Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 4 March 2009

This periodic newsletter commemorates the lives of Faron Young and Marty Robbins. Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story was published in 2007 by the University of Illinois Press, and I’m currently writing Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins for publication in 2012.


Billy Grammar and Faron Young were in Canada, driving to Calgary, Alberta, and the radio kept playing Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins and Patsy Cline records. Faron later recalled, “I said, ‘Boy, they’re really hot up here.’ This went on for about 45 minutes. Then the disk jockey broke in and said, ‘We want to play those songs to those we lost today.’ I looked at Billy Grammar and he said, oh Lord, no. Me, too, and we started crying. They were all three great friends of mine.”


Randy Yerigan, an old Navy buddy of mine, sends this advice from Texas: “The font is boring…geeze it looks like my mother’s typewriter/pitch 10. You could jazz that up a bit. Throw in some more links to sites that will reference or listen to a clip of the song/person you are talking about, . . . a link to all your books, a link to your subject’s works/where people can buy them (and especially your books). . . . I just don’t think you are tooting your own horn enough. You are real good and need to be recognized as such.”

Response: Thanks, Randy. Is this better?

Frank Baker in Montreal, Quebec, says, “Just wanted to say you did a great job on Bill Anderson’s XM country, was very interesting, was heard today Feb 28th 2 pm eastern time.”

Response: That’s a surprise! I didn’t know it was playing. The show was recorded in November 2007 when we were in Nashville for the book release party. It was so much fun doing that interview with Bill Anderson and Darrell McCall.

Retired Navy Senior Chief Jim Baron in Fredericksburg, Virginia, writes, “Just listened to you on XM regarding your book on Faron. Very enlightening. I will be sure to buy it soonest. Although I am a ‘classic rock’ fanatic – I recently found Channel 10 on XM and I am HOOKED on classic country, Faron is one of my favorites. I am also glad I found you on-line, Captain. . . . I retired in 1999. Thanks for your service and the book! I can’t wait to read it.”

Response: I just checked to see if the Deputy Reunion on the Midnite Jamboree is still online and it is: http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm. It’s BROADCAST #3170, 11/10/07 with Darrell McCall. I’m introduced about minute 8, and then I do the Deputy roll call. The slide show is also posted there. It was a great night, and I’m grateful to David McCormick and the Ernest Tubb Record Shop for making it happen.

I received this Sunday-evening answer to my note to Bill Anderson: “I am listening to our interview as I am typing this note. Ever since the Sirius/XM merger, things have changed concerning my shows, and they are running a ‘Best Of Bill Anderson’ series on the weekends. They chose to run the Faron interview this weekend because it coincided with his birthdate. How’s the Marty project coming? If by chance we are back recording new shows when it comes out, I’d love to have you on again. You really did a great job.”

Bob Hamburg, whom I worked with a few years ago at DCMA Van Nuys, sends this note from California, “Congratulations on getting the Faron Young book published. I remember you working on it when you were in Van Nuys. Hope you are still square dancing.”

Carolyn Babin in Texas says, “I first read your newsletter and saw Rogers Hampton’s name mentioned. My husband and I knew him well. Francis went to school not only with Rogers, but he knew Andy even better. . . . Both of us were raised in S’port and cannot remember where Seymour street or Hoadley is exactly …I have a S’port city map somewhere and I am going to look that up. Even though you said it is a weed haven now, I would like to see the location. In the book I am remembering you talked about Faron’s birth place, too. . . . Andy is right about Faron’s life during school days and the year or so thereafter would be full of great things to remember about him. One thing he was not a drinker nor a smoker, a fantastic sense of humor (even though sometimes would say or do something a bit too frank & make people want to smack him), he could be a bit arrogant, but in next minute humble as pie. . . . That beautiful voice and his dedicating songs to me from the Hayride and even to my Gram & Gramp & Uncle in Albuq, New Mex. showed his love & consideration … Guess that is why I loved him. It is so hard to believe that he became an alcoholic and abusive not only to Hilda, but everyone when he was drunk…. all those things I do know happen not only to celebrities, but just people in general. He was just human and should be remembered for his good qualities.”

Lester St. Andrie writes from Weatherford, Texas, “I wish to thank you for the kind words about Faron. I first met him at the Louisiana Hayride when he was performing there. A friend of mine played bass for the House band and I would sometimes go backstage with him. Faron was a very dedicated singer and for his life time, one of the best. What I wanted to tell you is a kind of funny tale. I was still in the service (US Army) at Fort Polk, LA and working weekends at Radio KLLA. Faron came to Alexandria and I went to see him and asked him to cut a promo for me. He was quite ‘out of it’ by then and he took the tape recorder and started to tape the promo. He said, ‘Hey, Folks, this is Faron and when I am traveling through Central LA, I always listen to my good friend, Lester St. Andrie on KLLLL oh what the hell.’ We both began laughing so hard that we shook the bus. He asked Merle Haggard to do a spot for me and Merle did three different ones. Faron was just a great human as you stated. May he always rest in peace. Demons may have been around but he lived his life as he thought he should. Thanks for the words you have given him and the book you wrote. I am from LA and have three cousins that graduated from Fair Park and knew all about him too.”

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Bud Zoch, husband of Faron’s first fan club president, Dru Taylor Zoch. Bud is scheduled for surgery this week in Tyler, Texas.

Dick Anderson writes from Albuquerque, New Mexico, “In the late 70’s – early 80’s, we lived in Phoenix. The city had a small auditorium downtown. I believe it seated several hundred people. There would often be concerts during the week there. In early July, 1980, we went to see Don Williams there. He was about an hour into his concert and out came Marty around the end of the curtains strumming on his uke. Shook hands with Don. Said he had just left Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic. He and Don then played 3 or 4 numbers together. Marty said thanks, good bye and off he went. It really was a great evening.”

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