Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 24 December 2008

Those who knew the teetotaler Marty Robbins might be surprised to hear this story. It comes from a transcript of a 1981 interview, and the incident probably happened in 1949 or 1950. “I’ve drunk as many as 24 bottles of beer between nine and one at night,” Marty told interviewer Bob Allen. “People are always buying you drinks when you play those clubs.” One night after leaving the club he went to a party and started drinking whiskey, before heading back to Glendale. “I was driving along this four-lane highway about 4:00 in the morning. All of a sudden I wake up, on the wrong side of the highway, going about 90 miles and the trees are brushing the windshield. Only thing I remember was steering the car back over into my lane and then the only thing I remember after that was running a red light in Glendale just as the policeman showed up. I went to my mother’s house, ran inside.” The cop gave him a ticket for reckless driving. Marty concluded the story with, “He could’ve hauled me off to jail. I learned something in life from that. I was so lucky during those years that they never shipped me off to jail.”

I recently bought the Bear Family CD of Frankie Starr: Elevator Boogie. Frankie gave Marty Robbins his start in the music business in Phoenix. What’s significant about the CD is that it contains four cuts from a recording session Marty did in 1949, way before Jimmy Dickens discovered him. Frankie is a good singer–one of those many who never got the break to become famous. I enjoyed the music on this CD. It frequently makes me think of Billy Walker.

Ray Richardson, husband of Virginia (Ginny) Midgett, writes, “I noticed that John Morris mentioned having a copy of ‘A Life Time Isn’t Long Enough.’ I don’t remember if I told you that Ginny wrote the lyrics. I think they are beautiful and, of course, no one could do it like Faron.”

Jon Philibert writes from the UK, “I met Faron Young, just once. I used to write a column in the magazine Country Music People http://www.countrymusicpeople.com/ which reviewed indie country singles. One of the artists on Step One Records won a best single one year and we presented that artist with an award which is where I met Faron Young. The column is no more though I still write for the magazine.”

I’d be delighted to ship anywhere in the USA at no cost for orders placed at www.marykay.com/ddiekman (gifts for men, women, and teens). Also, A Farm in the Hidewood: My South Dakota Home is available at https://dianediekman.com/?page_id=3 and Navy Greenshirt: A Leader Made, Not Born at https://dianediekman.com/?page_id=4. And, of course, Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story can be found in bookstores. I’ll send autographed bookplates to glue into those books.


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