Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 30 April 2008

So many letters came in this past week that I’m sending another newsletter on “Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story” and “Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins.”

Chris Young, Faron’s grandson, has a request for my readers. His email address is cyoung18@utk.edu and he says, “I am Robyn’s son and I was wondering if you could help me with a question. I am trying to find some of my grandfather’s old memorabilia, like guitars, guitar straps, and stage clothes and I was wondering if you knew of any channels or ways I could acquire some of this.”

Tom Lipscombe in Montreal, Canada, sends this information: “We have posted your newsletter on the ATL Forum @ http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/243824250/fetch/727227/. We have also prepared a PRAYER FOR RECOVERY for Ray Griff, which is linked to the above-mentioned posting. We have also taken the liberty of posting the same PRAYER FOR RECOVERY on our Gentleman Jim Reeves Forum @ http://pub50.bravenet.com/forum/4234244366/fetch/629319/.”

Don Powell writes, “I was playing steel guitar with Marty Robbins the night he signed the poster for Jody Nix in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I think Hoyle Nix was also playing that night. I played with Marty thru the end of 1974. He was a wonderful person and I enjoyed the few months I got to work with him.” He adds, “The musicians at the time were Eddie Fox, Drums, Jack Pruett, Guitar, Larry Hunt, Bass, Me on Steel Guitar, Haskell McCormick, on Banjo, Cadillac Johnson(Alias name) Fiddle, Bobby Sykes & Don Winter Back-up Singers. . . . My wife worked for Faron for a few years when I was at Acuff Rose. Boy do we have stories about him. He was a great guy, sober, and pretty funny when he was drinking (sometime). I retired about 3 years ago from Sun Records in Nashville, we moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma.”

Buddy Rogers in Nashville says, “I was lucky enough to have played drums with Marty & the band for two years in the mid 60’s. Marty had a great sense of humor and always kept us laughing. We were his private audience. He used to pull cute stunts on us in public places, that made us look foolish to the other folks in the room. I spent a lot of time with him in restaurants, and sitting next to him on the bus, and he never ran out of funny things to say or do to make me chuckle. The very first night I played with the band, I was nervous, naturally, because I wanted to please him. Well, when he called ‘El Paso,’ I thought to myself, Hey, this is a snap! The tune is in 3/4 time, like a waltz, so I played my jazz waltz pattern with brushes, on the snare drum. (I had played jazz for many years before moving to Nashville). Well, after singing about two verses of ‘El Paso,’ Marty says into the microphone, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING BACK THERE, WHITEY, (I have blond hair), SOUNDS LIKE A DOG, TROTTIN’ THROUGH SOME DRY LEAVES!’ Everybody laughed, and that broke the ice. I relaxed, toned down and simplified the beat I was playing, and from then on, we were friends. I can recall many more great, unforgettable moments with the band that I’ll treasure forever.”

Carol Blair writes, “Really do enjoy the newsletters. . . . To all of you that read my comment on what would Faron Young’s ties sell for, I would like to set it straight that I do not or have I ever even thought of selling them. I wanted to put them in my renter’s insurance along with my antiques I have, so the agent needed a “value” but, how can one put a value on something like this?? The ties are from Faron and given to me. I will always cherish them.”

Wayne L. Kepner says, “I purchased your book on Faron and have read it. What a book. I laughed, I had tears in my eyes, I shook my head in disbelief, I sat somberly in an almost sympathetic state for Faron, especially in his later years and some of the things he did, especially to Robyn. Goodness, Faron sure put himself through hell it seems. Such a shame he silenced one of the truly great voices in Country Music the way he did. How prophetic his song ‘Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young’ was, huh?”

Jo Hamrick writes from West Virginia, “We always had fun being with Faron when he was in a good mood or otherwise but one memory I have that will never forget. We were in Mansfield, Oh. We have many relatives there. Faron was doing a show at the old theater there. After the show we all went to the closest place to eat, a real greasy spoon. Everyone was sitting around talking and we heard a yell for Faron. At the time Roni Stoneman was married and living there. She and her husband came by to see him. Roni was so very funny but to get the two together listening to the stories was unforgettable. And he happened to be pretty sober.”

Linda Elliott Clark says, “I remember so well listening to the Stoneman family. Boy this brings back a lot of memories from that era. Country music was very big in the Washington, DC, area in the 60’s. I can remember going to so many country music shows during that time– some indoor shows and some at the various parks. It was a great time for country music lovers. Thank you for keeping these memories alive. You are doing such great work.”

Carolyn Babin, a girlfriend of the teenaged Faron, writes, “I did some research on internet and came across your My Space writing on Faron and things Hilda told you. Seems Faron did not change one iota after marrying her. He was every inch what she said…we argued almost constantly, but he would manage to make me laugh, etc. Her account on Harlan was so true…and Mrs. Young was an Angel and tolerated him. I do not think I heard him utter a total of ten words the year Faron and I were an item. He always made me feel he did not like me. Also, the biggest problem Faron and I had…he did not trust me and that I finally could not tolerate. It was for the best.”

Marge Hemsworth writes from Canada, “One time I was PR person at a lovely dinner club in Nova Scotia and was in touch with Ray Griff about having him back here again, then they changed the club to a rock place! I’ve always been a huge fan of Ray and his songwriting talents! Sorry to hear of this scare, but please assure him we’re all Praying for him in Eastern Canada! I believe in miracles, have had some! I enjoyed your book on Faron and looking forward to the one on the great Marty Robbins. I’ve been lucky enough to meet these great talents. . . Diane Jordan bought the Faron book from you for me in Nashville. A read I thoroughly enjoyed. Laughed and cried. You couldn’t help but love the guy! I was fortunate, anytime I ever met with him, he wasn’t drinking. He was always a gentleman and always funny, so I only have pleasant memories. I was lucky enough to be vacationing in Nashville in the late 50s and 60s, when they were top notch; we’ll never see the likes of such talent again.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.