Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 29 May 2013

This periodic newsletter commemorates the lives of Faron Young and Marty Robbins. It’s been a year since the University of Illinois Press published Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins and reissued Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story in soft cover.

Belmont Book Award Presentation 
photo by Carol

James Akenson and Don Cusic presented me with the “2012 Best Book in Country Music Award” for 20th Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins at the International Country Music Conference luncheon, held May 24 at Belmont University in Nashville.


Laurie Matheson, my publisher from the University of Illinois Press, joined Perry Steilow and me for lunch. Carol Johnston Smith and Wanda Anderson, friends of Marty Robbins, came to the presentation.

photo by Perry

I’m trying to post a video to my website at https://dianediekman.com/?page_id=7. Check back later, and we’ll eventually figure out how to get the video online.

Ronnie Allen offers an online game: “I remember so well your appearance on Stu Weiss’s show (he’s my friend) a few years ago. I enjoyed that immensely. I also respect Faron Young and Marty Robbins so very much. I was a country deejay at WTTM in Trenton, NJ in the 80s and those were two of my most-requested artists.  Please try out this song clip game I created. It has thousands of country song clips and several country music categories: http://www.jerseygirlssing.com/SnippetsOnDemand.html. I truly believe you would enjoy it and that many who share your country music interest would as well. Ah yes, there’s plenty of Faron and Marty included here. The country categories go from 1944 through 1989. My game has received thousands of plays but thus far hardly anyone has tried the country music categories.” And after posting my score of 63 in the “50s country” category, he says, “I am very impressed!!!!!! You shall, within minutes, be the first person enshrined in the Snippet Genius Hall Of Fame who has played a country music category. The lack of country music players thus far has been the only downer. But I believe that’s about to change.”

Les Leverett writes from Goodlettsville, Tennessee, “A great big ole congratulations for the well-deserved honor of your Marty book being named Country Music Book of the Year by Belmont University.  I am so happy about that, and wish you the very best in everything, especially in all your future writings.”

Mike Lazorko in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, says, “Congratulations on the Belmont Book Award! You certainly deserve it! Also, a big thank you for continuing to send out this newsletter to keep all of us devoted readers up to date with Faron and Marty news. All the best to you.”

Frank Taylor says, “Wow … you worked so hard on this and dedicated many hours to research, Congratulations Diane. Thank you and have a blessed day. Your Shipmate.”

Dave Rogers, another former Navy shipmate of mine, writes, “Thank you for sharing this. I really enjoy it.  Hope all is well.”

Alan and Jean Earle send greetings from Great Britain: “Thank you for todays newsletter. Warmest congratulations on winning your latest award. Well done…you must be very proud to have won the “Country Book of the year Award.” I hope you celebrate in fine style on May 24th.”

Diane Jordan in Nashville says, “Congratulations on being the recipient of the Belmont University Country Music Book of the Year award!  I was a guest at the luncheon two years ago, with Charlie Lamb and Gary & Peggy Walker, and had a great time. (Charlie passed away in March of 2012)  I know you’ll enjoy it, and they will enjoy you!”

Dominique “Imperial” ANGLARES writes from France, “Thanks for the newsletter but sorry to let you know about my heartbroken heart reading about my dear friend Carol Blair. I came in touch with lovely Carol through your newsletters several years ago and I know she had various health troubles. We used to write each other every week or so … Carol was living in Indiana and she was a friend of Faron. A true friend who cherished a lot of sweet memories about the Shreveport’s cat she met in the late 50s. We shared few month ago memories about Jack Bradshaw who was a local recording artist for Mar-Vel in the 50s and who lived in Indiana.”

Maurice Bowers in the UK expresses his sorrow: “I am so upset to read that Carol Blair has passed away as we would write each other and exchange CDs and DVDs of Faron, my thoughts go out to her family and friends-RIP Carol.”

Ronald Reagan (ronaldgeorgereagan1973@yahoo.com) has a request: “My uncles, The Reagan Brothers, made a handful of 45s in the 1960s. I always sort of figured no one knew them outside my family but I’m finding out they were a bit better known as I’ve seen a 45 they recorded and two they produced on their own label crop up on a site listing hard-to-find 45s and I’ve gotten in two bidding wars on eBay over one of their 45s (which I won this weekend!). A friend at church who knew Don Helms and has other connections in the Hank industry even said he knew of them. I’m still looking for one more 45 to complete my collection of their recordings. I don’t know the title as I’ve never seen it but my parents have told me for years they cut 4 different 45s (in addition to the two they produced). They think it was on the Clark label out of Goodletsville, TN (which one of their other ones was on) but they’re not completely sure. I know you have a lot of readers and was wondering if you could put a quick note on your next e-mail that I’d be interested in hearing from anyone that knew them or about them?”

A trip to Nashville isn’t complete without visiting the Opry. Thanks to Jeannie Seely for hosting us this past Saturday night. Steve Wariner is one of the first people we saw, and he agreed to a photo. We visited with Jeannie & Gene, as well as Billy Dean, Jimmy C. Newman, Jan Howard, Larry and Steve Gatlin, George Hamilton IV, Earl White, and others. We even spent a few minutes with Vince Gill. And I came away with the possibility of Dottie West as my next biography subject.


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