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Wed, 26 Dec 2007
Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter -- 26 December 2007

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

And here's the article that was published on the front page of my hometown newspaper in South Dakota:

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!!

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:01 AM EST
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Wed, 12 Dec 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 12 December 2007

This issue brings to a close my weekly updates on Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story, published by the University of Illinois Press. I'm starting to repeat myself, so I'll cut back to once or twice a month and will talk about Marty Robbins and Faron Young equally. I'd still appreciate comments on Faron's biography to be posted to Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/3dsu2a.

Bill Anderson interviewed Darrell McCall and me when we were in Nashville. We talked about the book and Faron's music. Jeannie Seely and Robyn Young were telephone guests. I didn't get the broadcast notice in time to let everyone know about the first date on XM channel 2, but the show is being aired three times this week on XM channel 10:
Thursday--Noon EST
Saturday--6 pm EST
Sunday--6 pm EST
For those reading this newsletter on Tuesday evening, you can find the show on XM channel 2 until midnight Eastern time.

FARON YOUNG, ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Faron died shortly after noon on December 10, 1996. Eddie Stubbs turned his WSM radio show into a Faron Young tribute that evening, playing a chronology of the Singing Sheriff's hits. After "Wine Me Up," Faron's song about being the center of attention in a bar room, Eddie said, "That, ladies and gentlemen, was country music. And I hope you enjoyed it. Because for a lot of us it will never be that good again."

This week also marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Marty Robbins.

Laurie Matheson, Senior Acquisitions Editor at the University of Illinois Press, says, "We've sold about 1800 copies and have about 1000 still in inventory. To sell 1800 copies in five months is really terrific, and a testament to your work in building a Faron Young network and getting the word out about the book. Since the cloth is selling so well, our sales manager recommends that we go into a second printing of the hardcover before moving to paperback."

Bernie Green says, "Thanks Diane, these stories I love. I can identify with Faron and his musicians. Lot's of luck."

Bobby Braddock writes, "Diane, as I told you I really enjoyed your book, also enjoy reading your newsletter. Regarding the origin of Faron's name, there were no Spanish around Shreveport when Faron was born, and there's very little French influence that far north in Louisiana; Faron was probably just a good Southern name."

I will be a presenter at the 25th Anniversary ICMC, which will be held 22-24 May 2008 at Belmont University in Nashville.My title is "Faron Young and Marty Robbins--A Comparison of Two Country Legends." A complete program will be posted at

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EST
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Wed, 5 Dec 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 5 December 2007

FARON YOUNG, FORTY-THREE 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.

Tom Lipscombe sends this information about Faron's name: "Francais: Dans la Bible, six rois égyptiens sont appelés Pharaon. Translation: In the Bible six Egyptian kings are called PHARAON, which is pronounced Faron." Tom says, "I guess that Faron Young, being from Louisiana, could have something to do with his French/Spanish name." Another source says, "The boy's name Faron \f(a)-ron\ is pronounced fah-ROHN. It is of Spanish origin, and its meaning is pharaoh."

Liz Anderson says, "Casey and I are so sorry we missed your book signing and the Faron Tribute but I just couldn't make it. I understand you had a great time with his old friends of which we are two of them. In fact, we are now finally in the process of re-releasing the song we put out with Faron 25 years ago - called "ARE YOU HUNGRY? EAT YOUR IMPORT!" This time it will be out on our SHOWBOAT RECORDS label on Jan 1 of 2008 - and a mini CD will be available from our website after that. Several other places will carry it too -
www.showboatrecords.com. We did a full Union session 25 years ago but the song was ahead of its time - now people are aware of the fact we need to BUY AMERICAN so we know Faron would enjoy having it out again at a better time. He does such a great job on the song plus the other 3 from the session."

John Berryman, MSgt Ret. (USAF), writes, "You did a superb job on Faron Young, the book was excellent. Hope you do one on Johnny Paycheck or Buck Owens. Keep up the good work."

Bobbe Seymour of Steel Guitar Nashville regrets missing the Deputy reunion. He says, "The boys are still talking about the reunion and how great it was, it seems that a lot of guys were very happy that this great event took place. Many stated that they wish it would happen again. . . . I just hope that silly Faron is looking down at us and is knowing how much we appreciated his talent, big heart, craziness and the great respect he gave us, his musicians. I miss him more today than I can believe. You know he was good to us, look how long many of us worked for him! Cootie, 26 years? What a great guy, but he didn't want us to know it at times! I still have to laugh at some of his antics, he left me with some of my greatest Nashville memories."

More from Tom Lipscombe: "Faron would have a good laugh on this one........ I found out there actually was a 'Saint Faron' in France, sometime around 670 AD. Here is an article from Wikipedia which mentions him. I have taken the liberty of translating it for you. 'Life of Saint Faron. The first to speak about Fiacre is a bishop of Meaux, Hildegaire, which began during the reign of Charles the Bald, probably around 870. He composed a lengthy biography of his predecessor Saint Faron, who died two centuries before. In chapters 97-99 of his story, it tells us that Faron was in high reputation amongst Celtic monks (the Scots), which were pilgrimaging then through Gaul. He gladly welcomed them in his diocese and he never hesitated to make them benefit from his generosity.'"

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:04 AM EST
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Wed, 28 Nov 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 28 November 2007

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO: At the end of November 1981, Faron was a guest on Ralph Emery's WSM radio show. Ralph asked about the origin of his name, and Faron replied, "I don't have no idea. I used to say it was a Biblical name, and it's not. Because I had several people who know the Bible inside out and they wrote me a letter, and said your name is not in the Bible. There's some pharaohs and things in it, but there's not a Faron. My great-grandmother named me, but I really don't know--unless it's just something that come off the top of her head and she said let's call him Faron. My band's always kiddin' me, says we know you have to have a middle name. I remember one night goin' down the road, with about four bottles of V-O, we was havin' a good time. I said boys, all these years you were wantin' to know my middle name. I'm gonna tell you if you promise not to laugh. They said what? I said it's Henry. They just fell out all over the bus. They called me Henry from then on. But I really don't have one."

Skip Jackson says, "Thank you for bringing The Deputies together under Faron's umbrella over the past few years. I do hope all the time, work and money you have spent was worth the effort. The work you did on it was great. "

Jean Earle checks in from England to say, "I was so pleased to read that you had all enjoyed the reunion of the Deputies. What a great meeting that must have been. It is a shame that you did not get any photographs as that will probably be the last chance to see and hear them all together......I hope somebody else had their camera with them that evening!!!......and were able to capture everything, for those of us who could not make the date but were with you in spirit."

Tom Andrews of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop writes, "In reference to the Faron Young tribute on the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree November 10th. The shows are recorded and posted in the archives on ernesttubb.com. Just go to ernesttubb.com and click on midnite jamboree and scroll down. It takes a few weeks before it will be there so just check back often."

Bob Bien adds, "The show with the Deputies on November 10th was great. It was great to hear you introduce them. I'm sorry to say I couldn't be there, so I listened online."

Art Rankin says, "I just talked to my friend Ron Rankin who attended the activities in Nashville. . . . He also enjoyed renewing his acquaintances with the former band members. Ron told me that your description of Faron in the book is exactly how he remembers him. A credit to a factual presentation vs. sugar coating or blasting his life. You didn't mention it in your response about recording the activities but all of the Midnight Jamborees are recorded and posted about a month later. . . . I missed the original as I didn't have my computer link available that night."

Fred Vail of Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc. in Nashville writes, "Saw this segment in Jerry's e-mail to you and it brought back some great memories of growing up in Northern California in the 40's/50's/early 60's. I can remember the radio ads for the Dream Bowl word for word and it's been 50 years--give or take a few: 'Come on down to the Dream Bowl Ballroom, located 10 north of Vallejo on the Napa-Vallejo Highway!' I saw Freddy Hart, Tommy Duncan and Gordon Terry there about 1958-59, if I recall. It was at least twelve years before Freddy hit the big time with 'Easy Lovin.'' Mare Island Naval Shipyard--between Richmond and Vallejo--was a massive employer during WW 2 and the Dream Bowl featured big bands during that era."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EST
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Wed, 21 Nov 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 21 November 2007

"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story," published by the University of Illinois Press, can be found at http://www.uiuc.edu/goto/f07diekman. Those who would like a personalized autograph to paste in their books can request a paper bookplate from http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/Diekman.BookplateRequest.pdf. And I would much appreciate comments on Faron's biography to be posted to Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/3dsu2a.

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-THREE YEARS AGO: Faron appeared as a guest on Nashville
Now on November 23, 1984. Ralph Emery commented, "I have never seen you so dressed up in my life," and asked if he had jury duty somewhere. Tennessee Ernie Ford, another guest on the show, said, "Looks like he's gonna go preach." Faron said, "I buy one suit a year, just in case somebody I know dies. I can be ready for them." He was on his way to the Opryhouse, just down the street from the television studio. "It'll be the first time I sang on the Grand Ole Opry in 21 years," he said. He planned to sing "Wine Me Up" and "It's Four in the Morning."

Ray Emmett says, "We had a great time on Saturday night and it was really cool to have a full house.  People came from all over the country. Thanks for the chance to play some Faron Young music one last time."

Linda Kyle (Ray's daughter) asks, "Did anyone happen to record it as well? I sure would love to hear that."

Arie den Dulk asks from Holland, "Will the ET show in which you participated be put on line? I missed the broadcast as it started too early in the morning for me!"

Response: I don't know if the show was recorded. I didn't discuss a recording with anyone. And I didn't get enough good photos to post on my Web site. I was enjoying the moment and not thinking about preserving it.

Virgie Warren writes from Flushing, Michigan, "I heard the live show Sat.night and really enjoyed it."

Maheen Wickramasinghe in Canada says, "I have finished reading 3 chapters so far and wow!!! I can't tell you how entertaining this is! Diane, you sure have done an awful lot of research and interviews, my college tutor and I are enjoying it an awful lot! She is reading it all to me bless her heart. I just thought I'd let you know that my tutor is now learning about Faron! New Marty Robbins yahoo discussion group up and running! If anyone wants to join, please subscribe at

Jerry Hill writes, "It was a real pleasure meeting you on Nov. 10th at the ET Record Shop downtown Nashville, and then again later that night for the show with all The Deputies. I was glad to see the huge turnout and the show was great! . . . I started reading your book the next day, Sunday, and couldn't put it down until I got so sleepy that I had to go to bed! I finished it the next day, I will no doubt give it time to "cool off" then I will re-read it! What a great show with Robin and his band and then all the former Deputies! It was a birthday for me to cherish! The first time I met Faron I was a teenager singing rock & roll on the promoter's live TV show in the San Francisco bay area, in Oakland at Jack London Square, KTVU which I think is now a Fox affiliate but still located in Jack London Square. The Saturday TV live show was followed by a Sat. night show at the Dream Bowl, a big hall that used to host big bands during the WWII years, and was located on a two lane highway between Vallejo and Napa, CA. I met Faron briefly at the TV show but got to talk to him at length in the dressing room at the Dreambowl. I would go on for two or three spots during the evening and Faron did two shows. I went out in front to stand with the other people for his second show. He did a few songs then he told the crowd that they had a talented, young man that was part of the package show and told them to give Jerry Hill a big round of applause and he then called me up on stage to sing a song with him. Faron said, "I sing a little rock & roll too, but come on Jerry, let's do one together." I don't remember what song we did, but it could have been Blue Suede Shoes. It was totally unexpected and I was so nervous singing with Faron that my knees were shaking! I will never forget that experience, the kindness that he showed me! What a showman he was!"

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EST
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Wed, 14 Nov 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 14 November 2007

Here's the link to the new University of Illinois Press page for "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story": http://www.uiuc.edu/goto/f07diekman. Those who would like a personalized autograph to paste in their books can request a paper bookplate from http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/Diekman.BookplateRequest.pdf. And I would much appreciate comments on Faron's biography to be posted to Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/3dsu2a.

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AGO: Faron was enjoying life as a new recording artist in Nashville, and living with other musicians at Mom Upchurch's house, when he received his draft notice. He went into the U.S. Army on November 16, 1952. 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." The Army turned out to be a good deal for him, though, when he took over the recently-discharged Eddie Fisher's slot as head entertainer for the Army's recruiting program. Not many privates 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. When he was discharged two years later, he was honored with a "Faron Young Day" in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with a parade and the appearance of city and state officials, the Commanding General of the Third Army presented Faron with the Army Commendation Medal. Faron appeared on several radio stations throughout the day, and the Wilburn Brothers came to Atlanta to costar with him on a show that evening.

We had a wonderful time at the Ernest Tubb Record Shops on Saturday. Seeing the Country Deputies on stage that evening and listening to them perform was an absolute thrill for me. Thanks so much to Ray Emmett for getting the band together, Darrell McCall for hosting the show, Robyn Young for opening the show, and David McCormick for making it happen. What made it so unusual was that the Deputies disbanded in 1993, and the musicians on stage covered several generations of the band. I called the roll of 59 Deputies from 1954-1993. Thirteen of the 40 living members were present. I hope to have photos posted to my Web site by next week.

Loudilla, Loretta & Kay Johnson, who stopped by the Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Saturday, send this note to say, "It was such a GREAT pleasure to meet you (finally) & thank you so much for signing our books. We will treasure them, always. . . . If THIS book is any indication of it, the Marty Robbins book will be inspiring & as well as informative. David McCormick is such a treasured friend to so many of us. I know that he had to be thrilled how the Record Shop's tribute to the Country Deputies & Faron turned out, last night. Was listening & from the 'listeners' side, it was great!! Still am beside myself that the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree wasn't part of the XM Satellite broadcasting family. Am just not understanding why they weren't. I know of so many who would have loved to have heard the show, last night."

Bill Yarbor writes, "I just got the latest issue of VINTAGE GUITAR magazine today and they have a review of your book and you'll be delighted with what they had to say. . . . They agree with me that it's a great book and one you can be proud of."

Frank Chilinski says, "I wanted to let you know that I have now completely read your book about Faron Young two times, I enjoyed it so much. The book has also made me want to get everything ever recorded by Faron Young  I recently was able to track down a copy of the Live In Branson CD that you had mentioned once, and I see what you mean about this CD. After reading the book twice, and feeling immersed in the life of Faron Young, this CD really brings the singer to life in concert. You can hear the personality, good, bad and otherwise in the Live CD. This CD had so much more depth for me, after reading your wonderful book. . . . I think you did a great job of being kind to him (as his sister requested) as best you could, but you do not sugar coat any of it. Your book does a good job of showing the multiple layers of this man (who simply on surface could be considered as nasty, hotheaded, drunken, sometimes mean and down-right frightening to be around) -- your book lays out that he was also someone who had reasons to be the way he was, and someone who while often frightening to be around, seemed to be a magnet to people, many who loved to be around him. And one who found it easier to be generous and kind at a distance. Such a sad ending for him."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:05 AM EST
Updated: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 8:21 PM EST
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Wed, 7 Nov 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 7 November 2007

Here's the link to the new University of Illinois Press page for "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story": http://www.uiuc.edu/goto/f07diekman. A bookplate can be requested from http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/Diekman.BookplateRequest.pdf. I'd much appreciate any comments on Faron's biography to be posted to Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/3dsu2a.

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY YEARS AGO: One of Faron's movies was released and another filmed in November 1957. "Raiders Of Old California" was shown in special screening during the disc jockey convention, and then Faron headed to New York City for the filming of "Country Music Holiday." In "Raiders Of Old California," Marshal Faron Young shoots an outlaw (Marty Robbins) and brings him into a California town in 1847. Faron described the scene as follows: "The worst part of it was when I finally get him to the local jail. I had to get Marty off the horse and put him on my back. It was in Kanab, Utah, and the sand is this deep, and Marty wasn't all that light--I'm not too big a guy anyway. But I get him over my shoulder, and I'm walkin' right at the camera, and Marty's goosin' me. I'm tryin' to keep a straight face. So we did this about ten takes." In "Country Music Holiday," New York City music producers are pitting two Tennesseans against each other to be the top singer in the nation. Ferlin Husky and Faron perform country songs with pop instrumentation in front of New York City audiences. Faron's character first appears in a colorful fringed western shirt, looking and sounding like Faron on the Hayride or a military recruiting program. The movie ends with him looking and sounding like an Elvis Presley clone, surrounded by a dance troupe while singing a rock 'n' roll song. Mostly a holiday from country music, the movie seemed to be an attempt to attract a mainstream market.

Saturday, 10 November 1:00-3:00 -- I will be signing books at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Broadway Avenue.
7:30-10:00 -- The Faron Young tribute show at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Music Valley will include all Country Deputies and friends of Faron who want to perform. Robyn Young and his band, NEXTAKYN, will open the show. The entire evening is free and open to the public.
12:00 -- The Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree (
http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm), broadcast live over WSM Radio 650 AM (on the Internet at http://www.wsmonline.com/), will be a Country Deputy reunion with:
Host - Darrell McCall
Bass - Ray Emmett
Guitar - Richard Bass
Drums - Jerry "Cootie" Hunley
Steel - Stu Basore
Piano - Gene Dunlap
Twin fiddles - Kenny Sears and Hank Singer
I will "call the roll" of the 40-year list of Faron's Deputies. This is a great opportunity for fans to get autographs of all the Deputies. I'll sign books before and after the Jamboree.

Richard Spooner writes from the UK, "Would love to be at the party. I stay in touch with Ray Emmett from the Deputies. I would really love the chance to sing just one song with those guys, they were the business and the best band of all time. . . . Have a great party. My copy of the book is on order here in the UK. It should arrive by the 18th of this month."

John Morris in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, says, "We finished your great book this week and I can't wait to read it again. The last chapter was hard to read and some tears were shed I can tell you. I ordered 2 copies of the book for Christmas through Chapters here in Peterborough. Also I have contacted the Canadian National Institute For The Blind and I am hoping they will do an audio version of this great book. Also I am looking forward to the show this weekend and will be listening wishing I could be there with all of you so have an extra great time on my behalf."

Marie Kugler in Nebraska received her personalized bookplate and she says, "Thanks a million for the autograph, Diane.  I will treasure the book even more now with this addition."

Tom Lipscombe writes from Canada, "Thanks for your latest newsletter, which has been posted on the Alabama Talk Line Forum at
http://pub3.bravenet.com/forum/243824250/fetch/701754/. Was happy to note that you will be carrying on the Faron Young Newsletter for a while. Congratulations on going into your third year! . . . Thanks for sharing your brother's message from Balad, Iraq. Wikipedia says: 'It is probably best known for having the only Army & Air Force Exchange Service 35mm projection screen movie theater in Iraq and for having a full-size swimming pool.'"

Bill Yarbor in Haubstadt, Indiana, received the book as a gift, and he says, "I finished reading it last night and found it almost impossible to put down once I started. I always thought Faron was a really good singer and saw him in concert back in the early 1970's around the time of FOUR IN THE MORNING. I was also a fan of his recordings on Capitol and consider I MISS YOU ALREADY as an underappreciated masterpiece. . . . I found myself smiling to myself as I read some of the things he said and then finding myself frustrated at some of his behavior. But I guess on that latter point there was a pretty long list of folks who found themselves frustrated with him. I think you did an outstanding job of presenting him as a flawed man but one with a very kind heart. He was truly a walking contradiction. . . . While Faron obviously had an ego and who in show business doesn't, it seems that he truly cared about and for many people. . . . It is a great book. I learned so much from it and enjoyed every page and look forward to your Marty Robbins biography.  He was a great singer and one I really enjoyed."

Can anyone put me in touch with Chuck Morgan, Vice President of In-Park Entertainment for the Texas Rangers? He's a friend of Marty Robbins, and I'd like to interview him. I'm also looking for:
Joe Carver (former manager of Nashville speedway)
Thomas "Curly" Mills (airline captain and race car driver)
Eddy Fox (drummer in late 60s))
Jeff Chandler (rhythm and harmony in 70s)
Conrad Noddin (piano in 70s)
Bill Martinez (drums in 70s and 80s)
Larry Hunt (bass in 70s and 80s)
Jim Hannaford (keyboard in late 70s)
Gary Adams (rhythm in 1982)
Mike Cutright (harmony in 1982)
Skip Slayton (Marty's bus driver)
Shipmates of Martin David Robinson in the South Pacific 1943-45 (USS Crescent City, Boat Pools 11 & 15, etc.)

Mary Kay Inc. is one of the sponsors of this year's Country Music Association awards show. If you see anything in the commercials you'd like to purchase or learn about, please contact me directly or through
www.marykay.com/ddiekman. I have the products and will ship them at no cost anywhere in the USA.

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EST
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Wed, 31 Oct 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 31 October 2007

This newsletter has now begun its third year. Although I get requests to change to a Marty Robbins newsletter, I don't know when I'll have enough information to do that. The University of Illinois Press has redesigned its Web site, and here's the link to the new page for "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story": http://www.uiuc.edu/goto/f07diekman. A bookplate can be requested from http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/Diekman.BookplateRequest.pdf.

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO: On Halloween night in 1986, Faron appeared on the TV show "Nashville Now" as Spike Cruncher, a convict dressed in a prison uniform of black and white stripes. "I used to be a sheriff," he said. "Till I got a divorce, and this is all she left me." He swung a 5-inch black ball attached by a chain to his wrist, and Ralph Emery asked, "You mean that little ball there is all you got left?" Faron said, "One ball, pal, one ball." Amidst the laughter, Ralph asked, "What else did she take you for?" Faron answered, "A fool." After a discussion of Cruncher's prison garb, Ralph asked, "Do you have a number?" "Yeah, I got a number," Faron said. "It's called one hundred and six thousand." Johnny Russell, another guest that evening, collapsed in laughter. He obviously knew that Faron's recently announced divorce settlement was $106,000.

Saturday, 10 November 2007:
1:00-3:00 -- Book signing at Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Broadway Avenue.
7:30-10:00 -- Faron Young tribute show at Texas Troubadour Theatre in Music Valley
12:00 -- Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree (broadcast over
http://www.wsmonline.com/) and Country Deputy reunion (http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm)

Sharon Stich, who is responsible for Faron's "Young Sheriff" moniker, says, "I wanted soooo much to come to the Book Release Party but I have a brother that isn't doing too good so I am going to have to pass. It would have been an exciting time I know. Give my best to those that are there and I will be thinking of you all. God Bless."

My brother, SGT Ron Diekman, writes from Balad, Iraq, "I'm where I'm going to be for the winter, living in a trailer with concrete anti-mortar barriers all around. I've been up here for a couple of days now after a fairly smooth mobilization process starting departing Rapid City SD down to Ft. Benning GA for a record 5 days before deployment to theater. We spent around 3 days in Kuwait at Camp Beuhring and then flew up here to Balad a couple of days ago on a comfy C-130 courtesy of the Air Force. . . . I'll spend my free time today going through my gear and getting all my flight equipment/body armor/survival equipment all put together and mission ready for being a flight engineer on a C-23 Sherpa cargo airplane."

Fred Vail, president of Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc. in Nashville, writes, "The fans have certainly embraced 'Live, Fast, Love Hard'--the book you worked so long and diligently on. I try to read your regular e-mails and now that Faron is completed I assume your attention has begun to turn to the Marty Robbins book. I wish you equal success on it. . . . Marty--more than most--had a special gift for embracing a song--even though he was often competing with the original 'pop' release, and, in the case of 'Singing The Blues,' his competition came from within his own label, Columbia:)"

Jessica Jacobson says, "Just wanted to let you know that I made a request at my local library that they buy your book."

Gloria Oren writes, "Thought you'd be interested to know that the King County Library System purchased your book 'Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story,' and it is now available for loan. Just got notice in the new book alert I get from them. This is the library system that serves King County in Washington State. So you never know where your books will end up."

John Morris in Canada says, "We are just about to start the last chapter of your great book. I will say this and have said it many times to people I know. If you call yourself a true Faron fan like me then you have to get this wonderful book that is a fair portrait of his colorful life. You did a fantastic job Diane and the book deserves the 5 star rating it is getting. Now more Faron news for you. Bear Family is putting out 4 DVDS of the TV show Country Style USA for the US Army. Faron has shows on the first 3 seasons but season 4 is all his own. I can't wait to get it. Again great job and congratulations."


Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EDT
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Wed, 24 Oct 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 24 October 2007

"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" is available online and in most bookstores. Stores not currently carrying the book can order it upon request.

FARON YOUNG, THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO: Faron performed at Dance Town U.S.A. in Houston on 28 October 1972. Bob Claypool interviewed him for a Houston Post article, dated 11/12/72, "A night on 'the Bus' with one of country music's biggest superstars, Faron Young." The article said a "shy, soft-spoken young man asked Faron to cut some promo spots for a radio station in Dibolt, Texas. Without hesitation Faron grabbed the man's cassette recorder, switched it on, and began an impromptu patter of professional salesmanship. 'Hi, friends, this is Faron Young, and you're listening to the voice of the mighty metropolis, Dibolt, Texas.' David Stallings, who now entertains as Willie P. Richardson, was the young man. He told me, "Another time I was on the bus and one of the papers sent out a young reporter who really had no idea who Faron was or what he looked like...Faron had me pose as him...I did the entire interview with Faron and band sitting back holding back laughter."

Saturday, 10 November (
1:00-3:00 -- I will be signing books at the downtown Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Broadway Avenue.
7:30-10:00 -- The Faron Young tribute show at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Music Valley will include all Country Deputies and friends of Faron who want to perform. Robyn Young and his band, NEXTAKYN, will open the show. The entire evening is free and open to the public.
12:00 -- The Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, broadcast live over WSM Radio 650 AM (on the Internet at
http://www.wsmonline.com/), will be a Country Deputy reunion with:
Host - Darrell McCall
Bass - Ray Emmett
Guitar - Richard Bass
Drums - Jerry "Cootie" Hunley
Steel - Stu Basore
Piano - Gene Dunlap
Twin fiddles - Kenny Sears and Hank Singer
I will "call the roll" of the 40-year list of Faron's Deputies, and I will sign books before and after the Jamboree. This is a great opportunity for fans to get autographs of all the Deputies.

Jo Hamrick writes, "We were traveling over the weekend. I read while riding. Couldn't put the book down. It took a while for me to start reading it. I read these stories about Faron being mean. I know he could be and. I believe them all but never ever stone sober or dead drunk did Faron ever say anything mean to me or to my husband. His language I didn't care for at first but realized that those guys travel and were away from home and guys will be guys. I got to the point that I didn't pay attention to it. we never asked Faron for anything and actually bought him many things and he loved everything that we done in the years between 1972 and when he died. a long time. But we loved him and I'm sure that when he said he loved me and my husband he truly meant it. I'll finish the book tonight."

Linda Clark says, "Great review. Sounds like you had a good time. Connie Smith was one of my favorites during the 60's also. I have several of her albums from that era. Brings back a lot of memories of those days. Sad how fast time goes by. Those were good ole days."

Loudilla, Loretta & Kay Johnson of the International Fan Club Organization (IFCO) write, "We just now received the book; like a selfish, little nerd, of course, had to look up our part, first (and photo) and feel that you have done a GREAT job; so deserving of all the praise and wonderful comments made to you from Eddie Stubbs.  He had commented on how easy it was to read your book; to go through it by the years that these events happened and how clear it was laid out, which is NOT an easy task.  When one thinks of doing a book, your mind skips around; so I know it would be MOST difficult to do as you have done; it takes a lot of planning and a lot of great determination to make sure that you made sure THIS book was one to be used, easily, in research projects. Congratulations on a job well done."

Bernard Green in Liverpool, England, says, "Got my book today. Absolutely delighted."

Marge Hemsworth writes from Canada, "I'm so glad you wrote about Faron. I need to get the book. I knew Faron in the late '50's and '60s. Also Marty, I'm doing a book on Hank---he's from Nova Scotia where I'm from. I'm visiting Vancouver right now! There's a radio station a friend of mine has where he plays the country music classics from 6:-2:30 p m;
www.kixx780.ca and you can hear him play Faron several times a day, as we all love him, up this way. We had Faron play a club here for a week when I was PR person. I loved his sense of humour. His secretary Birdie was a dear friend and we used to spend time with Faron in his office! He was always a gentleman around us, I'm happy to say."

Maheen Wickramasinghe in Canada says: "Well everybody I received Diane Diekman's unbelievable book on country legend, Faron Young!!! Boy am I excited or what!!!:) Oh this is something I have been wanting for such a long long time. I can't wait until my father gets it scanned and puts it into my talking computer!!! As soon as it came in the mail I quickly called Diane and told her that I now have my copy!!! I would highly encourage you, if you would like to learn more about this incredible singer, to order your copy of this book."

D M Blackwelder in Alabama writes, "Now that you have the book about Faron in the book stores and the hands of readers there is still more to put in the Country Music Classics newsletter about Faron. I was wondering if you were going to put information about Marty Robbins in the news letter also. I enjoy your articles and look forward to them each week. I hope to get your book soon."


Response: I haven't yet done enough research on Marty to have material for a newsletter. Faron's biography was completely written before I started this newsletter. So for now I'm printing the notes I receive from readers about Marty.

More from Loretta Johnson: "Thanks so much for your acknowledging such a GREAT artist with your book and can't wait for the Marty Robbins book as he was a huge favorite of ours, as well. Had the great pleasure of seeing him perform many times but met him at Little America, Wyoming during the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. He was booked to perform. Johnny Western introduced him to us. Johnny was performing at the Club in Little America & we had gone there to see him. We didn't even realize Marty was in town. What was funny, we were shopping when we bumped into Johnny . . . . Our Dad had been sitting in a big chair beside another man; he always liked just watching the people. He was very much a people person. He studied the profile of this man who appeared to be doing the same thing he was, killing time & enjoying watching the people go by. Finally he kind of touched the gentleman's arm with his elbow & asked, 'Aren't you ole....ah...Marty Robbins?' Daddy said for a minute he couldn't think of his name. He told him that he sure loved his singing; Daddy talked so low as did Marty Robbins that no one really paid any attention to the elderly gentleman talking with the other man. What did they discuss? NOT music. Farming. . . . Marty asked him all about the farm; how much he farmed (he & our brothers farmed about 6500 Acres of hard-red winter wheat); he wanted to know what kind of machinery they used; did we irrigate (we didn't); how long he'd farmed, etc.; Daddy had told him he come 'up' from Texas & Oklahoma. That we also had Black Angus cattle. He was really fascinated by it all. He told our Dad, 'You're doing what I'd LOVE to do...just get on a tractor and work the soil....run a few cattle and just live that kind of life. It's funny how you work hard all your life to get off a farm, when you're young and poor and how hard to work to get back on one, when you can afford it but don't have the time to do it.' Or something like that. Daddy really enjoyed his visit with him and it was when we took Johnny over to see Daddy, that we noticed that he had been talking to Marty Robbins. Daddy introduced us to Marty but Johnny & Marty were already greeting each other as they were friends. It was the neatest thing. We didn't ask for autographs; didn't take pictures because we felt that would be an imposition on these great artists who had so little time, at best, to call their own. So...the photos are only in our hearts. But that's where we carry the beautiful memories, as well."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EDT
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Wed, 17 Oct 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 17 October 2007

FARON YOUNG, THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO: Connie Smith and Faron presented an award at the Country Music Association awards show on October 16, 1972. Connie recalls, "Faron was always razzing me about being a fanatic, and all that, so when we went out on stage to present the award together, I just said, 'Faron, if you won't cuss 'em, I won't bless 'em.'"

I'm back home from a great weekend in Nashville. Eddie Stubbs invited me two years ago to be a guest on his WSM radio show when the book came out. It finally happened, and we had an enjoyable three hours Thursday evening talking about Faron and playing his music. Friday morning I drove to Dickson, Tennessee, for two hours with Chuck Dauphin on WDKN Radio and more Faron music. Friday afternoon Mick Buck gave me a tour of the Marty Robbins exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame. That is well done--I was impressed with how so much information could be compacted into a display. The Southern Festival of Books on Saturday was a new experience for me. I've attended many book festivals but never as an author. Bob Cox and I presented "From the Hills to the Honky Tonks: Two Country Legends." He gave a presentation on Fiddlin' Charlie Bowman, complete with slides and music. Mine was more of an off-the-cuff talk. I gave a few highlights of Faron's life and his influence in Nashville and then explained how I came to write his biography. That afternoon I met Bobby Braddock, who talked about his book, "Down in Orburndale." We bought each other's books and exchanged autographs. Bobby is now working on a book about his Nashville days.

Doug Lippert writes from Indianapolis, Indiana, "I caught you last night on Eddie Stubb's show, and would like to know if/how I can purchase a copy of your new Faron Young bio, inscribed to me, autographed and dated by you. . . . Thank you for your work to chronicle the true story of one of my favorite country music artists."

John Morris sends this update from Canada: "I bring tidings of great joy to you. The book is now in Chapters according to the web site so I will be telling everyone about it for sure." He adds, "I just wanted to write and congratulate you on the wonderful job you did on the Eddie Stubbs show tonight. One minute I'd be laughing the next almost ready to cry. Eddie did a wonderful job just wish I could tell him that."

Mike O'Neill says, "I ordered your book today, your research on this book and country music is extensive. Ed Stubbs said that this is one of the best written books. I have researched and read all that I can on the Golden Age of Country Music from 1950 to 1980 as a hobby. Now that I am semi retired I am still researching country music."

Virgie Warren in Flushing, Michigan, says, "I heard you on WSM Thursday with Eddie Stubbs. Good show. I can't wait to get my book. I ordered it, but haven't received it yet."

Loretta Johnson of IFCO in Nashville writes, "Really enjoyed the interview, one on one, that you had with Eddie Stubbs, last night, on WSM am. I was surprised that the book was already in bookstores; although I knew that it was close. . . . Faron was priceless; it's so sad that he was to the point he was, in his depression, hiding it so well from all who loved him. We pray that he has found peace and forgiveness from the Wonderful Lord. . . . Good luck on the Marty Robbins book, as well."

Chuck Hill writes from Hopkinsville, Kentucky to say he "really enjoyed the book on Faron. Having been a close friend of Charles 'Chickin Hawk' Murphy and Odell Martin. I got to hang out with the Deputies some and go out with them when they worked with out Faron, they could roar. I was lucky to meet Faron at his office at the MCN, he was very nice to me again great book."

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