Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 7 January 2009

Happy New Year!! 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.

Marty was 25 years old when he signed his Columbia recording contract on May 25, 1951, in Phoenix. His first recording session occurred that November in Hollywood. Faron was 19 when he signed his Capitol Records contract in Shreveport on January 2, 1952. He went to Nashville in March for his first recording session. In June, Faron moved to Nashville to be on the Grand Ole Opry, beating Marty to Nashville and the Opry by six months. By the time Marty and his family arrived at the end of 1952, Faron had been drafted into the U.S. Army. Marty had already served three years in the U.S. Navy and was a World War II combat veteran. Marty’s third single, “I’ll Go On Alone,” reached Number One on Billboard about the time he arrived in Nashville. Faron’s fourth single release, “Goin’ Steady,” reached Number Two in January 1953, while he was in basic training. Both men wrote their chart debut songs.

Carol Blair says, “Dropping to wish you and everyone else who reads your newsletters a big Happy 2009 New Year!!! I love steel guitar music and have a request…..Does anyone know who the steel guitar player is that backed up Marty Robbins? I have the CD titled Marty Robbins The Song of Robbins and the steel work in this CD is super!”

Response: The Song of Robbins was recorded in January 1957, and James Farmer was the steel player.

Jo Wenger writes from Marty’s Hometown–Glendale AZ, “I will be a champion for Marty Robbins for the rest of my life because he gave so much to so many and left us a treasure chest of beautiful songs. He was one of a kind and did things his way and became one of the most admired and loved entertainers in the world. A gentleman and a world class entertainer to the end.”

David Stallings of Landmark Productions (936-569-8650) announces, “Ray Price will be honored at a reception from 11am until 1pm on his 83rd birthday, Monday, January 12. The public is invited to attend the event at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum, 300 West Panola St. in Carthage, Texas. ”

Linda Elliott Clark says, “Thanks for all your fine work during this past year to bring the news about these fine entertainers from our generation. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas!”

Richard Spooner sends this note from Kings Lynn England: “And the same to you. I enjoy so much the newsletter. Faron was the man for me, I just listened to his version of Winter Wonderland, Faron at his supreme best. God rest the guy.”

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