Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 29 June 2011

Publication Update: the copyedited manuscript of Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins has gone back to the publisher. In September I’ll receive two copies in page number format. One copy for final edit and one for making the index.


Marty and Faron were filming Raiders of Old California in Kanab, Utah, at this time in 1956. In the movie, Marshal Faron Young is ambushed by bad guys and he shoots the one played by Marty. He holsters his gun and rolls Boyle (Marty) into his arms to check his wound. Boyle looks up at him and says, “I’m hurt, Marshal. I think I’m done.” Marshal Young replies, “You’re gonna live long enough to help me find Sebastian.” Faron later said Marty winked when he was supposed to be dying, and the scene had to be shot numerous times. Faron told Ralph Emery that Marty spent half his time on the set rewriting the script to make it more realistic, one quarter acting, and one quarter playing practical jokes.


Ken Johnson says, “In your latest email Ron Reagan inquired about singer Johnny Seay [aka Johnny Sea]. There are two CDs of Johnny’s original recordings available. The Bear Family label from Germany released Johnny Seay – Blue Moon Of Kentucky in 2006. They compiled 27 of Johnny’s recordings for the NRC (National Recording Company) label circa 1958-1960 and the sides he recorded for Phillips in 1963/64 Great audio quality. A bio with vintage photos and a sessionography are included in the booklet. Collector’s Choice Music re-released his Day For Decision – Johnny Sea album in 2003. A straight reissue of Johnny’s 1966 Warner Brothers concept album that featured patriotic songs and narrations.”

Johnny Seay himself adds, “I have a web site, JohnnySeay.com. Some of your readers might like to know. Johnny Sea or Johnny Seay will get it to come on line. Thanks for all your good work.”

David Corne writes from the U.K, “In regard to Johnny Seay mentioned in your last news letter I remember hearing him in the mid ’60s on the American Forces Network from Germany which could be picked up in the UK although the reception was often intermittent. Seeing Johnny reads this newsletter could I ask if he ever did sing like Marty Robbins on one recording as it has stuck in my mind (though not the title) all these years? I did buy his Bear Family CD Blue Moon Of Kentucky a couple of years back, but Johnny sounded like Cash on this if you know what I mean!”

Terry Counts, who celebrates a birthday this week, says, “OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Diane! I listened to that Opry show in 1951. I was in England, 10 years old and that’s when I fell in love with Faron Young’s voice…thanks for the memory!! I had forgotten that…I had a radio in my ear 7/24 if I could manage it…KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK..IT WAS NICE TO SEE A FACE BEHIND THE LETTERS THIS TIME.”

Jeani Burgoon writes from Carroll, Ohio, “We enjoyed watching the show on RFD station recently, Larry’s Country Diner. Ronny Robbins and Robyn Young, both, were guests. Although we’ve heard Ronny singing many times, this was the first we’ve heard Robyn sing. I just closed my eyes and could hear Faron. Amazing how the sons of these Legends sound like their dads. Robyn sang a cowboy song, which I’ve never heard [‘Yellow Bandana’]. Ronny did a great job on ‘El Paso.’ He is quite a jokester, as Marty was well known. I hope a lot of people out there saw this show. Thank you for your newsletter, which gives great stories, helping us learn more about these great singer/songwriters. Gone too soon, too young.” She adds, “We will be in Nashville to enjoy Bill Anderson’s 50th Anniversary with the Opry events, July 16 & 17th. We are long time members of his fan club. He is, in our opinion, the greatest songwriter out there. We are friends of Marty Martel, a former Columbus, Ohio resident, and are going to meet with him.”

Alice Mackenzie (alice_2924@msn.com) has a request: “I never get tired of reading anything of Marty. I recently got the DVDs of Marty’s tv shows, shows are brilliant, but was very disappointed that there was no show with Barbara Fairchild, as I was at that taping away back in ’78. I was wondering if any of your readers would have a copy and would be kind enough to send me a copy.”


George Owens was Faron Young’s frontman and bass player for most of the 1980s. George told me he was glad to get the job “and was very proud to have been a member of the Deputies.” His house is across the street from the home Faron and Hilda purchased as newlyweds in a brand new housing development in Nashville. When I visited George and Pam there several years ago, he was Vince Gill’s road manager. George had neck surgery this week to relieve pressure on his spinal cord. According to Marty Martel on Monday, “Pam said George is in the recovery room and all went well.”

The caption in my photo album says, “George Owens singing a song for me, ‘Diane, If You’re Gonna Do Him Wrong Again,’ thanks to drummer Cootie Wayne.” 5/22/1987

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