Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 30 June 2010


“The Cowboy in the Continental Suit” hit the charts in June 1964 and climbed to number three. Marty Robbins had worn a European-cut continental suit during a movie premier, and a newspaper called him “the cowboy in the continental suit.” Marty thought that was a neat title for a song. “I have to be inspired to write,” he said, “and that inspired me to write a song. It didn’t take me very long.” Marty described the song: “He’s dressed in a continental suit, and he comes to ride this big buckskin called the Brute. No one has ever ridden this horse, and anyone that can ride him gets a thousand bucks. And he opens the gate, and this buckskin comes running out, and he grabs him around the neck, and pulls himself up on the back of this buckskin, and rides him.” The horse was ashamed to have been ridden by a cowboy in a continental suit. Marty owned the real-life Brute, who appeared at age twenty on the cover of the 1979 All-Around Cowboy album. Marty told Ralph Emery the following year, “I only ride him maybe once a year or once every two years. Every time I get on him, he tries to throw me off. I just stay with him until he gets tired of messing around. After I saddle him and ride him, then I’ve gotta rub him down and give him a little more corn. For a fifteen minute ride, you’ve got to spend a couple hours, and it’s not hardly worth it. I’d rather just get on a chopper and buzz off down the street.”

Jeannie Seely offers this update on the Nashville flood: “It is overwhelming at times, but I think we are all holding up pretty well…it seems as tho some of the agencies are slow to the draw ie building permits, decisions etc.  Maybe we are just impatient….we all want to be home! Again I appreciate you and your organizations…..and your prayers….keep those coming! It just breaks my heart to see so many still waiting to hear ‘their fate’……hopefully we will all have good news soon…if you haven’t heard from me in awhile…..shoot me a reminder.”

Ronny Robbins explains, “Dad’s deal with MCA was for so many sides per year.  He paid for his own sessions and MCA pulled the ones for his albums and Dad then kept all of the unused masters, so the only thing that MCA can re-issue are the sides off of the original MCA albums. He performed ‘Back Home Again’ and ‘Country Roads’ for a TV special, riding on a motorcycle down Wilson Pike. They had to take the shots several times and I think he grew to really like the songs, which is why he used them on his stage show, but honestly, I can’t remember if he actually recorded them in the studio.  BTW, the unused masters went back to CBS as a peace offering when he re-signed in the end of ’75. That’s where the Lost and Found album came from.”

Travis McCauley says, “I wanted to write you to say thank you so much for allowing your book Live Fast Love Hard: The Faron Young Story to be distributed  through the NLS (National Library Service For The Blind and Physically Handicapped.) I just finished reading it and it was excellent!  If I may, I would like to reiterate what I’m sure many book reviewers have said: I started reading and couldn’t put it down. I am blind myself, and it was a real treat to read that Faron took time to talk with John Morris who was also blind. I have had the privilege of meeting a lot of country artists myself. However, I unfortunately did not meet Faron. But, after reading that story about John Morris, I know now that I could have met him had I got to attend one of his concerts. I also wanted to ask you if you still had your mailing list? I have changed e-mail addresses and would like to be put back on it if possible. Again, thank you so much for distributing your books through the NLS and I hope to read many more of your books in the future.”

Mike Reece writes, “Thank you for leaving a comment on my Faron Young post. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Truly an underrated singer, in my opinion, is Faron Young. He was an outstanding vocalist, as far as I’m concerned, certainly one of my favorites. May I include a link to your website on my blog? I’d be more than happy to do so, so that my readers can learn more about your book on Faron, as well as the other interesting items on your site. By the way, when looking at it, I saw you are a runner, which my wife and I have started doing. Our hope is to run the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. Thanks again, for taking time to read my blog.” The address is http://ultimatetwang.com/blog/.

Linda Reynolds writes, “I read your book and loved it. I never hear anything about him. There will never be another Faron. He was a great artist. I was a young teenager when Faron did ‘Hello Walls.’ I liked him at that time because he reminded me of my doctor. I really did not pay too much attention to his music after that, but a few years ago, I started listening to Roadhouse and I think he was one of the greatest performers of that time. I didn’t even remember him passing away until I got to searching for his music. I think his story is one of the saddest that I have heard. If he could have hung in, he would be right up there with Ray Price and so many more of the older singers.”

Carolyn Babin says, “When I read all the nice things people write about Faron Young and their reading your book about him, it is wonderful. He was a good man in so many ways, his faults should be forgiven. His talent and contribution to Country Music will be appreciated down through the years by all his peers and those he left behind. We all loved him despite his shortcomings.”

“Just John” Hamilton writes from Portland, Oregon, “I just finished reading your June 9th letter. I was a little kid when ‘Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young’ was number one, and I still remember my older brother Gary singing that song while banging out chords on some old guitar. Dad, a Lawrence Welk fan, enjoyed Faron Young as a TV and radio personality as well as a crooner. Dad thought Faron should have been a weekly mainstay on the Lawrence Welk Show, which raises the question: Was Faron Young ever a guest on the Lawrence Welk Show? If I had read your book on Faron Young, I probably wouldn’t have to ask that question. So, today I order the book!”
Response: I haven’t heard any mention of Faron being on the show. We watched Lawrence Welk every week, too.

Ken Johnson says, “In response to Tom Kaufman, the Faron Young song he is searching for is properly titled ‘She Went A Little Bit Farther’ a single that peaked at #14 on the Billboard Country Chart in May 1968. The song was reissued in 2009 on an import CD from the British Hux label. Originally released on Faron’s 1968 album Here’s Faron Young, that LP has now been paired with Faron’s 1970 album Occasional Wife as a ‘two-fer’ (Hux 105).”

Marty Robbins played a show at Savannah High School in Tennessee in 1953, and Earl White was one of the students there. When bass player Lightnin’ Chance saw the 230-pound football player, he said, “Well, look at old Seldom Fed.” (Earl told that story at the Marty Robbins Band reunion last year, and Ronny Robbins said, “I often wondered where the term ‘seldom fed’ came from. That’s what Dad always called me, growing up.”) Earl moved to Nashville after high school and, at the beginning of 1955, became an original member of Marty’s first official band, the Teardrops. By the time Marty stopped using fiddles; Earl was a Grand Ole Opry staff musician. He’s been playing his fiddle on the Opry stage for over 55 years. And no pink slip yet, Earl says.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.