Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 23 February 2011

In two days we celebrate Faron Young’s 79th birthday–and we wish Faron could be here to celebrate with us. He was born in a tiny rental house in Shreveport, Louisiana, on February 25, 1932.

On February 16, 1975, Marty ran the Daytona 500. “I wanted to make Daytona because it was a big track and I liked the speed,” he said. “You could get going around one hundred ninety miles an hour down there, y’know.” In the third turn of the third lap, another driver lost control and came down off the wall in front of Marty, who could not drop lower because of a car already in that spot. When he saw a smoking car ahead of him, he decided to pass before its engine blew and spewed oil all over the track. He got hit on the right front fender and knocked out of the race.

Jan Mitchell writes from Scotland, “My friend Colin who lives in south Australia sends to me a news letter you write about Faron and Marty. Marty Robbins is my all time favorite country music artist. I have loved his music for 40 years now. I have every song he ever recorded and trying hard to collect all dvd’s available. I think I am winning there. I am looking forward to the biography you are writing. When you have finished his biography I would love to obtain a copy. Thanks for doing this for Marty. I would love it if you would add me to your mailing list for the newsletter.”

Red Moore says, “Thanks for the info on Bobby Sykes in your last newsletter. l played with Bobby on a couple of shows and remember him as a great guy and a fine entertainer. He spoke well of Marty. Often wondered what happened to him.”

A YouTube viewer named Samantha writes, “I was just watching a Faron Young video and was VERY pleasantly surprised to come across one of your comments!! I cannot tell you how much I adore your book!!!! In fact, it’s probably the only book I’ve ever read that I couldn’t put down. I’ve been a diehard (“classic”) Country fan my entire life (especially George Jones, Loretta, Patsy, & Hank). But somehow, besides Hello Walls (which I’ve always loved) & a few well known facts, the wonderful world of Faron got past me. A couple years ago (thanks to so many priceless youtube videos) I caught the Faron “bug.” It was so great to have your book to tell me all about one of Country’s finest. It was the perfect book!! You didn’t gloss over the negative aspects or solely focus on that alone (like so many bios do one way or the other), and I was shocked by all the good things Faron did behind the scenes (especially all the future stars he helped on their way up). I suspect it’s one of most truthful biographies ever written. You really told it like it was, like I’m sure Faron would’ve. I’m sure it means the world to many people that you’ve set the record straight. I’m so, so very glad I watched that video so I could have the chance to tell you what a wonderful book you’ve written, and how incredibly important I’m sure it will be to the legacy of one of Country’s greatest who is often so unjustly overlooked nowadays. I look very forward to your Marty Robbins book, if it’s half as good as Live Fast, Love Hard it’ll be a winner!!!”

A reader named Mando says, “What a wonderful newsletter you have and thank you for sharing the info on two great recording artists. I enjoy all the tidbits of their daily lives and their travels thru Music Row. It gives a more personal touch to their music when I listen to them. I got so much into Faron that I started to do karaoke to his great sound. Now some Marty music too. Hope to buy your book soon and again thanks a lot.”

Jerry “Cootie” Wayne Hunley served as drummer for Faron Young’s Country Deputies from 1962 through 1987. Faron nicknamed him Cootie because, Faron said, “he looks like a little cootie.”  Faron refused to provide a pension, and Cootie eventually tired of being on the road. “26 years of greatness, and I walked away with zero,” he jokes. He said he often gets requests to write a book or be interviewed for one. He declined everyone but me. “I know where you come from,” he told me. “I can remember the night we took you back to your dormitory.”  He said Faron never could understand that being a big star required “that entourage and all the bells and whistles.” Faron thought outsinging everyone should be enough. Cootie says, “If Faron had just figured it out–he had the ability; he was probably one of the best singers that ever came down the line.” Cootie and Marsha (married since 1961) live in Nashville. He played drums when we held the Deputy reunion on the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree in 2007.

Ebooks on Amazon.com
I recently listed my first two books, Navy Greenshirt and A Farm in the Hidewood, on Amazon.com as ebooks, available for download through Kindle. Live Fast, Love Hard will be added as soon as the University of Illinois Press finishes negotiations. The books can be purchased in both the USA and UK.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.