Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 23 December 2009


Faron Young recorded an album of Christmas songs in 1979 for television sales. I couldn’t find a photo of the cover of A Christmas Card From Faron, perhaps because it was recorded for a private label and is rare. The album was reissued twice, as Silver Bells in 1988 and by Step One Records as Country Christmas in 1990. Faron’s secretary remembers him having trouble singing “Happy Birthday Jesus” in the recording studio. When she teased him about saying birsday instead of birthday, he snapped, “Well, you have your tongue half cut off, and see how you say birthday.”
Marty Robbins recorded Christmas With Marty Robbins in 1967. That summer he’d told Jeannie Pruett, who was one of his writers at the time, that he needed “a couple of good Christmas songs.” She asked for his promise to record what she wrote. She said she wouldn’t waste her time in the middle of the summer writing a Christmas song if he didn’t use it. He told her if the song was good enough, it would be on the album. “So I went home, put up a Christmas tree, turned on the air conditioner, and decorated my house,” she says, “and in three days wrote both of those songs, “Christmas Is For Kids” and “One of You in Every Size.” Steel player Bill Johnson wrote “Christmas Kisses,” inspired by the thought of soldiers in Vietnam–“the thought that maybe if you were in the military, you’d be home and save your Christmas kisses.” Marty wrote two of the eleven songs on the album. The cover included a shot of Salt Lake City at night. Why Salt Lake City? Marty was on tour there when producer Bob Johnson was ready for the cover, so he flew a photographer to Utah for the photo shoot.

christmas album

I will be doing a live interview New Year’s Night, January 1, 2010, at 9:00 PM (Eastern time) with Stuart Weiss on his radio show, and we’ll be talking about two entertainers I never get tired of discussing–Faron Young and Marty Robbins. The show is called The Pop Shoppe, the musical memories of the ’50s and ’60s with a touch of the ’40s, every Friday night from 7 PM till 3:01 AM. At 12:01 AM on  New Years Day he will feature Hank Williams songs and tribute songs. To find the show on the Internet, go to www.topshelfoldies.com. (If you can’t get the music from the website, then download a free copy of winamp. Go to www.winamp.com and click on the little hour glass on the top left. Then click on play. Now click on url. When the url box comes up, type in www.topshelfoldies.com:8005 then click open and you should be hearing the oldies show.)

Christina Andrews writes that she is “feeling sad, remembering the passing of the Great Faron Young. I’ve been playing his songs all day in tribute to him. Its hard to believe its been 13 years already. I hope he is still singing…..in Heaven. I am so glad you told me about the Find a Grave site. I never knew that was posted. It made me feel good to know that many other people hadn’t forgot him.”

Loudilla Johnson says, “Always enjoy your updates. Both Marty Robbins and Faron Young made such extraordinary contributions to the Country Music world. Black day when Marty died. Faron taking his own life was both tragic and shocking.”

Everett Corbin says he believes in the healing power of God with a passion! He was given 3 to 5 months to live after being diagnosed with bone cancer from the prostate. He lay in bed for months, but relied on God’s healing instead of chemo, radiation and other treatments. He took pain medication for a while, and then God intervened. No more pain, though his legs are weak.
Response: That’s wonderful news, Everett. Your story reminds me of Marty Robbins. He credited his belief in God with restoring him to health after his 1970 heart surgery.

Richard Sokolosky, son of “Socko” Sokolosky of the Louisiana Hayride, writes, “I was surfing some of the information on Faron on the internet when I discovered you wrote his biography.  Is it still available for purchase????  My Dad and Faron were good friends back in the early 50s. I basically grew up back stage on The Louisiana Hayride as Dad was a member on the house band for 3-4 years and played with all the Greats that got their start on The Hayride. Those were very special days to Dad and he, like the others on The Hayride, at that time, had any idea they were part of a very important piece of American country music history.”

I could use some assistance in finding the following for Marty’s biography:
Claude E. “Eddy Fox” Headrick- drums – early 1970s
Del Delamont – piano – late 1970s
Conrad Noddin – piano and trumpet – late 1970s
Movie – From Nashville With Music – 1969
Movie – Country Music – 1972
Simulcast with Ralph Emery – Oct 1970
Grammy awards show – March 1971
Information on Marty’s ’67 and ’69 Dodge Chargers

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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