Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 28 May 2008

The 25th annual International Country Music Conference at Belmont University in Nashville provided an enjoyable three days of information and socializing. I learned how Irene Williams spent her whole live preserving the name of her brother, Hank, and then suffered the shame of getting herself busted for running drugs. And the history of Crowley, Louisiana, and Cajun music. And how a music style, clothing style, and cowboy movie popularity all converged to produce western swing music. And that Tommy Jackson was once so copied because he concentrated on “selling the beat” rather the complex music he was capable of playing. But that few young fiddlers today have heard of him because most of his recordings are out of print. And that fan clubs and record companies disagree on the issue of whether fan clubs are a segment of the music industry. And that Bob Dylan is still as boring to me as he ever was. I talked about “Faron Young and Marty Robbins–A Comparison of Two Country Legends.”

Laurie Matheson, Senior Acquisitions Editor at the University of Illinois Press, sends this note to say, “We got the second hardcover printing (of 1575 copies) into our warehouse in February. Total sales are at 2,526, and we’ve only had 105 copies returned, which is very good. In the book business, wholesalers and retailers can return books in salable condition at any time, and the last couple of months have seen very high rates of return across the industry. But your book is getting in to people’s hands and staying there, which is great!”

Paul Gordon says, “After reading your book on Faron I got a true perspective on him and I see he was most gracious to the people in his life and a very genuine human being. His loss is so great that I will remember him till I go home to be with God, he will always be my number one on my list of real country singers. God bless Faron Young.”

Marilyn Horchem asks about the height and weight of Marty Robbins and says, “I am looking forward to his book as I already have Faron’s. Great job of my two favorites. Next do Mickey Gilley.”

Stan Laundon asks from the UK, “I have been reading some of your stories about Faron and the Country Deputies on the net. Apart from Red Hayes and Billy Deaton, can you name the others on the group photo on this page? http://stanlaundon.com/country.html. . . . I have made a few changes to my Country Time page and linked to your book.”

Hannah Rockey writes, “I saw in your last letter of Faron & Marty that Frank Jennings sent in a comment about Faron. I have known Frank Jennings for years but lost track of him when I left England. Just want to say hello to him. Frank Jennings himself also has a wonderful voice and we both loved Faron.”

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