Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 27 October 2010

This week in 1943, Seaman Second Class Martin David Robinson was on the attack transport USS Crescent City (APA 21), part of the task force preparing to hit Bougainville Island in the Solomon chain. Assigned as ramp operator on the four-man crew of a fifty-foot LCM (landing craft, mechanized), Martin was responsible for dropping the gate upon reaching the beach. An LCM could carry one hundred Marines or a tank, and it traveled ten miles per hour. On 19 October, the Crescent City steamed to Guadalcanal, loaded troops of the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, and joined the other transport ships of the Third Amphibious Force for practice landings. The Bougainville invasion would take place Monday, November 1, with the Crescent City landing its troops on Cape Torokina in Empress Augusta Bay.

Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins book contract: I signed my contract, and the manuscript is due to the University of Illinois Press at the end of November. So I’m working on the finishing touches. Still not much for photos. I’m considering not doing a photo spread in the book. Publication should be either the spring of 2012 or the fall of 2011.

Best wishes for a happy future to Jeannie Seely, who posted this note on Facebook: “Gene Ward and I will be married on November 20th….we’re very happy and excited!!!”

Tad Marks says, “I read your book about Faron and it was great! Back in the mid 80s I played (fiddle) some shows with Faron in Pennsylvania. I really liked him and enjoyed jamming with him. He was an amazing singer and had so many great stories but I was embarrassed to have my girlfriend around because he used so many cuss words and he was acting like my girlfriend was interested in him. Years later the promoter who booked Faron and I went to Nashville and saw that show where he wore the prison suit. It was so outrageous!! Your book filled in all the holes. I especially liked how you gave credit to his band members. Not many writers do that. I really did not know him as well as my promoter friend did but I cried when Faron died. Faron still lives – for a small guy he really was larger than life. Your book was really good. You are a fine writer! . . . He was really thoughtful especially if he liked you. He called me Ribbit because my name is Tad and he said tadpoles turn into frogs and my girlfriend was a princess and I was a frog.”

Dixie Grass of Livingston, Texas, writes, “I’ve received a couple of your Newsletters by e-mail from cruise friends – Art & Carrell Rankin. I would love to be put on your mailing list – my husband was (as well as I) a great, great fan of Marty Robbins and several of the other ‘older’ country (real country) singers.  We sure miss his music although we have lots of his songs.  We saw him the last time he performed in San Antonio at the Farmer’s Daughter and got his autograph, bought some CDs, etc.  What a true singer he was.  We were in Nashville and saw his display at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  We absolutely loved it – a truly amazing tribute to a great great singer.  Can’t believe he would be 85 years old now. Please let me know if there is a fee of any kind as we wouldn’t mind joining a group at all.  Thank you so much.  You are doing a wonderful job of keeping these folks in our memories – MEMORIES JUST CAN’T DIE!!!!”

Jud McCarthy writes from Boca Raton, Florida, “Just a few words about my appreciation for your Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletters, and to mention that we still have a troubadour, like them, still kicking. He is big Don Williams, the Gentle Giant, who will be coming out of retirement for two special performances in Nashville on October 20 & 21. He has always been one of my favorites.  I traveled to Ireland in 2008 with my family to catch Don’s retirement swing through Europe. I started my love of Country & Western music back in 1943 sitting with my grandfather on Saturday nights listening to the Grand Ole Opry.”

Ray Richardson in Virginia says, “Just wanted to wish you a belated Happy Birthday and let you know I still enjoy your newsletters so much. I especially enjoyed your latest issue, speaking about the older original country music. I miss all of the old timers. I have a large collection of LPs, 45s, tapes and CDs. I have lots of them on my computer, but, with my hearing problem, it’s hard to understand the words and some sounds are distorted. But I still love the great music. Again, Happy Birthday and I hope you will enjoy your new home. I still love your Faron Young book and looking forward to reading Marty Robbins book when it is available. Thanks for the hard work you do to make us fans happy.”

Pat Walley writes from Hesperia, California, “Happy birthday a little late. I am the one that has a birthday the same day. I was not at home to email you as my husband and I are truck drivers and we were on the road. Hope you had a great day. I just turned 73, older than dirt, haaa.”

Kermit McCutchan reports, “I was in the Iowa Jaycees when we decided to bring Marty to the C. Y. Stevens auditorium in Ames, Iowa, for a fund raiser. The date was Sunday, November 23, 1975. He put on 2 shows. The opening act was Billy Cole & Marilyn Cousins, a local Des Moines group. Billy Cole was a late night disc jockey for WHO Radio in Des Moines. The tickets were $5.00 in advance or $6.00 at the door. There were 4 of us that went to the South Story Bank & Trust in Huxley, Iowa, & signed a note for the money to cover the contract ($7500.00), 1/2 upfront & the other before show time.”

Jody Nix says, “Great reading and congratulations on your new home…can’t wait for the Marty book.  I just recorded a new CD and did 2 of his older songs….’Judy’ and ‘Pretty Words.’ . . . The title cut is Twin Fiddles Turn Me On….an ol’ Faron song.”

On the recommendation of Red Hayes in 1970, Faron hired Hank Singer to replace Vassar Clements in the Country Deputies band. “It was my very first job,” Hank says. “I was out of high school about three months. If it hadn’t been for Faron, I may have never got into the business, because that started me out in a professional job. I give him full credit for getting my career off the ground.” Hank came to my first Country Deputy reunion, and he and Kenny Sears provided twin fiddles when we put the band together in 2007, for the release of Faron’s biography on the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree. Hank is now touring with LeeAnn Womack on the George/Reba tour. I saw him in Baltimore earlier this year. And he’s now on Facebook.

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