Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 4 January 2012

I came across a Marty Robbins recording of “Ain’t I Right” on YouTube and thought I would post it so everyone could hear his opinion of politicians and communism in 1966:  http://www.youtube.com/embed/-sEqzEgDZ0g. Marty told an interviewer, “I thought it was a hit. At the time there was a lot of trouble in this country. Everybody was protesting, so that was my way of protesting.” But his version was never released. His record label considered it too controversial. The official recording log of Marty’s Columbia sessions has a line drawn through “Ain’t I Right” and a handwritten Do Not Use in parentheses next to it. Marty didn’t give up so easily. Bobby Sykes recorded the song under the name of Johnny Freedom. He used the same arrangement and sounded like Marty.

Dixie Grass says, “Thanks for the newsletter once again, Diane. I always look forward to it. What a tragedy these two great singers are gone. I’m anxiously awaiting your book on Marty. My husband and I both enjoyed the book on Faron and learned so much about him from you. I record old shows on tv that feature them – Porter’s old show especially. Faron was one of the biggest jokesters there was. Like you – I just wanted to hear them sing!! Their music lives on and it’s so nice to see the younger folks enjoying their songs. What voices they had.”

Mona Vanek writes from the Northwest, “I hope your heart is at peace at the loss of these two special people. Both must be smiling, and may be dedicating songs to you, wherever they’ve gone.”

Alana Young says, “Hip-Hip Hooray! Thanks a million prayer warriors! My Grandpa, Robert Macon, will be delivered to his home tomorrow [December 30] by the Bethany rehab center ‘peeps’. He has passed all of his tests to be on his own. He just has to promise to use a walker for at least a week. He has a list of PT exercises to do daily. He will be getting some help here and there that will come in, and people will come that will dress his wound still and take blood, etc. They have still just not managed to get his blood right with the thinners and such they have had him on. He has done SO well though.  Once he was able to regain some strength and see some improvement, he was really gung-ho about getting better and getting back home.”

R. Gene Baxter writes about his parents visiting Marty Robbins: “They just called and he told them he’d be working, and to come on. Mom and Dad once took him to the Rio Palm Isle in Longview, Texas, to perform, but they sat in the car, as mother did not want her clothes to smell like ‘barroom smoke,’ and they didn’t drink. Mom was a singer, a mezzo-soprano, and she didn’t like smokey rooms. She and some women travelled all over to see Marty perform, and she would take him grapes (which he loved) that she had picked out to be very pretty and sweet. He was so nice to my parents, and I will always appreciate his sweet graciousness to them. My brother, Jerry, and I went with Dad and mother to Nashville that trip when we stayed up all night with him at the radio station. I have such great memories, and also, Dad has some great photos. I MUST get a copy of your book. I can’t wait!”

Doris Pape, who introduces herself as a “member of Marty’s Army in Huntsville, AL,” asks, “Will you please add me to your email list?”

Arie den Dulk sends a copy of onlinecountryuk, in which Jim Marshall says, “Following on from her highly-praised book in Faron Young, writer Diane Diekman has recently completed an exhaustive biography on another of country music’s most popular and much-loved performers, Marty Robbins. It’s scheduled for publication by the University of Illinois Press in March 2012, but, from a pre-publication copy I’ve recently received, I can tell you that it is just as thoroughly researched and instantly readable as the Faron Young book.”

Madeleine and Okie Jones say, “Always enjoy your updates on news relating to the book on Marty, band members and friends. Sorry to hear about Jack Pruett passing away.”

Bobby Braddock writes, “Sorry to hear about Jack Pruett. I enjoyed watching the video of ‘I Can’t Quit’ which I always loved.”

Craig Johnson writes from Ivy, VA, “Thank you Captain for your updates. I enjoy reading them. As a hobby, I collect used vinyl records, traveling across the country as I do each week in my job. It keeps me out of bars, that’s for sure. I’ve been able to pick up many of Marty’s albums this year and marvel at the body of work he did. I frequently go to YouTube to play his TV studio performances of ‘El Paso,’ liking especially when he sings the ‘lost verse’ that didn’t make it on most of his albums. I’m forwarding this email to my mentor here in Charlottesville who grew up a Bob Wills fan in Altus, OK. Merry Christmas and keep up the good work.”

Jon Philbert says, “COUNTRY MUSIC PEOPLE columnist David Allan gave a nice plug to your Marty book in the December edition of the magazine.”

When steel guitarist Stu Basore was asked in 1990 to join Faron Young’s Country Deputies, he told his wife, “I don’t know if I want to do that. I haven’t been on the road in years.”  She reminded him he’d always liked Faron.  He didn’t regret the decision. “It was really one of the most fun times of my life,” Stu said in 2000, when he came to my first Country Deputy reunion. “That was a fun gig. The Sheriff is who he is. He’d get on the stage, and I’d set there and get cold chills, because–goddamn–he sang.” When we put the band together in 2007 for the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, Stu provided the steel guitar sound.

Stu Basore, Skip Jackson, Hank Singer, Robyn Young at Country Deputy reunion, Jan 7, 2000

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