Newsletter # 10 -- December 28, 2005
This and all future newsletters are posted to my blog at http://ddiekman.tripod.com/blog.
Newsletter # 9 -- December 21, 2005
FARON FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: Christmas Day fell on a Saturday in 1954, and Faron appeared on the Grand Ole Opry
that evening. Ernest Tubb hosted the Martha White portion, where Faron sang his latest release, "If You Ain't Lovin' (You
Ain't Livin')." Faron hosted a 15-minute portion of the Opry later in the evening. There he sang "If That's the Fashion,"
the flip side of the single. Both songs were Tommy Collins compositions. Faron and Hilda found time for a quick Christmas
trip to visit Faron's family in Shreveport. They went to a nightclub one evening, and Faron convinced Hilda to join him in
drinking scotch. She got sick and blamed it on the scotch. But she kept getting sick and thought she had the flu. Actually,
she was pregnant with Damion.
INTERVIEW: Leonard Nimoy, best remembered from Star Trek, got drafted in 1954 and was
assigned to Special Services. I contacted him through his agent, and he sent me an e-mail that said, "I only met Faron very
briefly and had very little work contact with him. The Circle 'A' Wranglers was a self-contained unit which starred Faron
and traveled through the Third Army area. My work was essentially creating variety shows which toured the bases and I occasionally
did announcing for shows that were done in Atlanta."
Bill Black writes, "I present the country music shows
on SAGA 105.2FM here in Glasgow, Scotland (www.saga1052fm.co.uk) and saw your item in the Country Music Classics newsletter. I met and interviewed Faron when he was over here
following the success of "Four in the morning" and he was quite a character! I'd be interested in doing a telephone interview
with you when the book is published. Don't know if there are plans for it to be available here also?"
Response: I look
forward to the interview, and I hope the book will be available on your side of the ocean. The publisher currently reviewing
the manuscript offers books worldwide.
Jim Welsh from Tasmania writes, "I found your website interesting and liked
the information on Faron Young. All best wishes for the festive season." His web site is http://www.jimwelsh.net/
Bobby Jones sends this update: "I continue to get e-mails expressing interest in a Memorial Fan Club
for Faron. Thank you for listing the address again. Your newsletters really help the fans cope with the loss of Faron. I feel
the fan club could offer some chances for the fans to bond. We really have nothing but a plaque in the Country Music Hall
of Fame." He can be contacted at BJones3328@aol.com.
WEB SITE: This week I'll talk about my own site. It contains a variety of articles I've written, as
well as information on Faron and on my two published books. "Navy Greenshirt" at http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id5.html is about my career as an aircraft maintenance officer in the Navy, and it includes the story of my acquaintance
with Faron. "A Farm in the Hidewood" at http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id7.html tells about growing up on a farm in South Dakota. The opening chapters are posted on my website, as is information
about purchasing the books. I'd be happy to autograph the books and mail them to your gift lists. (I waited too late to say
that, didn't I?)
Newsletter # 8 -- December 14, 2005
FARON FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: When Faron returned to Nashville and started touring as a civilian again, Hubert Long booked
him on shows with Marty Robbins and the Wilburn Brothers. Faron put together his own band in December 1954. The first member
was Gordon Terry, who had been the military supervisor and fiddle player for PFC Faron Young and the Circle 'A' Wranglers
in the Army. His discharge came several months before Faron's, and Faron asked him to wait. Gordon worked temporarily with
Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys until Faron returned to Nashville. In December Gordon and the other band members met at
Hubert Long's house and started rehearsing. The Wilburn Brothers, Teddy and Doyle, fronted the show. (They knew Faron from
their Shreveport days. Faron and Teddy went to high school together.) Tom Pritchard played upright bass. Joe Vincent, who
played steel guitar for Marty Robbins until Hubert invited him to work for Faron, completed the original Faron Young Band.
They became the Country Deputies six months later.
INTERVIEW: I interviewed Connie Smith at a hotel in North Hollywood
in 2000. She had given me her manager's number one night at the Opry so I could call and set up a telephone interview. I lived
in Los Angeles at the time and waited for a call. One day my voice mail contained a message from a man whose voice I recognized
as Marty Stuart. He concluded with "you know our number." Well, no, I didn't, so I called the manager to say I'd like to be
contacted again. I answered the telephone in my office one afternoon, and Connie Smith was on the line! She said she and Marty
were in LA for a few days and she invited me to her hotel for an interview. I used an Internet map with incorrect directions
and was an hour late in finding the hotel. But Connie waited for me and graciously granted me an interview. She told me how
her first unfavorable impression of Faron turned into a deep friendship, and she gave me the details of the death of Red Hayes
during their British tour.
LETTERS: Nancy Clark has been a Faron Young fan since 1954.
Duane Murley of KWMT
Radio in Fort Dodge, Iowa, writes, "We play a lot of traditional country music. We play a lot of Faron Young.... If you would
like to talk about your book some time, I would be glad to visit with you about it on the air.....we are a regional station
states.....believe me, we have the audience that you are looking for."
Response: I look forward to doing
an interview with you, Duane, especially since South Dakota is my home state and part of the region you cover.
Jones says he's received several e-mails expressing interest and offering help in establishing a Faron Young Memorial Fan
Club. He asked me to print his e-mail address again, so here it is: BJones3328@aol.com
Cecil B. writes, "I would be proud to be on your mailing list for Faron .I have been a fan of Faron's since I heard
'I've got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night.' My favorite back then was 'Country Girl.' I had the privilege of meeting
Faron and his lovely wife Hilda back in the early 60s and his two sons. It was a grand ole Opry show that was held in Windsor
Ontario Canada. I even helped sell his magazines for him. He was a great person to be around and a lot of fun. The last time
I remember Faron being in Michigan, he and Little Jimmy Dickens were playing at a local night club. I asked Little Jimmy where
Faron was and he said he was up at the Bar."
Would Charles Hollie please send me another e-mail? His subject line said
he wanted to added to the list but the message was corrupted and I couldn't get an address.
Cliff Haning of Lima, Ohio,
writes, "I only met Faron one time and that was the first time that he had been backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 23 years."
SITE: Doug Davis, who includes my newsletter in his, publishes a daily Country Music Classics newsletter. He says, "Enjoy
your newsletters and so do our subscribers." His website at www.countrymusicclassics.com contains lots of great information on classic country music, as well as photos.
Newsletter # 7 -- December 7, 2005
I can't type "December 7" without thinking of Pearl Harbor. It's the day that brought the United States into World War
II and changed the lives of everyone living at the time. No, that does not include me.
This week marks the ninth anniversary
of Faron's death. I was attending a conference in Yokosuka, Japan, and was reading in bed in the Navy officers' barracks,
when a brief announcement on Armed Forces radio jolted me upright. It was the third shocking death of 1996. First, the vehicle-accident
death of my 5-year-old nephew in April, then the suicide of Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Boorda, in May, and then Faron
FARON FORTY-ONE YEARS AGO: On Sunday, December 6, 1964, The Nashville Tennessean headline announced, "Opry
Drops 12 Top Stars." The caption under Faron's photo, one of four on the front page, said "Opry favorite." The other eight
photos appeared inside the paper. The WSM public relations director called it "just a routine thing" to periodically drop
performers who failed to meet the Opry requirement of 26 shows per year. He insisted the decision was a mutual agreement between
WSM and the entertainers themselves. But the unprecedented mass firing caught the performers by surprise. Faron said he had
been told he would be retained even though his touring schedule kept him from making the required number of shows. But, he
recalled, "So the next day the paper come out, and there I was in there." A few weeks later, WSM invited everyone back. Although
some of the stars eventually returned to the Opry, Faron and others did not. Opry membership provided name recognition and
a status symbol but negligible dollars. Saturday nights were lucrative show dates everywhere except the Opry.
I did a telephone interview in 2000 with Johnny Russell. We had to reschedule several times because of his kidney dialysis
treatments, but I definitely enjoyed the conversation when it finally happened. Among the many stories, he told about riding
on Faron's bus to a show near Pittsburgh. Johnny said, "On the way up there we got to playing Trivial Pursuit--that's when
that game was really popular. And he won every time. It amazed me what he knew. He knew everything, it seemed like. He was
just very, very smart." He also said, "I remember one time my first wife Linda and I and Faron and Hilda were sitting together
at an ASCAP awards dinner. When I got my award, he stood up on a chair--in a chair, he stood up in a chair--and he said, 'He's
the only S.O.B. in here that deserves one.'" When Johnny was recuperating from open-heart surgery, Faron called and told him,
"I'm gonna tell you something, son. I love you, and I'm sorry you had to go through this, but if I ever find out that you
needed something that you couldn't get for yourself, and you don't call me and give me an opportunity to bring it to you,
I'm gonna come whip your ass."
Tommy Cash writes, "Thanks for the Faron Young stories. I loved Faron, too,
and I miss him terribly. I must tell you that our father, Ray Cash, was NOT a cold, hard person. He loved Johnny as he did
us all, and he was very proud of him. Why Hollywood chose to show him opposite of what he was just amazes me. He was truly
a good, Christian, and kind man. He was firm, but kind."
Response: Thanks for the correction, Tommy. I was uncomfortable
with the portrayal of Ray Cash in the movie. I kept waiting for him to lighten up, but it didn't happen. Especially in the
Thanksgiving scene at Johnny's house, I didn't see how a father could be so cold and unloving. I'm glad to know it didn't
really happen that way. It did sometimes happen in the Young family, though. Faron's brother and sister both told me about
their father's coldness.
Bill Littleton comments, "Drawing from the experiences of my own upbringing (not all that
terribly different from John's), it's a viable guess that the father/son conflict had at least as much to do with John's attraction
to the music business as with being compared unfavorably with an older brother." During the tough Depression years in the
South, Bill says, "an enormous amount of resentment was often directed toward 'soft' people, who, like entertainers, seemed
to live well without a great deal of physical exertion. Sure, [parents] might enjoy the music of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carters,
they might buy a lot of the records, but the idea of 'one of my kids' going off into show business could be pretty repugnant."
I'd guess Harlan Young felt that way about Faron going into the music business.
Freddy Holcomb writes, "I only found
out about your site today through the Classic Music Newsletter. You have good, interesting articles. Thank you for preserving
Faron's legacy & the history of country music." Freddy owns some of the items from Faron's estate. Anyone interested in
buying Faron memorabilia can get a list of items by sending a message to Holcombmusic@aol.com.
Tom Lipscombe writes, "I like your newsletters and enjoy reading about Faron Young." He says, "Faron's performance
of 'Cold Cold Heart' is my favorite act on the whole DVD: 'Hank Williams The Man & His Music' the 1980 tribute show, which
aired on PBS etc., and included Hank Jr., Teresa Brewer, Brenda Lee, Kris Kristopherson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash etc.
In my opinion, the best part of the show was Faron's rendition of 'Cold, Cold, Heart.'"
Response: Thanks, Tom, for
adding my newsletter to the Alabama Talk Line Forum: http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/243824250/fetch/558183/. I also appreciate the support from Robert Ackerman and Doug Davis, who include my newsletter on their mailing lists.
Tuttle writes, "Please add my email address to your mailing list. I have been a Faron Young fan since childhood (many years
now). He has always been my most favorite singer. I have every song, every album that I know exists. I can't wait for his
book. I've gone to many of his appearances to play, danced my legs off, joked with him and had a drinking party with another
fan the day after his death."
WEB SITE: The "Find A Grave" web site has a section on Faron, where people can write
Newsletter # 6 -- November 30, 2005
Instead of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my daughters, I took them to see "Walk the Line." (We'd met Tommy Cash and visited
Johnny & June's empty house on Old Hickory Lake when we were last in Nashville.) I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, especially
the music. Truly impressive acting and singing. As soon as we got home, I pulled out my well-worn Folsom Prison album and
played it for the first time in years. I didn't expect Faron to be in the movie, so I was thrilled to hear his voice singing
a song. The similarity that struck me (although I'll bet Faron and Johnny never discussed it) was that they both had cold
unloving fathers who apparently preferred the son who died to the younger son who lived. Harlan Young and Ray Cash later attended
the shows those younger sons headlined--I wonder if they ever expressed their pride.
FARON FORTY-FOUR YEARS AGO: A
history-making concert took place November 29, 1961, at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Although Opry artists had performed
onstage before, this was the first time an entire package show appeared there. Eight of the forty performers rated star billing:
Faron, Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones, fiddler Tommy Jackson, and headliner Jim Reeves.
The show was a fundraiser for the Musicians' Aid Society of New York, which supported needy classical musicians. Faron and
the Deputies and most of the performers flew to New York City in a chartered TWA aircraft with "Grand Ole Opry" painted on
the side. The Deputies were Darrell McCall, Ben Keith, Odell Martin, and Roger Miller. Ben Keith told me, "I'd heard of Carnegie
Hall ever since I was little, and never expected to play there. It was a beautiful place, and the acoustics were just perfect.
I remember they had microphones suspended out, at a 45-degree angle, way out, like forty feet. The acoustics were so great
you almost didn't need a mike to sing on."
INTERVIEW: I wanted to interview Angie Dickinson about being in Faron's
first movie, "Hidden Guns." I sent several faxes to her agent, without response. After watching her A&E biography on TV
in 2000, I sent another follow-up fax--even though the show said she turns down interviews about the men she's known, because
she doesn't kiss and tell. One night I came home from work and heard a soft sexy voice on my recorder: "I'm calling for Diane
Diekman. This is Angie Dickinson. Please don't faint." She apologized for taking so long to call me, and said she was going
out of town for a movie and would call when she got back. She gave me her home phone number and told me to call if I didn't
hear from her. So I waited a month, called, and she answered the telephone. "Hidden Guns" was her first movie also, in her
first year of show business, and in 1955 she still worked a second job. She was tickled to get the part in a movie with a
country-western singing star, but was so nervous and excited about her new career that she was most excited about just having
a job. She remembered Faron being very nice looking and with good Southern manners. "He was very quiet, very shy, very respectful,"
she said, "that typical Elvis Presley good manners conduct."
Debra in the Cornwall area of the United Kingdom
would like to correspond with other Faron fans. She says, "I'm such a big fan of Faron and I love talking about my hero."
Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean and Alan Earle in Great Britain were good friends of Faron. Jean has been helpful in putting me in touch with
British music business people. Her latest note says, "Hello Diane, thank you for all of the newsletters that you have kindly
sent to us. We have found them most interesting. I have sent them all onto folk that I thought would also enjoy reading them.
Have you had any good news, re printing of your book?"
Answer: The university press is ready to send the manuscript
out for peer review. It will be the end of February before I get an answer from that company about a contract. Publishing
is a long, slow process!
WEB SITE: For those who want Faron's discography, there's an excellent list--as well as copies
of the album covers--for Faron and many other singers at http://www.luma-electronic.cz/lp/elpe.htm. (You might have to copy the address into your browser to get it to work.)
Newsletter # 5 -- November 23, 2005
FARON FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: After Faron's Army discharge, he and Hilda immediately headed to Nashville. That first weekend,
November 19-20, 1954, Faron participated in the Grand Ole Opry anniversary party. The next day he left town with his manager,
Hubert Long, for a two-week tour of one-nighters starting in Texas and continuing through Arizona, New Mexico and California.
Hilda, alone in Long's house (where the newlyweds lived until they bought a house), spent Thanksgiving and her 17th birthday
without her new husband.
INTERVIEW: I interviewed songwriter Joe Allison at his house in Nashville in 2000, two years
before he died. He was on oxygen and confined to bed. He sat on one side of his king-sized bed. I plopped my tape recorder
in the middle of the bed and sat on the opposite edge. He joked, "I'll tell my friends I was in bed with a Navy captain this
morning." I said, "I was thinking that this is probably the only interview I'll do in bed with somebody." And he answered,
"Well, you don't know. Country music is a strange business."
Bernard Green writes, "I live in Liverpool,
England, and grew up listening to and loving Faron, as did a lot of my friends. I still have access to many albums. I really
enjoyed the articles about him, and thank you for writing them."
Richard Spooner writes, "Hi there from England. I
sing and play with an English band trying to keep the great man's memories alive on this side of the pond. He truly was my
favourite singer of all time. I had the pleasure to meet him on tour over here in the Seventies. He was great to be around
and we got to sing together, a wonderful experience for me."
Bill Littleton sent me a note to say, "Just found the
link to your site from Twangtown and was impressed by the bio on Faron; I can see it essentially as the framework of the book.
I've browsed your site considerably since two nights ago. I know a LOT of people who will be glad to know about the Faron
book!!!" He added, "I talked with Faron when they did a TV thing about Tootsie's and he told me he was writing a book; at
the funeral home, I mentioned that to the band and learned later that no partial manuscript was found."
came across one interview where Faron said he was writing a book with Chet Hagan and was taping interviews for it. I contacted
Hagan's son, but he could find no taped interviews or partial manuscript in his deceased dad's papers.
asked me to put him in touch with Ray Emmett, which I did. They knew each other in Flint, Michigan, in the early 60's. Jim
said that Ray "played bass and sang with his band in a local nite club. They played to a packed house every night. Ray was
very good and so was a guitar player and singer named Johnny Hawk. Recently I was going through my old records and found one
they had cut, and it took me to the Internet in search of my old friends. That's when I discovered your web site."
SITE: Bill Anderson frequently writes chatty letters on his web site at http://www.billanderson.com/home/. Fans can find his schedule, his bio, his music and more. Bill was a great help to me in researching Faron's life. He granted
me an interview one night backstage at the Opry, and he sent me the books he wrote, along with permission to quote from them.
About Faron, Bill said, "He was a special man and a dear friend. I learned an awful lot from him, and I miss him a lot!"
Newsletter # 4 -- November 16, 2005
A university press is currently reviewing the book manuscript. Publication is still a year or so away.
I did a live
radio interview with Joe Bielinski on the "McGraw Motors Sunday Conversations" portion of Joe's KFWR show in Fort Worth this
past Sunday afternoon. We talked about Faron's personality and how I got into the business of researching and writing Faron's
life. We also agreed it would be a great idea to have a Fort Worth book release party. (That would come after the Nashville
FARON FIFTY-THREE YEARS AGO: November 16, 1952, was Faron's Army induction date. When asked whether
he was drafted or joined voluntarily, he told an interviewer, "You damned right I was drafted. I didn't join nuthin'. They
had to come get me. You notice one of my arms is longer than the other one? They pulled it." Although he was not happy to
leave Nashville just as he started making a name for himself, the Army turned out to be a good deal. Not many PFCs get their
own radio show and touring band. PFC Faron Young and the Circle "A" Wranglers contributed to the Army recruiting effort with
a weekly radio show and concerts throughout the Southeast. (The symbol of the Third Army at Fort McPherson in Atlanta was
an A inside a circle.) Faron went from private to private first class (PFC) to corporal to sergeant during his two years in
the Army. He also met and married Hilda Macon.
FARON FIFTY-ONE YEARS AGO: On November 16, 1954, the day after Faron's
discharge, a "Faron Young Day" was held in Atlanta, Georgia, with a parade to honor Faron. Along with the appearance of city
and state officials, General Bolling--the Third Army commander--presented Faron with the Army Commendation Medal. Faron appeared
on several radio stations throughout the day in Atlanta, and the Wilburn Brothers came to town to costar with him on a show
LETTERS: Betty Smith writes from Toledo, Ohio, that she and her husband and daughter were friends with
Faron for many years. She says, "We had a lot of good times and saw Faron at his best and his worst and we love and miss him
so very much. It left a hole in our hearts when we lost him." Her daughter always called Faron "Uncle Faron" and told people
he was her uncle. When she posed with Faron for a photo after she grew up, he told her, "I can remember when Uncle Faron was
taller than you."
WEB SITE: Those of you who listen to the Satellite Cowboy on XM Satellite Radio channel 171 might
occasionally hear snippets of the interview Bill Mack and I did about Faron. Bill and Faron were friends, and Bill was the
first person to invite me to Fort Worth to publicize the book when it comes out. Bill has an information-filled website at
I've added a page to my web site to archive the previous newsletters: http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id70.html. Send me your questions and comments about Faron, and we'll talk about him.
Newsletter # 3 -- November 9, 2005
This is a weekly newsletter about Faron Young and my progress toward publication of "Tell It Like It Is: A
Biography of Faron Young." A university press is currently reviewing the book manuscript.
FARON FIFTY-FOUR YEARS AGO:
Faron dropped out of Centenary Methodist College in Shreveport on November 1, 1951, before completing his first term. He had
enrolled as a business major and his classes included Spanish, physical education, algebra, and American history. Faron's
father, Harlan, had graduated from Meadows Draughn Business School, and he wanted his son to get a college education. Faron
wanted to attend school outside of Shreveport, but Harlan wouldn't let him. "He wanted to make me come home and feed them
cows every day," Faron said. "That's when I decided I done had enough of all these cows. I wanted to find something to do
to get away from Shreveport."
Faron's first solo performance on the Louisiana Hayride occurred October 13, 1951. His
hair had been cut off as a college initiation ritual, and he later said, "I was embarrassed, so Webb slapped that great big
ten-gallon hat on me when I went on stage, and I looked like a rabbit sitting under a collard leaf." He was Webb Pierce's
frontman at the time. The other Southern Valley Boys were Tillman Franks on upright bass, Floyd Cramer on piano, Jimmy Day
on steel guitar, Tommy Bishop on lead guitar, and Uncle Jimmie Burrage on drums. When Faron dropped out of college to pursue
music fulltime, he asked his dad for a year and said he would go back to school "if I don't do something within a year." Two
months later, he signed his Capitol recording contract.
FAN CLUB: Bobby Jones of Burt, Michigan, wants to start a memorial
fan club for Faron. Anyone interested in helping her with the venture please send an e-mail to BJones3328@aol.com.
WEB SITE: The Johnson sisters have redesigned the forum section of their International Fan Club Organization
(IFCO) web site at www.ifco.org. IFCO is dedicated to promoting country music and other popular music genres, artists, fan clubs and fan interests
worldwide. Forum boards are provided for each affiliated artist and fan club. The forums are totally new as of 10/03/05, and
all users must re-register.
Newsletter # 2 -- November 2, 2005
This is a weekly newsletter about Faron Young and my progress toward publication of "Tell It Like It Is: A
Biography of Faron Young." A university press is currently reviewing the book manuscript.
FARON FIFTY-THREE YEARS AGO:
Faron recorded "Goin' Steady" on October 12, 1952, a month before his induction into the Army. He'd written the song while
on the road touring with Hank Snow. He used the melody of Claude King's "She Knows Why," and he received advice on the lyrics
from his manager, Hubert Long, and Snow's frontman, Hillous Butram. The song went into the Central Songs catalog, a publishing
company co-owned by Faron's record producer, Ken Nelson. "Goin' Steady" was Faron's fourth release on Capitol Records and
his first to chart. It debuted on January 10, shortly before Faron completed infantry basic training at Fort Jackson, and
eventually hit the number two spot on Billboard. Its popularity was part of the reason Fort Jackson's Special Services sent
Faron to New York City to compete on "Talent Patrol," a network television show that held an annual contest for members of
the Armed Forces. Faron won.
Peter Trenholm from Nova Scotia writes, "In the 1980's I went to a concert in Moncton,
New Brunswick, Canada. Faron was the opening act for Merle Haggard. Faron was absolutely awesome. He had a little girl come
from the audience around 6-7 years old to help him sing 'This little girl of mine.' He was wonderful at relating to the audience
& his portion of the show was top notch." Merle Haggard did a lot of singing, which was great, but he never said one word
to the audience.
Dr. Keith Jenkins, who calls Faron his all-time favorite Country artist, writes, "I saw Faron at a
Baltimore area high school in 1975. He did two fantastic shows and gave my brothers and my best friend and me a tour of the
bus, autographed our album covers and pictures, posed for pictures with us and talked to us between shows like he wasn't tired
and had nothing more important to do than gab with his fans."
I like this quote by Ken Maynard from Canada: "He put a bullet in his head & an ache in the heart of all
of his fans which never can be healed."
Newsletter #1 -- October 26, 2005
To fans and friends and family of Faron Young:
This is the first edition of a periodic newsletter on
the status of publication of "Tell It Like It Is: A Biography of Faron Young." Please let me know if you prefer not to be
on my mailing list.
I started researching Faron's life six years ago and finally finished writing the book last month.
The manuscript is currently under review by a publisher. My goal is to publish the book in 2007, the 75th anniversary of Faron's
birth. Articles I have written about Faron can be read on my web site at http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id8.html.
FARON FIFTY YEARS AGO: During a show at the Municipal Auditorium in Albany, Georgia, on October 12,
1955, Faron collapsed on stage. First thought to be suffering from food poisoning, he was diagnosed with a severe case of
hepatitis, which he'd contracted while filming the movie "Daniel Boone Trailblazer" in Mexico in September. Hilda left baby
Damion with Virginia Terry, wife of Gordon Terry (fiddle player in Faron's band), and flew down to stay in the hospital with
Faron. After ten days, the doctors decided Faron had improved enough to be transferred to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.
During his Vanderbilt stay, he received word from "Country & Western Jamboree" that the magazine's fans had voted him
Favorite Male Singer for 1955. Faron, still weak and pale, resumed touring on New Year's Eve as part of the A.V. Bamford Grand
Ole Opry package show in St. Paul/Minneapolis.
Please send me your questions and comments about Faron, for publication
in future newsletters.