I'll close out 2007 by sending a summary of comments I've received since my last newsletter. Here's a collection of photos from our big night in Nashville. Thanks to Tom Andrews for creating the Faron Young Tribute photo gallery at http://22.214.171.124/photos/FaronYoungTribute/index.html.
And here's the article that was published on the front page of my hometown newspaper in South Dakota: http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id74.html
Skip Jackson, former Deputy steel player, says, "Was listening to XM - 13 last night (Tuesday 12th of Dec.) and they stated you and Darrell were being interviewed on XM-2 so I flipped over and had the opportunity to catch the show. Enjoyed hearing y'all, it was a great interview. Darrell still tells the best stories, I laughed and cried again. Thanks for keeping the memories alive. . . . I am so thankful XM radio is supporting the traditional fiddle and steel music. The opportunity to hear Faron, Price, Tillis, Robbins, McCall, Potter, Booth, Bush on a regular basis plus the deep catalog songs of each artist. Not just the same one hit over and over again. The others from Texas that are being played and supported by XM-13. The new artists that are following in their footsteps has renewed my faith. . . . When I want to hear Faron I play his CDs. When I want to feel the spirit of Faron I have XM-13 the Texas Channel. Can't wait to read your book on Marty. I know it will be great."
Betty Smith writes from Toledo, Ohio, "Just wanted to say it was nice getting to meet you in person at the Deputies reunion show and that I look forward to reading your book on Marty. And can see all the work you did on Faron's book and appreciate you keeping his memory alive. It was nice to see Deputies that we have known forever again."
A NASCAR fan in Alabama writes, "For many years I remember reading stories about Marty in The Birmingham News and The Talladega Daily Home the weeks that the race came to Talladega. . . . In the years Marty was driving the crews came into town on Wednesday and needless to say some partying was going on from Wednesday until Saturday nite. Naturally Marty was part of that and some of those newspaper articles told of his fun times. I don't mean to imply Marty was involved in wild drinking parties but the kind of fun you have in a crowd at a local restaurant being in the spotlight entertaining friends. . . . Thanks for your devotion to Faron and Marty. I know your work is a labor of love."
Mike Giglio sends this surprising note from Columbia, Missouri: "I've recently enjoyed reading your book 'Live Fast, Love Hard.' The subject caught my interest as my father Joe claimed to have been a friend of Faron during the 1930s. My father grew up in the apartment behind his parent's store on Laurel Street - a few blocks from the Young homes you mentioned in your book. I wouldn't be surprised if my grandfather is the 'Italian fellow down at the grocery store' mentioned on page 6."
JP McDermott says, "I heard the XM show today -- fantastic! Great stories. It was really interesting to hear you and Bill Anderson and Darrell McCall reminiscing and giving some of the flavor of Faron's life and music. A really great show. Congratulations."
David Stallings writes from Nacogdoches, TX, "Heard your XM interview with Bill Anderson while driving across Texas today. Thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm so happy that the book's doing well. I'm going to re-read it over the holidays. Take care and thanks again for writing a great book for Faron's friends and fans." He adds, "I wish Faron were around to hear XM! They play him daily on Willie's Place and very often on Bill Mack's Open Road Show on Channel 171. XM may be the 'savior' of real Country Music!"
Linda Elliott Clark says, "Thanks for all your hard work this past year in keeping Country Music alive -- especially for those of us who have listened to it for a long time (for me personally since the early 60's). And like the writer said below, for many of us it will never be the same again. Back then, country music was country music; it touched the heart!! Congratulations on a job well done."
Larry Banton writes, "I really thought a lot of Faron. I was really excited when I saw your book mentioned on the internet. I went to Amazon.com and ordered it immediately. I met Faron, Johnny Cash, Ernest Tubb and Carl Smith when I was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Memphis in 1957 and 1958. What a thrill for a teenager just out of high school and loving country music. I also rode the Greyhound bus to Nashville several times to see the Grand Ole Opry while I was stationed in Memphis. . . . Keep writing about the originals of country music. Carl Smith would be a good subject."
Jeani Burgoon in Carroll, Ohio, says, "My husband and I listened to your interview with Bill Anderson, yesterday, on XM satellite radio. In fact, we listened to it twice. It was wonderful. You did a super job and can't wait to purchase your book to read. We commend you for your great effort on portraying Faron as he was; a human being. We fans tend to put our 'stars' on pedestals and don't like to hear negative things about them. After listening to your interview, hearing Darrell McCall's and Bill's comments, I realized what Faron was all about. Thank you for sharing. We miss his music and his humor and thankful for country radio & books to keep us in touch with him."
Mylan Ray of KLOH Radio in Pipestone, MN, writes, "My one and only encounter with Faron Young was back in the early to mid 1960's. My parents would often take me to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for Grand Ole Opry shows that would travel thru during the winter months and appear at the Coliseum. There were several other performers besides Faron on this particular show and the promoter, Hap Peebles announced they would be available for autographs after the show. I begged my parents to stay and after a fairly long wait in which no one was coming out. I could hear this beautiful angelic voice singing from backstage and the voice (unmistakably Faron's) was getting closer and closer. It seemed this great hall just resonated with his voice. THAT voice! It actually sent chills down my young spine, when all of a sudden this stage door next to me opened and there he came... stepping down a couple steps, smiling and saying hello. I was totally awe struck! I'll never forget the way his voice sounded, drifting thru the backstage and the fact that he was the only one to come out and sign autographs."
Jim Boatright writes from Mesquite, Nevada, "I was a friend of Faron Young and have a few great stories about him. He produced an album for me at his Hall of Fame Studio in Nashville in 1973. . . . I just happened to flip my XM radio on the other day and heard your interview with Bill Anderson. What a pleasant surprise. I waited in the car while my wife went to the doctor so I could hear the entire program."
Merry Christmas!! Happy New Year!!