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Wed, 13 Feb 2008
Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter -- 13 February 2008

This is my periodic newsletter on "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story," published last year by the University of Illinois Press, and on progress toward writing "Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins." Please let me know if you want to be removed from this list.

I'll be selling and signing "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Sunday afternoon, February 24. It's so exciting to be able to commemorate Faron's birthday at the home of the Louisiana Hayride. And I'll get to meet Claude King, because there's a concert for his 85th birthday from 2:00-4:00. I'd love to meet as many of you as can join us.

Thanks to Ryan Patrick for interviewing me on his Saturday Morning Oldies Show, a classic country show on WOOZ-FM in southern Illinois:

Andy Williford, Faron's boyhood friend, writes, "What a wonderful book and such a masterful piece of writing that captures the life of a very dear friend. A life that only his fans would know and see, however as you well know, the story is far from complete and it would have been a pleasure to sit down and talk with you about one of the most giving and compassionate people I have ever known. Faron was not humble in the presence of anyone except two people and he remained so until his death. Good luck on the Marty Robbins book. I am looking forward to reading it, because of one of the most melodious voices I have ever heard. I know this is not important, but Faron told me one time that Loretta Lynn had the smoothest and most beautiful skin of any woman he had seen in Nashville."

John Morris writes from Canada, "I sent my Uncle and Aunt in Nova Scotia Canada a copy for Christmas and they loved it. Also I got one for my friend Sonya that helped me with our Faron Young Tributes on Trent Radio and she wanted me to congratulate you on a wonderful book and just wished we could have been with you in Nashville. . . . I am still enjoying your news letters. I will be ordering the new cd next week and can't wait to get it. . . . Your great book raised $155.00 for the Trent Radio Marathon. . . . Thanks and am reading the book for the third time. I have it on tape now."

Debra asks from the UK, "Could you ask among the Marty Fans if anyone has ever heard Marty sing 'the wonder you perform' please?"

David Stallings says, "Thank you again for Faron's book. I think about him every day. I thought that I knew him well until I read the book. He was, is and always will be one of my very favorite people and singers. You did a wonderful job!" David is starting a new TV show in July. Go to
www.TexasCountyLine.tv and click on "View Sample" to see part of the first show.

Sue Middagh writes, "I have just finished Live Fast, Love Hard (which was sent to me by my best friend who knew Faron in the 60's) & loved the book. I am eager to read Marty Robbins' biography. . . . I knew his sister in Douglas, Arizona from 2000 until her death about 4 years later. She had written a short account of part of her life, which I have. Her name was Lillie Nevitt."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EST
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Wed, 30 Jan 2008
Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter -- 30 January 2008

This is my periodic newsletter on "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story," published by the University of Illinois Press in 2007, and on progress toward writing "Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins." Please send me a note if you want your address removed from this list.

The Deputy reunion on the Midnite Jamboree (November 10, 2007) is now on-line! Check it out at

Liz and Casey Anderson sent me their re-release of Faron's "Are You Hungry? Eat Your Import!" The new 4-song CD, titled "Buy American," includes three other songs Faron recorded on the same 1982 session. You can order the CD from

This is from a music blog that appears on the website of a Seattle weekly paper, "The Stranger":

Thanks to James McGrath Morris for providing the link (http://thebookreport.net) to Book Report, a weekly AM radio show in Monroe, Louisiana. I was interviewed on the 23 January show that focused on the Louisiana Hayride. Also interviewed was Joey Kent, co-author with Frank Page of "Elvis: The Louisiana Hayride Years, 1954-56."

Edith Aderhold in Leesburg, Florida, says, "I am about half way through reading your book on Faron Young and enjoying it immensely. I've always been a huge fan of Marty Robbins too and will look forward to your book in the future. My main reason for writing is to ask you if you have the book 'Fast Cars and Country Music' by Barbara J. Pruett. . . . If you don't have this book and would like to borrow mine, I will be more than happy to loan it to you. You can return it to me whenever you are finished with it. Well back to my reading about Faron for now. Thanks for the personalized insert for my book."

Response: Thanks for the kind offer, Edith. I bought her book several years ago.

Bill Lawrence writes from Bend, Oregon, "I was a very, very strong fan of Marty Robbins as well as Faron Young, and not to be forgotten Eddy Arnold was the very cream of them all. I have almost all of MR records as well as Eddy Arnold and many of Faron Young. Eddy is still with us, and the other two boys I hope are singing for the Lord. I have seem them many, many times and never was disappointed in their music or stage programs. In two more months I will be 80 years old. I still play these boys music . . . and am so happy that you brought up Marty. I loved that man dearly. Happy New Year my dear enjoy reading everything you send."

Ken Ward in Memphis says, "I just finished reading Live Fast, Love Hard and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. The book is so well researched, and you really did a great job of capturing Faron's many sides. This is a great service to country music, and I'm sure that many fans like myself truly appreciate the effort. I'm a long time fan, and have hosted country shows here on WEVL in Memphis, where Faron is always featured prominently!"

Arie den Dulk says, "I am spell bound by your writing, no kidding. This is a story that grabs you and you devour it. Faron would have been very proud about it. Marty Robbins would be proud about your book about him, too. I reckon all successful performers must have one or more dark sides, I see it in Faron, I saw it in others, Jim Reeves included, too. People close to these artists usually suppress memories about these character sides. It may take a couple of days to finish the book as I can not spend more than 90 minutes per day on it. I'm considered to be a fast reader, but I take it slowly on this one. I did read the entries on Jim Reeves of course. What I read about the Nashville scene so far, was very interesting and informative."

Ross in Tennessee writes, "I got to see Marty Robbins several times in our (mutual) lives. Altho he was born much sooner than I was. There were two country music entertainment locations within driving distance of the house where I was brought up. I went to see (whoever) every other week at the two places. My personal favorites by Marty Robbins were his albums of 'Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs' and 'More Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs.' Listening for 'Big Iron,' 'El Paso,' 'Billy The Kid,' 'Strawberry Roan,' and so forth was how I kept myself amused in bad weather at home. But one of my favorites was 'Felina.'"

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EST
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Wed, 9 Jan 2008
Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter -- 9 January 2008

This is my periodic newsletter on "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story," published by the University of Illinois Press in 2007, and on progress toward writing "Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins." Please send me a note if you want your address removed from this list.

I learned of Ken Nelson's death when Arie den Dulk called me from Holland on Monday. Ken died Sunday, only a few days short of his 97th birthday. When I went to his house in 2000 to interview him about Faron, he was busy writing his autobiography. A card file and yellow legal pads sat on his dining room table. He told me his goal was to get it published before he kicked the bucket. He eventually self-published because mainstream publishers weren't interested in behind-the-scenes guys. "My First Ninety Years Plus Three" came out last year. Although he suffered from shingles the last several years, Ken remained independent and living alone in his house. His contributions to the country music industry are much greater than he received recognition for. Read his autobiography and you'll be amazed at the energy of this man--even in retirement. He did more traveling after his retirement than most people do in a lifetime.

Marty Robbins didn't talk about his World War II combat experiences. Many veterans have waited until their 70s and 80s before telling their stories, and Marty didn't live that long. While transcribing tapes of Marty's conversations with Ralph Emery, I longed to hear them discuss the Navy. But whenever Ralph brought it up, Marty cut him off.
Ralph: "What did you do in the Navy?"
Marty: "Not much, really, of anything."
Ralph: "How about those landings in the South Pacific? You were part of
those landings, weren't you?"
Marty: "Yeah. Yeah."
Seaman Second Class Martin David Robinson reported aboard USS Crescent City (APA 21) at Noumea, New Caledonia, in September 1943. The Allied forces invaded Bougainville in the Solomon Islands on 1 November 1943. USS Crescent City landed portions of the 3rd Marines at Cape Torokina in Empress Augusta Bay. In a brief comment to Ralph, Marty said, "I worked on a landing craft. [My job] was to lower and then bring up the gate, what we called the ramp--you dropped it when you'd get on the beach."
Ralph: "You ran one of these into the beach."
Marty: "Yeah."
Ralph: "Under fire."
Marty: "Yeah."
And that's all Marty had to say. I'm hoping other interviews exist where he went into greater detail. I've already made several trips to the National Archives in search of information to put Marty's Navy history together. I'd appreciate any help readers can provide.

Debra writes from the U.K., "I have just finished reading your Faron Young book and I so very much enjoyed it. I'm actually in tears now after the final chapter. I feel for Faron what he went through in the last weeks/days and I feel for his family, that man was the greatest singer who ever walked the earth. I wish I'd had the chance to see him perform but sadly I never did, thank you for an honest enjoyable interesting and wonderful book."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:01 AM EST
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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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