Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 23 November 2011

It’s already been four years since we gathered at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville to celebrate the release of Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story. (Thanks to David McCormick for organizing such a wonderful night.) The Country Deputy musical reunion hosted by Darrell McCall on the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, and broadcast on WSM Radio and around the world on the Internet, was beyond anything I had dreamed. When I decided in 1999 to write Faron’s biography, I chose 2007 as far enough in the future to give me time to figure out how to write a biography and actually do it. After attending the Tillman Franks birthday concert in Shreveport in 1999, I knew I wanted to put together a band of former Country Deputies as part of my book release celebration. But besides not knowing how to write a biography, I didn’t know anyone in the music or publishing businesses, had published nothing to give me author credibility, and didn’t know how to find Faron’s band members–or even who they were. What happened over the next eight years is proof that we can do whatever we want as long as we believe in our goals and keep working toward them. Watching a 35-year span of Faron’s Country Deputies playing his music on the Midnite Jamboree stage, and knowing I was responsible for making the event happen, was one of the highest moments of my life.

 Darrell McCall, Ray Emmett, Jerry “Cootie” Hunley – 10 November 2007

Marty Martel writes, “Please keep in your thoughts and prayers our dear friend David McCormick (E T Record Shops). David was taken to the hospital for observation this past Saturday night. He is one of my dearest friends, and one of country music’s greatest supporters, and I ask you to say a prayer that his Drs. will take of David’s health issue and give him a speedy recovery.”

Anna Jane Grossman sends this update on her sister, Leila Grossman: “I just wanted to send out a note to thank you for the outpouring of care and concern. . . . Thanks to all who’ve given time, food, childcare, money, and love. Leila is doing well and is getting back to work. . . . There will be two more surgeries next year to complete reconstruction. She is fatigued, but optimistic and relieved. She says she feels that this ordeal is helping her to reevaluate her life: where she puts her time, what she focuses on, and how to maintain a good balance between single motherhood and work, and reduce stress.”

Nobuhiko Ogino, a new Facebook friend, writes from Japan, “I read Live Fast, Love Hard. The book is my treasure. Please write how Grady Martin contributed to Marty Robbins to your next book!!”

Mona Vanek, a fellow writer, says, “Awesome progress. I really look forward not only to having my own copy, but also to recommending it to the regional libraries. Have you a schedule of reviewers yet? When publication nears, I’ll begin touting Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins in my newspaper, along with Faron.”

Jane Key Seymore writes, “Marty Robbins was a great entertainer and the best singer ever. He was my dad’s favorite singer and daddy could sing country music so he knew what was good. My dad went to Heaven on January 16, 2011 and I am sure they are making beautiful music and reminiscing about old times. Please add me to your newsletter.”

Frank Jennings sends this news from Great Britain: “I’m not showing off, just absolutely thrilled skinny and wanted to share my joy with you. It means such a lot to me.” The article, titled BRITISH VETERAN FRANK JENNINGS STORMS IN AT NUMBER 1 says, “With an extremely high rating British singer Frank Jennings sweeps to the top of the Hotdisc chart from nowhere to land his first number 1. The veteran Brit who came to fame in the late 1970s . . . early in 2011 he recorded a new album from which his first single, ‘Three Days’, reached the Top 5 in the main Hotdisc chart and number 1 in the British & Irish Top 10. But now he goes one better with a debut on both listings with the old Billy Walker hit, ‘Matamoros.'”

Andy Williford says on November 2, “Faron’s 60th High School Reunion was held this past weekend at The East Ridge Country Club. Most all of his lifelong friends were there.”

Jody Nix writes from Big Spring, Texas, “Thanks for including my CD in your newsletter. I can’t wait for Marty’s book. Be sure and tune in to the radio show this Sunday night, I have a Marty song for you.”

Leon Sutton replaced Odell Martin in 1964 as lead guitar player for Faron Young’s Country Deputies. He stayed until 1967 and was with Faron and the band for three movies: Road to Nashville, Nashville Rebel, and What Am I Bid?  He was known as “Wahoo,” a nickname given him by Ferlin Huskey. I met Leon and his family at the book release party in 2007. They lived in Bartow, Florida, and he was recovering from health problems. I was so pleased he felt well enough to come to Nashville and meet up with the other Deputies.






Diane Diekman and Leon Sutton

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