years after their release? 1959 closed with “El Paso” sitting in the number one spot nationwide on both pop and country charts. Three weeks before his death, Marty was asked how many times he’d sung “El Paso,” and he said, “Tell me how many personal appearances I’ve made since 1959, and then I will know.”
Here’s a version from his 1969 TV show, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bwoGbpYXRw, and this is one of his later live shows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn3JB51NH_M

I ran across this 1966 song that shows both Marty’s poetic skill and his opinion. Here are two verses of the song:

In this troubled world today, we’re asked to lend a hand,
Which I will, but first with me comes my own native land.
Gladly will I help this world and give all that I can,
It isn’t selfishness but first comes my own native land.

If we must give, then we should use a different policy
And give to only those who treat us fair and honestly.
We give to those who quickly take it, posing as a friend,
And just as quickly turn and bite that hand that’s feeding them.

Kenny Clark writes, “I always enjoy your newsletter. The last time I saw Billy Deaton was in 2000 at Leonard Sipes’ (Tommy Collins) funeral. He and I sat on the front row with pretty Miss Norma Jean between us. I have enjoyed many of his stories as well. I had breakfast with Larry Hunt (Marty’s bass player) this morning.  He is doing well.”

Sherwin Linton checks in to say, “Thanks again for the newsletter. There is always some very interesting news in it. This time I learned that Marty Robbins actually wrote ‘Two Little Boys.’ Well it sure sounds like his work. In the 60s and early 70s my band and I did many shows with Jean Shepard and also performed as her back up band. I was always touched by that song, but did not know Marty was the composer. I was saddened to learn of Billy Deaton’s death. He was a fine gentleman and booked us on many dates. One time in about 1974 I was at a convention at the MGM in Las Vegas with Hap Peebles who booked most of our fairs and concerts at that time. I had an advertising agency/management company executive from Mpls. with me at a meeting with Hap and Billy Deaton and a couple other people. This ad man from Mpls. was a good promoter but knew very little about country music.  Billy and Hap were discussing potential artists to be on an upcoming show. Billy said, ‘I know I can get Faron and Ferlin, and I think Webb will do it too.’ Hap responded with, ‘I just talked to Stonewall and he can do it and I also mentioned it to Johnny and he said he thinks Kitty is available.’ My ad man leaned over to me and whispered, ‘Who are these people?’ To someone outside of the country genre, it probably was an unusual combination of names. Too bad we don’t have names and talent like that now.”
Response: I can picture the face that goes with every one of those first names!

Linda Elliott Clark says, “Very touching story about Jean Shepard. That had to be hard for her to sing. I could see the sadness in her eyes. I used to listen to her songs a lot in the 60s.”

Tom Lipscombe sends this note from Canada: “Thanks for another super newsletter. Gee, that was a great performance by Jean Shepard and a great song with a wonderful story behind it! Thanks for sharing! It’s nice to remember what Country Music was once like. I have posted your newsletter on the ATL Forum at http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=243824250&frmid=204&msgid=793381&cmd=show.”

Marty Robbins is still controversial in his hometown of Glendale, Arizona. Here’s the latest: http://www.glendalestar.com/articles/2009/11/25/news/news05.txt

I received an email that began, “My name is Eva Richey, I am Trey Young’s Mother and I assure you Faron was his Father.” It told me to kindly mind my own business. I forwarded the note to Robyn Young, who printed it and took it to Eva Richey’s house. Eva told Robyn she did not write the note, it is not her email address, and she is not Trey’s mother. Enough said about that subject.

One Response to “Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 2 December 2009”

  1. dwayne wilkerson Says:

    Do you know how to find a show schedule for Trey Young. I heard him recently and enjoy the music, no matter who he really is. His website doesn’t have a schedule on it. Thanks.

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