Upper Marlboro Moments
« October 2007 »
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
View Profile
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
Post Comment | Permalink
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
Post Comment | Permalink
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."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wed, 10 Oct 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 10 October 2007

"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" is available online and in most bookstores. To get a free personalized bookplate, regardless of where you bought the book, follow the "Get Your Personalized Bookplate" link at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f07/diekman.html. The University of Illinois Press will forward the bookplate to me, and I'll sign and send it to you.

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AGO: Faron recorded "Goin' Steady" on October 12, 1952, a month before his induction into the Army. He'd written the song while on the road touring with Hank Snow. He used the melody of Claude King's "She Knows Why," and he received advice on the lyrics from his manager, Hubert Long, and Snow's frontman, Hillous Butram. The song went into the Central Songs catalog, a publishing company owned by Faron's record producer, Ken Nelson. "Goin' Steady" was Faron's fourth release on Capitol Records and his first to chart. It debuted on the Billboard chart shortly before Faron completed infantry basic training at Fort Jackson, and it eventually hit the number two spot.

Thursday October 11, I will be the guest of Eddie Stubbs on WSM Radio in Nashville, from 8:00-11:00 PM. We'll talk about Faron and play his music. You can listen to 650 AM over the Internet at http://www.wsmonline.com/.

Friday, October 12, Chuck Dauphin will devote his 6:00-10:00 AM shift on WDKN Radio (1260 AM) in Dickson, Tennessee, to Faron's music. I'll be in the studio with him the second half of the show to discuss Faron's life. The station's Web site is http://www.wdkn.com/.

Saturday, October 13, I will be at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. My 11:00-12:00 session, in Room 30 of the Legislative Plaza, is titled "From the Hills to the Honky Tonks: Two Country Legends." The other panelist is Bob Cox, who wrote a biography on Fiddlin' Charlie Bowman. A book signing follows the session.

Linda Elliott Clark in Alexandria, Virginia, says, "It is so good to read the comments from people who knew Faron. I didn't know him and never met him, but I can say I always liked his music and to me he always had a sweet look about his face."

Jo Hamrick writes, "The letter from the lady who said she wishes she had known Faron. Many people did know him and if he liked you would give you the world if he could. There are many people who have read about him, seen him on TV and maybe even in person but did not know that if they were at a show he was not like many and refuse to talk to you. . . . He believed if he was doing a show, if there were only one person there, that person got the same show as if there were 1,000. He said they paid to see a show and they will get it."

Charlie Roberts, one of Faron's Army buddies, writes from Union City, TN, "I received my signed bookplate from you and I want to thank you so much for your kindness.  I have finished your book and I must say you did yourself and Faron proud. I enjoyed every word of it and there were a few passages in it that kinda made me choke up a bit. Yes us old men do get sentimental at times too. Memories tend to do that sometimes. Many fond memories were brought back in your telling of his story. I well recall the first time I saw Faron's big blue car sitting there on the company parking lot and I thought "Hey, he's not supposed to do that," but when did anything keep him from doing something just because he wasn't supposed to. Diane, you did a masterful job in remembering Faron's life to his friends and fans worldwide and I for one appreciate the time and effort you devoted to this labor of love which I'm sure your book was. Again thank you for a masterful job in telling Faron's story as I am sure he would have liked to have it told. You told it like it was."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:05 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wed, 3 Oct 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter --3 October 2007

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY-TWO YEARS AGO: A Grand Ole Opry package came to the Dade County auditorium in Miami, Florida, on October 4, 1955. Minnie Pearl and Faron Young were two of the performers. Country music was popular in Miami at the time and a huge crowd pushed at one another to get tickets. Gordon Terry and the other Deputies sold pictures of Faron to the audience before the show. One fan remembers being invited to Faron's dressing room, which was filled with local deejays and musicians and songwriters. Everybody talked about the music business and asked Faron about being in the movies. Faron, with a number one record and two movies completed, probably felt on top of the world that night.

Jean Earle writes from the UK, "I have now finished reading your book. I can appreciate how much work and hours you must have put into your research. Well done. It is a shame that you were restricted with the amount of words that you were allowed to use as I wish you could have included more about Faron's admirers, i.e his loyal Fans. He was loved and admired in many countries as was shown by the membership of his International Fanclub. Faron started the fanclub in 1981. Faron always supported the Country Music scene in England by appearing at shows here and giving interviews on the radio. One of our top Country groups, the Frank Jennings Syndicate, were very proud when Faron agreed to be their honorary Fanclub President. Faron kept in touch, with lovely hand written letters  which I know Frank and the boys really treasured. I think you have done a grand job with this book and I am now looking forward to seeing how your book on Marty Robbins is progressing."

Jessica Jacobson, fellow writers' critique group member and world traveler, says, "I bought your book recently off Amazon and just received it! It looks beautiful! . . . I wasn't able to check on the availability in Bolivia because new books are pretty tough to find there. There isn't a big selection of books in English, and a lot of books are just photocopied and sold, rather than sold from the publisher. I think if someone there wanted it, they'd probably be best off ordering it from Amazon or elsewhere online." Read about Jessica's travels at

Jo Hamrick writes from West Virginia, "We just returned Sunday from Nashville. . . . went to E.T's record store and there was the book. I take back what I first thought about the cover. sorry. it is nice. . . . I am going to be there Nov.10 hopefully to get to visit with the guys. We did go to Hall of Fame. Everyone was plugging a book on Marty Robbins.???? quite a large paperback. I want to get everything done here. so that I can be free  for my next trip to Nashville in Nov."

Sandy Cooper in Kansas says, "The great comments just keep rolling in, Diane. These letters make me wish I'd known Faron!"

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:31 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wed, 26 Sep 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 26 September 2007

"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" is available online and in most bookstores. In addition, the University of Illinois Press offers free personalized bookplates by following the "Get Your Personalized Bookplate" link at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f07/diekman.html. They get sent to me, and I sign and send them to you.

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO: When I checked to see what Faron was doing on the last birthday of Marty Robbins, I was surprised to find the similarities in their schedules. Both concluded a tour on Saturday, the 25th, the day before Marty's birthday, and started another on Wednesday. The surprising thing was that they both performed at the county fair in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, Faron on Saturday (ending his tour) and Marty on Wednesday (beginning a tour). So I would guess Marty celebrated his 57th birthday at home. Today would have been his 82nd birthday.

Friday, October 12, Chuck Dauphin will devote his entire 6-10 AM shift on WDKN Radio in Dickson, Tennessee, to Faron's music. I will be in the studio with him the second half of the show to discuss Faron's life.

Saturday, October 13, I will be in Nashville at the Southern Festival of Books. My 11:00-12:00 session is titled "From the Hills to the Honky Tonks: Two Country Legends." A book signing follows the session. I don't yet know who the other legend is.

Saturday, November 10, we're celebrating book publication with a Faron Young tribute show during the evening at the Troubadour Theater in the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. No details on that yet, other than to announce that Robyn Young and his band, NEXTAKYN, will open the show.

Saturday, November 10, the evening culminates with a reunion of the Country Deputies on the Midnite Jamboree at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. Darrell McCall will host the show, and it will be carried live on WSM 650 Radio. See
http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm for more info--or to order the book.

Barbara Holtmann of Trent Radio in Norwood, Ontario, writes to say, "Hello Diane, it was nice speaking with you - we actually had a few calls saying how much they enjoyed the interview."

Response: Thanks for inviting me to be on your radio show Saturday morning, Barbara. Our readers can listen to this volunteer-run radio station at

Jean Earle writes from the UK, "We were happy to receive your book yesterday. I am very impressed!! Started reading it straight away....sitting comfortable, with a nice cup of tea. Did you know that Faron enjoyed a good cuppa of tea? While he was in England for the Wembley show he came out to see us in our little home in south London. He was driven to our house by a friend Monika Kaye who was a P.R. for Mervyn Conn.who had organised the weekend festival. Just imagine the thrill it was for us to see Faron walking up our garden pathway!! He stayed the afternoon with us ....and the reason I am telling you this is because he sat in our front room, and very much enjoyed drinking a cup of tea from a china cup!!! and eating a salmon sandwich. He was such a lovely man and we treasured the time he allowed us to share with him."

Linda Clark in Washington DC says, "I'm a country music fan from way back and always liked Faron Young as well as so many others. I'm glad to see that there are others out there who are trying to keep the country music legends going. . . .Marty Robbins was a great singer also. I would have to say that my all time favorite was Conway Twitty. He used to have so many hits that would tug at my heart strings. . . . Country music was very big here in the DC area in the 60's."

Another note from Faron's friend, Andy Williford: "Faron's nickname growing up was Puppy, given to him by Tommy Dean, one of the inner circle. Faron wore his hair at the time that made him look like a puppy dog. Tommy told him he looked just like a little puppy dog. After that we all called him Puppy, right up to his death, as a matter of fact, Tommy was in Nashville and talked to Faron and wanted to go see him, but Faron made an excuse for him not to. Tommy could hear something strange in his voice but didn't think much of it at the time. Very shortly after that, Faron committed suicide."

Betty Allbritton Strange writes, "I, too, went to Fair Park with Faron, and Andy Williford asked me if I'd sent this to you.  Faron was one of my friends in school and after graduation. In the early 80's, when I worked for NSU College of Nursing, he would sometimes call and chat awhile. Bobby, my husband, and I always tried to remember to send him a birthday card (February 25), and he'd call and thank us for it. The last year he lived, I sent him his birthday card, and he was on a road trip somewhere, evidently. In April, I got a call from him, and he went to apologizing for not getting around to thanking us for his card any sooner, but seems like his secretary had, erroneously, misplaced some of his mail from February, and didn't give it to him till April! . . . Faron sent us, the next couple of weeks, two 8 x 10 pictures - one black and white one and one in color, autographed, of course, saying he loved us. I have the colored one framed and in my den. That was the last time I got to speak to him. . . . He was such a sweet character, and I do miss getting a phone call or letter from him ever so often."

Charlie Roberts in Union City, TN, says, "I got your great book last week I must say that it surpasses all of my expectations. Diane, my friend, you are to be commended on writing a story of a man of exceptional talent who is at the same time a complex Individual with many of the demons common to others. From those of us who knew the man and loved his music I thank you for giving us this definitive look at a man and a legend whose story needed telling. You are to be commended for a job masterfully done."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wed, 19 Sep 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 19 September 2007

"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" is available online and in most bookstores. In addition, the University of Illinois Press offers free personalized bookplates by following the "Get Your Personalized Bookplate" link at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f07/diekman.html. We're celebrating publication with a reunion of the Country Deputies on the Midnite Jamboree, Saturday, November 10, 2007, at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. See http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm for more info--or to order the book.

FARON YOUNG, THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO: Faron was in England when he did an interview with Bob Powel on September 19, 1969, for "Country Music People." He listed the Deputies at the time as Dave Hall on bass, Ernie Reed on fiddle, Doug Jernigan on steel, Cootie Hunley on drums, Charlie Murphy on lead, and "myself playing like Chet Atkins on my guitar." Bob said, "A few years ago your recordings were more modern than now. Why have you reverted to your old style?" Faron explained that he'd gone through a period of trying to repeat the pop success of "Hello Walls," but "I wasn't selling country records or pop records either. I thought what the hell am I doing? I'm a country singer; I'd better get back over there where I belong. So I picked up a couple of fiddles and started doing country music again."

Jean Earle writes from the UK, "Terry Counts tells me that it is Billy Deaton's birthday tomorrow....her old boss as I am sure you already know. I have asked her to give him our very best wishes when she phones him tomorrow (Monday).  He was always so very kind to us when we called in at his office, taking the time out of his busy day to spend time talking with us. He even took us out for a lovely lunch one visit."

Harvey McFadden writes from Texas, "Can you believe it?  I performed at the Y O Ranch last Saturday night. Sang for almost 5 hours. The headliner was David Frizzell. . . . It's actually closer to 15 or 20 miles off I-10 but still out in the country even today."

Joan Orsini-Wood says she bought the book for Ron Rankin, who "loved Faron--says he used to come to Berk Sprgs/Martinsburg and sing for his annual home shows, Rankin homes........... And they became good friends."

John Gervickas writes, "Diane, I just finished your book. You did a wonderful job. Faron is one of my favorite singers, and I had the honor of meeting him once. It brought tears to my eyes to hear how sad his last few years were, but overall he had quite a life. I was stunned when I heard of his suicide. Thanks for the book."

Jimmy McDonough says, "Got the book today. It looks spectacular, I can't wait to devour the contents. Even a few quotes from that man of few words Ben Keith!  And let me state for the record I love the cover. The quote from Glenn Sutton was a beautiful addition. He would've loved the final product. Best of luck on the Marty Robbins project."

Brian French, a former shipmate from NAS Jacksonville AIMD, writes, "I
completed 8 years in the U.S. Navy and I am proud to have served in your
command during my shore duty tour. In my sea stories, your name comes up as
someone I greatly respected and admired. . . . Faron Young's story should be
very interesting! I'm proud to have served with you in the world's greatest

Gary Presley writes, "I always find it odd that people expect heroes to live perfectly. Faron Young was a human being, mortal like the rest of us, but he was also an artist with a gift he could share with others, bringing joy and happiness into the world. That he was able to do this in spite of his demons should be admirable rather than 'depressing.' And that makes it a story of triumph."

Maheen Wickramasinghe says, "I was absolutely disgusted with the appalling comments about the hard work you put into your book. Please, do not let those type of people discourage you. You have done many, many research and interviews on this book and also I know your up and coming Marty Robbins book is really going to be a well done complete project. How, just how, can Ann say such an insulting thing is totally beyond me. I mean, throwing Faron's CD's in the trash? Come on!"

Jo Hamrick in West Virginia weighs in with this note: "If the lady who is so angry about the book has such things to say she obviously did not know him at all. He was who he was, no making impressions to make people think he was more. Those of us who loved him knew all sides of Faron. it is too bad that she had such a bad impression on the book or. more importantly. on Faron. I don't like for anyone to put him down. No one is without faults and he would have been the first to tell you that. it is a shame she wants to trash his music but .why not sell it to someone who really cared for him?"

Terry Counts writes, "I can't wait on this book...the review that was so horrible from a 'fan'. what'd she expect? Faron was no saint, but he was a good man, kind, considerate and would do most anything for anybody...except when he was drinking.  Well, HELL. Show me 1 person who drinks...who isn't a complete butt when drunk? I have been around 'em all my life, musicians, singers, and most do drink, some to excess...but when they're "straight" you can't beat them hands down...for loyalty, kindness and courtesy!!!!!"

John Morris, who is waiting impatiently for the book to reach the Chapters bookstores in Canada, says, "I got a catalog from the publisher and we read what was in it and it sounded fantastic and I learned things I didn't know." He adds, "I just cannot believe a true fan of an artist would pitch all their music in the trash cause of what someone said in a book. . . . I guess there's no room for an artist to be a human being if you take this kind of thinking."

Andy Williford checks in again to say, "I have a couple of great memories of Faron and our childhoods. Faron was raised on the old Hatcher Plantation on the corner of The Old Jefferson Road and The Pines Road in Shreveport. He and I used to play in the cottonseed meal that they fed to the cows. His mother would come out in the backyard when she wanted him to do some chores and yell, FARON!!! FARON!!!, I know your out there, you better, (expletives).  He would answer just to me, 'I ain't coming.'  My aunt Lula, my mother's sister, lived on one of the other corners of the same roads. Faron, my cousin Bill, and I sat on the back door steps many afternoon after school, and my aunt would always come to the back door screen and also yell, 'Faron, I am sick of listening to that loud guitar, get off my porch steps and  go home.'  I can't even remember how old we were. There are about ten (10) of us in his close inner circle growing up in Shreveport, and afterwards until his death, and I just wish you could have known about us before your book, however, I for one am very proud of you for writing such a wonderful book about our friend. Thanks again and good luck."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:03 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wed, 12 Sep 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 12 September 2007

"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" is now available online and in most bookstores. In addition, the University of Illinois Press offers free personalized bookplates by following the "Get Your Personalized Bookplate" link at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f07/diekman.html. You will need to order your book separately. If you'd like to publicly share your comments about Faron's biography, here's the location on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/3dsu2a. We're celebrating publication with a reunion of the Country Deputies on the Midnite Jamboree, Saturday, November 10, 2007, at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. See http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm for more info--or to order the book.

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY-TWO YEARS AGO: On September 14, 1985, Faron played a show with Cal Smith and Jack Greene at a "little ranch" in Kerrville, Texas. Faron said, "When you turn off the main highway, you get ten miles down a gravel road to this great huge compound. It was so much money around there, the place actually smelled like a billfold.  They had every kind of food conceivable." He said, "They must have had three or four swimming pools, I don't know, but it rained about two inches, so there was one hell of a swimming pool. You ought to have saw it--it got so muddy, but the rain finally did quit. About 20 minutes into my show the electricity knocked the whole ranch out. The generators come on, but they were lighting candles. But I never saw--like these women wearing $2000 dresses. They had mud all over the bottom of 'em. And the guys with these thousand dollar alligator boots. . . . That was the durndest party I ever saw, it's called the Y O Ranch, out of Kerrville, and the money they take in goes to charity. They had 5000 people at $100 a head. I didn't get paid that much."

Bill Mack says, "Let's hook up for a telephone on-the-air interview! I really want to help on your book! I plan to connect with Robyn, soon."

Response: Thanks, Bill, for interviewing Robyn Young and me on your XM Satellite Radio show on 6 September (which was Robyn's birthday). My brother and sister in South Dakota listened to the show. I hope many of our newsletter readers caught it.

David Allan writes from the UK, "I've just received 'Live Fast Love Hard' and wanted to congratulate you on a biog that is not only impeccably researched, extremely easy to read but also captures totally the heart and soul of Faron's music. I shall be saying so in the October edition of the UK's Country Music People journal!"

Ray Emmett says, "I finished the book today. I was alright until the last chapter, when I just lost it and cried my heart out again. Good job. See ya in Nov."

Linda Kyle, Ray Emmett's daughter, writes from Colorado, "Look forward to reading this book! Thanks for writing about him, and although I never got to meet Marty - I'd say he and 'The Hag' are both great singers/songwriters that I'd admired about as much as Faron...and look forward to Marty's book as well."

Joni Reed lets us know why her husband, Ernie Reed, won't be at the Deputy reunion: "Oh, I know we wanted to be there badly! His schedule this fall sort of limits him to being here in Missouri most of the time. We live about 75 miles from Branson now....and he'll be working there most of the week until the end of November--in fact, I go to the show with him every night so I can share the driving.....no time for what would have been a wonderful side trip!"

Ann Prestage writes, "I just finished reading the biography of Faron Young. You must have gotten most of your information from his ex wife or enemies. That is the worst book I have ever read about any human being. You had nothing to say except a bare mention of a few good deeds he had done. It was the most depressing book I have ever read. I was a Faron Young fan, but no more. I have all his CDs, but they will be trashed. Thanks for nothing."

Andy Williford says, "I want to tell you on behalf of myself and all of Faron's childhood friends, how much we appreciate the publication of the book about a very outstanding talent. He was very close, up until his death, to all of us. I will tell you a story about the time when Faron came to Dallas to perform at Cowboys. He called me and I picked him up at the hotel ( he almost always flew and his bus was parked behind Cowboys). We sat and talked before he went on stage, just him and I, and during our conversation, he said to me, 'Andy, you know I am going to have to die before I get inducted into The Country Music Hall Of Fame.' He said that it already has happened to some of his friends. My wife and I was watching the country music awards show some years back and I watched and listened to Travis Tritt make the induction speech. My wife saw big tears in my eyes and she asked why? I said, 'Look at this and what a shame that he is not around to see it.' Willie Nelson, at one time, was trying to get the proper people to look into this miscarriage of honors. Incidentally, I may have told you that D.J. Fontana was in our class."

Juanita Buckley writes from Glendale, Arizona, "I will be moving to Willcox, Arizona, sometime in October 2007. They asked me over a year ago to move my Marty Robbins Exhibit to Willcox. I tried to find a place as the City doesn't think Marty Robbins is anything in Glendale, he not only was born here but put Glendale on the map all over the world. I'm tried of fighting with them to realize what a great man he was, they should be proud that he was born in Glendale. Marty told me I would have a problem and I really thought I could make them see what a great Man he was. Then he died before I could move to Arizona but I kept my promise to him to open an Exhibit for him. I did but I was spending my own money and it caught up to me, I had to sell the building, but I have not given up hope. So I will try again. But this time I will have the City Of Willcox behind me. It will benefit Them as well as The exhibit. So if you come to Arizona I will be in Willcox . . . . We need to keep Marty out there every day for ever."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Wed, 5 Sep 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 5 September 2007

We'll be celebrating publication of "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" with a reunion of the Country Deputies on the Midnite Jamboree, Saturday, November 10, 2007, at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. See http://etrecordshop.com/mj.htm for more info--or to order the book. The University of Illinois Press offers free personalized bookplates at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f07/diekman.html. Submit the form by email using the button provided, or print it and send by fax or mail. You will need to order your book separately. If you'd like to publicly share your comments about Faron's biography, here's the location on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/3dsu2a

FARON YOUNG, FIFTY YEARS AGO: As the rock 'n' roll craze took over the music business in 1957, Faron worried about his future as an entertainer. "Hell, a hillbilly couldn't get a job," he said later. With his earnings cut in half, he told himself, "Oh, my God! I'm going to be poor!" On September 6, 1957, he became a father for the second time, with the birth of Robin Farrell. Hilda and Faron liked unique names. Hilda recalls watching the movie "Robin Hood" about that time, and her dad came up with Farrell--to sound like Faron but still be different. Baby Robin (who later changed his name to Robyn and who will be appearing with the Deputies on the Midnite Jamboree) joined two-year-old Damion in the Youngs' Brush Hill home. Happy birthday, Robyn!!

Leon "Wahoo"and Charlotte Sutton will be at the Deputy reunion. Charlotte says, "Our youngest daughter and son in law are giving us this trip for our Christmas present....We already have the book and Leon has laughed so much he has cried, we are really looking forward to being there. I think it will do him good to see the 'ole gang.'"

Red Moore writes, "I was reading Friday's Doug Davis country music newsletter and saw where Gino King passed away Aug. the 8th... I had been trying to locate him the past couple of years without much luck and often wondered what happened to him... We used to play together off and on for several years and I lost track of him when I quit music and moved to Arkansas in 76. Gino was a fine musician and also a great singer and played a mean lead guitar. . . . I always thought Faron was one of the best in country music, a little wild and ornery some times but a lot of us were back in our younger days. Gino told me some tales and having played with a lot of them myself... I still use the guitar strap he gave me back in the 60's."

Jay Tuttle writes from Oklahoma City, OK, "I received my copy of the book a little over a week ago and I'm halfway through it. You did a fantastic job!!!! Now we only have to get your signature on it. . . . You really did a great job on this one, I can't wait for the Marty Robbins one. . . Thanks again for a very well written bio. of my favorite C&W artist. I learned much more than I thought I would about the man behind the glitz and glamour."

Maheen Wickramasinghe in Canada says, "I, too, am a huge Eddy Arnold fan and it certainly is a surprise Faron loved Eddy's music as well. Anybody would love Mr. Arnold for he had a wide range of styles. Congratulations on the book again and I'm sure looking forward to reading the articles on Marty! . . . The Midnite Jamboree by the way is always archived on Ernest Tubb's site and anybody can hear archived broadcasts of shows. Just thought I'd pass that on. It's gonna be a great night indeed! Will listen to it when it archives."

Jo Hamrick writes from West Virginia, "Once on 4th of July we were with Faron at Wheeling Jamboree. his last song made the hair stand up on your arms. it was 'Mansion over the Hilltop.' I was thinking about that a month or so ago and asked my son in Baltimore if he had it. I thought we had all of Faron's songs but he seems to have more. he did have it and 29 other gospel songs and sent me copies. I haven't quit playing it in my car yet. Great it is only in the box set but worth the money. I just miss him more and more."

Don Head in Corpus Christi, Texas, writes, "My mother's stage name was Martha Lynn. She was a member of the Hayride in the 50s. . . . Faron was a good man, it's a shame that his depression was not treated. He and my Mom were close friends for life. I look forward to your book on Faron. . . . As a kid, I remember Faron, David Houston, Bob Luman, Horace Logan and Johnny Horton visiting our home. Little did I know that they were stars. Just friends of my Mom & Dad. Mom passed away from cancer in 1999. She took the death of Faron very hard."

Terry Counts in Tennessee says, "I am looking forward to November 10th and will probably get Faron's book then...I already have so many 'autographs' from that turkey...my favourite is the letter he and all the Deputies sent me from Germany...they toured over there and I wanted them to bring me back a cuckoo clock...so they all wrote, drew a clock on the letter and signed it. . . . Looking forward to the Robbins thing, too...lots of stuff going on with him right now."

Dominique "Imperial" ANGLARES sends this note from France: "Thanks for the last newsletters about Faron and glad to read such enthusiastic comments about your work. Glad to know your work about Marty is on the way . . . . I noticed in the newsletter the name of Gene Dunlap and I assume that's the one who worked on the Louisiana Hayride as member of The Dunlap Brothers and had the great rockin' 'Made in the Shade' record on 'Hitt'. . . . Almost nothing is known about Gene Dunlap and I will be glad to be able to work out something about him on web and magazines with his help."

Marvin Rainwater checks in from Minnesota to say, "Faron and I went thru a lot together. Having our song 'I MISS YOU ALREADY' in the movie Walk the Line....should create some interest....We also played for the president and family years ago in Constitution Hall in Wash D.C."

David Stallings writes, "Just ordered 2 copies from Amazon. Can't wait to read it! Giving one copy to an uncle in Houston who was also friends with Faron from the 'Dancetown USA' days. Good luck with the book. I hope you sell millions!"

Former Deputy fiddler Ron Knuth in Texas says, "Sure have enjoyed all the info over the last couple years. . . .It sounds like an exciting time and I'm happy for you on your book. I bet it will do great. Me and Dicky Overby have been working with Darrell again for some time. Know Darrell is sure looking forward to coming up there. Unfortunately me and Dicky are not going to be able to make it. When I worked with Faron, Ray and Richard where there. Haven't seen them since. I'm going to mail Ray today. Thanks again for all your great news. Can't wait to get the book."

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:02 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Wed, 29 Aug 2007
"Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" newsletter -- 29 August 2007

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 10, 2007, at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville. We'll be celebrating publication of "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story" with a reunion of the Country Deputies on the Midnite Jamboree. I will also be in Nashville for the Southern Festival of Books, October 12-14. We are working on events in the Washington DC/Baltimore area, Shreveport, and several locations in Texas.

For those who can't make it to an event, the University of Illinois Press has created a way to get a personalized autograph. You will need to order your book separately; it is available from the University of Illinois Press, Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and at all bookstores. You can order your free personalized bookplate here:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f07/diekman.html. Submit the form by email using the button provided, or print it and send by fax or mail. Please write clearly and provide all contact information in case the publisher has questions about your request.

If you'd like to publicly share your comments (favorable or otherwise) about the book, here's the location on Amazon.com:

FARON YOUNG, TWENTY YEARS AGO: On August 27, 1987, Faron guest-hosted "Nashville Now." I wish the episode could be issued on DVD. It illustrates Faron's ability as interviewer and host and shows his vulnerable side. He admits to being nervous on live TV but still comes across as confident and comfortable. And, of course, the humor. When Tommy Cash said, "I got into real estate," Faron responded, "My ex-wife got into real estate. She took my house. I love that old sayin'--they was talkin' about Zsa Zsa Gabor bein' a great housekeeper. Cuz every time she got a divorce, she kept the house. I always thought that was hilarious, 'til it happened to me. It isn't too funny." When two callers didn't know the answer to the weekly trivia question, Faron told the third one, "Any thing else you want to ask the guests before I find out how dumb you are?" He concluded the show with, "Okay, folks, put the popcorn down, cuz I'm expectin' all you folks out there to use both your hands right now with a big round of applause for all of our super guests."

Tracy Pitcox writes from Texas, "I am almost finished with the book. It is great and loved all the 'never told before stories.'  It will forever be known as the 'Faron Young Book.' Enough said."

Berna Woodard, "a big Faron & Marty fan" in Montrose, Colorado, says, "I just received this book on Faron and can hardly put it down. I ordered directly from the Publishing Company in hopes it would get here sooner than from the stores, and it did. It is everything I thought it would be. Congratulations, I am sure it will be a success! Can't wait for the one on Marty Robbins."

Frank Chilinski writes from Mansfield, Connecticut, "I bought your book at Barnes and Noble. . . . I was not able to put it down, and I have read the entire book from beginning to end. It is simply WONDERFUL................It reads great, and paints such a illustrative picture of a man who, I thought I knew a little about........but after reading your book, I realize how little I really knew! . . . Thank you again so much for one of the best biographies I have EVER read!!!! (And I have read hundreds, maybe even thousands). . . . I was pleased and relieved that you didn't do what too many music biographers do --- that is, you did not waste time going on and on about every recording session, every song, etc......No more than was necessary. You spend just the right amount of time on the music, but more importantly, you spent it on Faron's life."

Maheen Wickramasinghe, country music piano player and musician in Canada, writes, "Wow! I can hardly wait to listen to this outstanding book on our hero, Faron! You can be sure I will be getting a copy of it and I will get somebody to scan it for me so that my talking screen reader will read it. Now, I would love to be subscribed to your newsletters about Marty Robbins just like with these unbelievable Faron newsletters. I'm curious, will this book talk about Marty being a shy person? I know that he was a pretty shy man but boy, what a talented singer song writer he was! . . . I am a 22 year old visually impaired male and I am starting to make a career in country music. . . . I am willing to send anybody a copy of an album I made back in 2005 in Sri Lanka shortly after the tragic Tsumani. . . . If you would like to contact me by email
maheen5894@sympatico.ca I will tell you all about it! I included a Faron Young song, Hello Walls, and a Marty Robbins number A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation."

Response: I will eventually change this from a Faron Young to Marty Robbins newsletter, probably in a year or so. Yes, I will talk about Marty's shyness. Right now, I'd guess it was probably his biggest hurdle.

Ron Reagan writes, "I know we all love Faron and so it's not hard to recommend anything of his, but I was totally blown away by a song of his I've never heard until recently. I know it was standard fare in Nashville for artists to do 'cover' versions of the big hits and Faron was no exception. I recently bought a huge lot of 8-track tapes and there were 3 Faron tapes in there. On one of the tapes was Faron's version of Hello, Darlin'. I've heard other cover versions before, but this one was the best!!! Faron gave that song, even though it was a cover version, everything he had!!! For anyone interested, the title of the album (or in this case, 8-track) is Step Aside."

Wayne L Kepner says, "WOW !!!!!!! THIS IS WAY COOL NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please tell me this will be available over the internet for those of us unable to travel! Congratulations on the book Diane, I can't wait to get mine."

Response: WSM Radio, 650 AM, broadcasts the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree every Saturday night, and it can be found on the Internet at

Bill Lawrence writes from Bend, Oregon, "I still listen to his records along with Marty Robbins & my all time # 1 Eddy Arnold, who really changed hillbilly music into country & love songs. If I remember right Faron also was a fan of Eddy's thank you Diane keep up the good work."

Response: Yes, Faron was an Eddy Arnold fan. He told an interviewer in 1992, "When I got to listening to country, my very first introduction to country was Eddy Arnold. Eddy has always been one of my favorites; he still is one of my favorites.  My sister even gave me albums of his one Christmas. I learned everything on 'em. I wore Eddy Arnold albums out."

Barbie Corwin sends an update on her steel guitar player husband, Hank: "It's been a really hectic month here. Hank was in the hospital in July & now again in Aug. I think all the meds they're giving him for his heart are affecting his kidneys. The doctors just have to get his medications coordinated. . . . I don't think we'll be able to make it in Nov., but we'll be thinking about everyone. Congratulations on the book publication."

Gino King passed away in his sleep Wednesday night, August 8, 2007, fifteen days before his 70th birthday. Condolences may be sent to:
The Family of Gino King
c/o Bob Low
2913 Lakeshore Drive
LaCrosse WI 54603
Gino was Faron's frontman and bass player in 1962-63. I talked to him several times on the telephone and had hoped to meet him someday.

Posted by Diane Diekman at 12:01 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older