Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 27 May 2009

Loudilla Johnson announced, “The gentleman standing here beside us has devoted more than 30 years to the world of entertainment–to the complete joy of his fans around the world. Even through his stint in the U.S. Army, Faron Young could not abandon his love of performing. Whether onstage at the LOUISIANA HAYRIDE–where he started his career; at the GRAND OLE OPRY; in front of a movie camera or television lights, in a small high school auditorium or giant concert hall, this man just loves to perform! . . . Ladies and gentlemen, the recipient of our 10th Annual IFCO Tex Ritter AWARD, the inimitable FARON YOUNG!”

Loretta wrote me in a 1999 email, “Of course, Faron got a standing ovation. And cried!  We all waited for his comment after the award was presented to him, which was, ‘Yeah, you all like to see an old hard-ass, like me, cry!’ We had worried how we’d keep Faron around the stage long enough to present the award. He sang his songs and as he was exiting the stage, Loudilla and Kay and I walked toward the stage; took him by the arms and kind of steered him back toward the podium. He looked puzzled but didn’t resist. He just thought we wanted to talk to him with the audience listening, I think, to stall for time or something. But it just TOTALLY took him by surprise.”


nashville1Loretta Johnson died April 13, at age 68, after a long battle with cancer. She and her sisters Loudilla and Kay have been a fan club force since 1963 when they formed the Loretta Lynn fan club. The Johnson sisters later established the International Fan Club Organization (IFCO). They came to the Ernest Tubb Record Shop for my Faron Young book signing on 10 November 2007. Loretta was already struggling with cancer.


Ten years ago, I gave the Memorial Day speech in Clear Lake, South Dakota, when I was home on leave between Navy assignments. Here’s the link to the transcription: https://dianediekman.com/?p=61. It was my dad’s last public event before Alzheimer’s disease completely muddled his mind. He’s one of those I remember this week, along with my brother and many others.


Tom Lipscombe writes from Canada, “Nice to receive your newsletter which is always welcome. I have posted it on the ATL Forum: http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=243824250&frmid=204&msgid=778994&cmd=show. Also, you may mention to Vera Ross that she may find some interesting articles about Faron in the vintage mags offered at the following website: http://pages.adateintimecollectibles.com/11804/InventoryPage/1736364/1.html?pageNo=1&catId=36

Dominique “Imperial” ANGLARES writes from France, “Great letter as usual and a very lovely video of Faron. Thanks for sharing.”
Red Moore says, “Thanks to Donette for the mention of Bobby Bishop, we booked him at the club l was playing a time or too and he was a fine fellow as well as a great entertainer. He could do a fine job on El Paso too… Had a great teacher.”

Jody Nix (http://jodynix.com) writes from Big Spring, Texas, “I can’t wait to read the book on Marty, please keep sending me updates on his book, and pictures, I just am so in awe of him, and even though he has been gone 26 years, his impact on me and country music in general is just astounding.”

Terry Counts forwards a great newsletter from Jim Marshall, who says, “Hello – and welcome to the second ‘onlinecountryuk’ newsletter, more or less an Internet version of the old BCMA Bulletin, the magazine, published by the now-sadly-defunct British Country Music Association, which I edited for the best part of 40 years.” The Web site is http://www.cmib.co.uk/bcma/.

Carol Blair says, “Maybe you could inform everyone that Amazon.com and BestBuy.com have Faron’s double CD available on the 19th of this month, May. I already pre- ordered and paid for mine so, when it is released it will be sent to me. …..thanks for the ‘letters’ you put out………Oh, yeah….any info. on how to ‘see’ Faron’s son and to hear him? I hear he sounds just like his dad.
Response: Thanks for the info, Carol. It’s listed on Amazon.com as “Here’s Faron Young/Occasional Wife” and sells for $14.99. As for Robyn, I don’t know if he’s still working with his band, Nextakin., in Nashville  I know he doesn’t travel much.

John Morris writes from Canada, “I am trying to get a copy of this disc. I have the original albums of course but I’d love to have them on this disc and I hope more of these follow this one. Thanks for letting all Faron’s fans know about it. Keep up the great work with the letters and I enjoyed your interview with Bill Anderson on XM10 Road House.”

Andylon Lensen sends this request from the Netherlands: “I have a few  tracks of home recordings from Faron Young and simply never heard of  these 4 tracks from the Faron Young  discography section. Here is the link on yousendit, maybe you can help me with the titles  or anyone what titles the are… now it’s just guessing the titles: https://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=U0d3ek9wbWcwVWxMWEE9PQ. This is a home recording of Roy Orbison, Faron Young at Judy’s Baker’s home, recorded in Corpus Christi, Texas 1956. But the 4 songs I send you  are  unknown to me… you do not know someone who is a big fan or knows a lot on country music who can help?”
Response: Neither Ray Emmett nor I could identify the songs. We think perhaps Faron was making them up as he went. If the link doesn’t work for anyone who wants to hear the song snippets, I can email them individually.

Ronald Reagan sends this info: “This isn’t strictly Faron or Marty related, but I would like to pass along a plug for the satellite station RFD-TV who has picked up Hee-Haw and is showing them in their original, unedited form.  I did see Faron on there a few weeks ago and your e-mail made me think of it.  Anyone that is interested can check out their website at www.rfdtv.com. Thanks for the info once again!!!  I’m too young (only 35) to remember the glory days of country, but I always enjoy reading what you’ve written b/c it makes me feel like I was there!”

Thanks to Bill Hulme in Lancashire UK, who is sending me CDs of Marty Robbins shows and interviews he’s collected over the years. I listen to them, transcribe the conversations, and send them back. Last week Bill got hit with a 12-pound Customs charge for importing CDs from the USA. Fortunately, he was able to convince British Customs that he owned the CDs and I was returning them to him. He’s been promised a refund of his 12 pounds. Bill doesn’t use the Internet but he gets my newsletter because Roy Bateman mails it to him from the Continent (Holland, I think).


I finally found someone who could turn a PowerPoint presentation into an online slide show that I could post to my Web site. Here are the slides I used a year ago at the International Country Music Conference in Nashville: http://www.viddler.com/explore/singerbiography/videos/1/. Next step is to figure out how to add voice!

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