Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 5 November 2008

Marty once told Ralph Emery he got the name Marty Robbins from “a Russian kid by the name of Harry Tomichov” [phonetic spelling]. He wanted to change his name “because I didn’t want anybody to know it was me playing. Because I was ashamed. So Harry says why don’t you just shorten your name to Marty Robbins, and nobody will know it. And, he said, it will make a nice name, too. I had dreams of becoming a singer and being on record, and I thought Marty Robbins would look better than Martin David Robinson on a record.” When I transcribed that interview, I didn’t have any intention of trying to find this person named Harry–until I went to Phoenix. One of the friends I interviewed from Marty’s youth told me the correct spelling was Tolmachoff, and there was a colony of Russian immigrant farmers in Glendale. He said Harry died several years ago. I then did an Internet search and found an article titled “A Russian Farmers’ Village in Glendale, Arizona” at http://molokane.org/places/USA/Arizona/Bowen/index.html. I emailed the author, who put me in touch with Steve Tolmachoff, who helped me find Harry Tolmachoff, Jr. Oh, the wonders of the Internet!

Rick Jackson says, “Diane, you might want to contact Bud Isaacs for more Marty stories. He was with Dickens when they went thru Phoenix and first met him. . . . Just got off the phone with Bud. He said they were playing a club in Phoenix and the owner asked them if they had heard of Marty Robbins and they said no. He directed the band to the club Marty was playing at and Bud, Dickens, Thumbs Carlisle and Red Taylor went and saw Marty. When Dickens got back to Nashville, he told Art Satherly of Columbia Records he should sign him and Art did. . . .  If I haven’t told you yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the Faron book and am looking forward to the Marty book when it comes out.”

Pat L. writes, “Thanks so much for the news letter, really enjoy reading it. I just returned from Nashville where I visited the Ernest Tubb record shop. Bought lots of records and books. And the person looking for the records, they have just about any thing you want just call them and they will mail it to you. They also have a catalog they will send you with all old songs in it.”

Roy Bateman sends this note from the UK: “Thank you for sending the News Letter, very interesting.  Was surprised to read that there was a ‘Friends of Marty Robbins’. Quite a few of us in England once belonged to ‘Pen Friends’ but was under the impression that it had all gone.”

Linda Elliott Clark, on the other side of the Potomac River, writes, “What a great update. I  envy the fact that you are able to meet up with so many of these people and hear stories about our country music legends. It takes you right back to that time and era.”

And another Linda says, “I really like Marty Robbins music. On my lunch at work I watch some of his music videos on You Tube. . . . I truly love his music, it is amazing to me what a great singing voice he had, and when he talked it seemed so different. Like it was not from the same person. I can’t wait for read more on him. Like in a video one of his band members would bring him notes from his fans.”

Jean Earle in the UK writes, “Thank you for passing on the message to me from Maurice Bowers in your last newsletter. We remember him from when we lived down in the South of England in the 1980’s. We lost touch when we moved home. Maurice was a great fan of Faron’s and also an admirer of Frank Jennings. Frank and his band ‘Syndicate’ performed many of Faron’s songs during their shows. Faron knew of Frank and congratulated him on being voted ‘The best British Country Band’ for several years …and agreed to be the Honourary President of his fanclub. During one of Faron’s tours of England we went to see him at the Rainbow Theatre in London. Faron saw Frank sitting in the audience and insisted that he should come up on stage to sing with him. They decided to sing ‘Leaving and saying goodbye’. They looked and sounded GREAT together. I believe that must have been the biggest thrill of Frank’s life!”

Thanks to Rick Tindall in Indianapolis, Indiana, for sending me a package of DVDs containing Faron Young TV appearances. Rick says, “My mom, Thelma Tindall, loved Faron Young and Carl Smith. She is directly responsible for my love of music. . . . Love your book. I had been waiting on a book about Mr. Young for years. I now know that the subject of the book was waiting on the right author. Excellent job!”

One of the sponsors of the Country Music Association awards show next Wednesday night is Mary Kay, Inc. Anyone who watches the show and would like to learn more about the Mary Kay products advertised, please contact me. I have them all, with free shipping and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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