Faron Young

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Faron Young
Faron Young.png
Faron Young in 1964
Background information
Birth name Faron Young
Also known as The Hillbilly Heartthrob
The Singing Sheriff
The Young Sheriff
Born (1932-02-25)February 25, 1932
Origin Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died December 10, 1996(1996-12-10) (aged 64)
Genres Country music
Occupations singer, songwriter, movie actor
Instruments guitar
Years active 1951–1994
Labels Gotham, Capitol, Mercury, MCA, Step One

Faron Young (February 25, 1932 – December 10, 1996) was an American country music singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s and one of its most successful and colorful stars. Hits including "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" and "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" marked him as a honky-tonk singer in sound and personal style; and his chart-topping singles "Hello Walls" and "It's Four in the Morning" showed his versatility as a vocalist. Known as the Hillbilly Heartthrob, and following a movie role, the Young Sheriff, Young's singles reliably charted for more than 30 years. He committed suicide in 1996. Young is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Biography[edit]

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana one day before Johnny Cash, Young was the youngest of six children of Harlan and Doris Young. He grew up on a dairy farm that his family operated outside the city. He began singing at an early age. Young who originally wanted to be Pop singer went with some friends to see Hank Williams perform on the Louisiana Hayride, that night Williams did 9 encores and Faron Young was left so impressed that he switched to Country Music instead. He performed at the local Optimist Club and was discovered by Webb Pierce, who brought him to star on Louisiana Hayride on KWKH-AM in 1951. He graduated from Fair Park High School that year and attended Centenary College of Louisiana.

Recording career[edit]

Young recorded in Shreveport, but his first releases were on Philadelphia’s Gotham Records.[1] By February 1952, he was signed to Capitol Records, where he recorded for the next ten years. His first Capitol single appeared that spring.

Young moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and recorded his first chart hit, "Goin’ Steady", in October 1952, but his career was sidetracked when he was drafted into the US Army the following month. The song hit the Billboard country charts while Young was in basic training. It peaked at No. 2, and the US Army Band took the young singer to replace Eddie Fisher on tours—its first country music singer—just as "If You Ain’t Lovin’" was hitting the charts.[1] He was discharged in November 1954.

From 1954 to 1962, Young recorded many honky-tonk classics for Capitol, including the first hit version of Don Gibson’s "Sweet Dreams". Most famous was "Hello Walls," a 1961 crossover hit for Young written by Willie Nelson.[1] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[2]

Faron Young in Raiders of Old California (1957)

During the mid-1950s, Young starred in four low-budget movies: Hidden Guns, Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer, Raiders of Old California and Country Music Holiday. He appeared as himself in cameo roles and performances in later country music movies and was a frequent guest on television shows throughout his career, including ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee. His band, the Country Deputies, was one of country music's top bands and they toured for many years. He invested in real estate along Nashville's Music Row in the 1960s and, in 1963, co-founded, with Preston Temple, the trade magazine, Music City News.

The same year, Young switched to Mercury Records and drifted musically, but by the end of the decade he had recaptured much of his fire with hits including "Wine Me Up". Released in 1971, waltz-time ballad "It's Four In The Morning" written by Jerry Chesnut[3] was one of Young’s finest records and his last number one hit, also becoming his only major success in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at No. 3 on the pop charts. By the mid-1970s his records were becoming overshadowed by his behavior, making headlines in 1972 when he was charged with assault for spanking a girl in the audience at a concert in Clarksburg, West Virginia, who he claimed spat on him,[4] and for other later incidents. In the mid-70s, Young was the spokesman for BC Powder.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Faron Young briefly dated Billie Jean Jones before her marriages to Hank Williams and Johnny Horton. It was through Young that Billie Jean was first introduced to Hank Williams. After their relationship ended Billie Jean married Williams in October of 1952.

In 1952 Faron Young met his future wife Hilda Macon the daughter of an Army Master Sergeant and the great granddaughter of Uncle Dave Macon while Young was stationed at Fort McPherson. The couple married two years later in November of 1954 after Young was discharged from the Army and had four children sons Damion, Robyn and Kevin and a daughter Alana. Faron and Hilda Young divorced after 32 years of marriage in 1986.

Young's later life was plagued with bouts of depression and alcoholism. On the night of December 4, 1984, Young fired a pistol into the kitchen ceiling of his Harbor Island Home. When he refused to seek help for his drinking problem Young and his Wife Hilda separated, sold their home and bought individual houses. When asked at the divorce trial if he feared hurting someone by shooting holes into the ceiling Faron Young answered "Not Whatsoever. I figured if I wanted to shoot holes in the ceiling, I could shoot it anywhere."

Faron Young's son Robyn Young followed him into the Country Music Business starting in 1975. Robyn was the main headliner at his father's night club Faron Young's Jailhouse. In the early 1980s Robyn began touring with his father performing as an opening act.

Damion Young, the oldest of Faron and Hilda Young's four children died on November. 25, 2006 at the age of 51 after suffering a long illness. Coincidently he died at four in the morning, the title of his father's last number one hit and three weeks before the tenth anniversary of his father's death.

Later years[edit]

Young signed with MCA Records in 1979 but the association lasted only two years. Nashville independent label Step One signed him in 1988 where he recorded into the early 1990s (including a duet album with Ray Price), then withdrew from public view. Though new country acts including BR549 were putting his music before new audiences in the mid-1990s, Young apparently felt the industry had turned its back on him.[1] That and despondency over his deteriorating health were cited as possible reasons that Young shot himself on December 9, 1996. He died in Nashville the following day and was cremated. His ashes were spread by his family over Old Hickory Lake outside Nashville at Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's home while the Cashes were away.[6]

Legacy and influence[edit]

  • In 2000, Young was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • The cat owned by Peanuts comic strip character Frieda was named "Faron" after Young, whom Charles Schulz "admired very much",[7] but made few appearances in the strip.
  • A live performance video clip of Young's "It's Four in the Morning" was the first music video to air on CMT when it launched on March 6, 1983.
  • A country song by Tex Garrison mentions Faron Young in his opening lyrics with the lines "Got a stack of records when I was one, listened to Hank Williams and Faron Young."
  • Prefab Sprout recorded a song called "Faron Young" on their album Steve McQueen. The chorus repeats the line "You give me Faron Young four in the morning".
  • Faron's hits "Hello Walls" and "Alone With You" make brief appearances in the Dale Earnhardt biopic, "3"
  • "I Miss You Already" can be heard in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line.

CD Reissues[edit]

Box Sets[edit]

In 2012, the UK-based Jasmine Records released a budget-minded 2 CD box set entitled Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young: The Early Album Collection. The set focused on Young's first four albums. Later in 2012, Real Gone Music released a similar compilation which combined Young's first six albums with key singles.

Two years before Young's death, the German independent record label, Bear Family Records released a box set entitled The Classic Years 1952-1962, which showcased Young's early recordings for Capitol. The box set did not include all of Young's best-known hits and is currently out of print.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

Capitol Records promotional photo

Albums[edit]

Year Album US Country Label
1957 Sweethearts or Strangers Capitol T-778
1958 Object of My Affection Capitol T-1004
This Is Faron Young Capitol T-1096
1959 My Garden of Prayer Capitol T-1185
Talk About Hits Capitol T-1245
1960 Sings the Best Capitol ST-1450
1961 Hello Walls Capitol ST-1528
The Young Approach Capitol ST-1634
1963 All Time Greatest Hits Capitol DT-2037
This Is Faron Mercury SR-60785
Aims at the West 11 Mercury SR-60840
1964 Story Songs for Country Folks 7 Mercury SR-60896
Country Dance Favorites 7 Mercury SR-60931
Story Songs of Mountains and Valleys Mercury SR-60931
1965 Pen and Paper Mercury SR-61007
Greatest Hits Mercury SR-61047
1966 Sings the Songs of Jim Reeves 18 Mercury SR-61058
1967 Unmitigated Gall 18 Mercury SR-61110
1968 Greatest Hits Vol. 2 24 Mercury SR-61143
Here's Faron Young 35 Mercury SR-61174
1969 I've Got Precious Memories 38 Mercury SR-61212
Wine Me Up 13 Mercury SR-61241
1970 The Best of Faron Young 45 Mercury SR-61267
Occasional Wife 31 Mercury SR-61275
1971 Step Aside 19 Mercury SR-61337
Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye 23 Mercury SR-61354
1972 Its Four in the Morning 11 Mercury SR-61359
This Little Girl of Mine 17 Mercury SR-61364
1973 This Time the Hurtin's on Me 19 Mercury SR-61376
Just What I Had in Mind 26 Mercury SRM1-674
1974 Some Kind of a Woman 25 Mercury SRM1-698
A Man and His Music 45 Mercury SRM1-1016
1976 I'd Just Be Fool Enough Mercury SRM1-1075
1977 The Best of Faron Young Vol. 2 32 Mercury SRM1-1130
1978 That Young Feelin' Mercury SRM1-5005
1979 Chapter Two MCA -3092
1980 Free and Easy MCA - 3212
1987 Funny How Time Slips Away (with Willie Nelson) Columbia FC - 39484
Here's to You Step One SOR - 0040
Greatest Hits 1-3 Step One SOR - 43/44/45
1988 Country Christmas Step One SOP - 0059
1990 Memories That Last (with Ray Price) Step One SOP - 0068
1993 Live in Branson Laserlight 12137

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions [8] Album
US Country US CAN Country
1951 "Hot Rod Shot Gun Boogie No 2" singles only
1952 "You're Just Imagination"
"I Heard the Juke Box Playing"
"Tattle Tale Years" This Is Faron Young
"Foolish Pride" singles only
"Saving My Tears for Tomorrow"
"Goin' Steady" 2 This Is Faron Young
1953 "I Can't Wait (For the Sun to Go Down)" 5 singles only
"That's What I'd Do for You"
"I'm Gonna Tell Santa Claus on You"
"Just Married" This Is Faron Young
1954 "They Made Me Fall in Love with You" singles only
"Place for Girls Like You" 8
"If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" 2 This Is Faron Young
1955 "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" 1
"God Bless God" singles only
"Go Back, You Fool" 11
"It's a Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)" 5 This Is Faron Young
1956 "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night" 4
"Sweet Dreams" 2
"Turn Her Down" 9 singles only
"I Miss You Already (And You're Not Even Gone)" 5
1957 "The Shrine of St. Cecilia" 15 96
"Love Has Finally Come My Way" 12
"Vacation's Over"
"Locket"
1958 "I Can't Dance"
"Alone with You" 1 51 Sings the Best
"That's the Way I Feel" 9 singles only
"Last Night at a Party" 20
1959 "That's the Way It's Gotta Be" 14 Sings the Best
"Country Girl" 1
"Riverboat" 4 83
1960 "Your Old Used to Be" 5
"There's Not Any Like You Left" 21 Hello Walls
"Forget the Past" 20
1961 "Hello Walls" 1 12
"Backtrack" 8 89 The Young Approach
1962 "Three Days" 7
"The Comeback" 4 single only
"Down by the River" 9 All Time Greatest Hits
1963 "The Yellow Bandana" 4 114 This Is Faron
"I've Come to Say Goodbye" 30
"We've Got Something in Common" 13
"You'll Drive Me Back (Into Her Arms Again)" 10 singles only
1964 "Keeping Up with the Joneses" (with Margie Singleton) 5
"Old Courthouse" 48 Story Songs for Country Folks
"Another Woman's Man - Another Man's Woman"
(with Margie Singleton)
38 single only
"My Friend on the Right" 11 Story Songs of Mountains and Valleys
1965 "Walk Tall" 10 Greatest Hits
"Nothing Left to Lose" 34
"My Dreams" 14 Unmitigated Gall
1966 "You Don't Treat Me Right"
"Unmitigated Gall" 7
1967 "I Guess I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" 48
"Wonderful World of Women" 14 Greatest Hits Vol. 2
1968 "She Went a Little Bit Farther" 14 32 Here's Faron Young
"I Just Came to Get My Baby" 8 1
1969 "I've Got Precious Memories" 25 I've Got Precious Memories
"Wine Me Up" 2 3 Wine Me Up
"Your Time's Coming" 4
1970 "Occasional Wife" 6 15 Occasional Wife
"If I Ever Fall in Love (With a Honky Tonk Girl)" 4 2
"Goin' Steady" 5 8 Step Aside
1971 "Step Aside" 6 11
"Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye" 9 11 Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye
"It's Four in the Morning" 1 92 1 It's Four in the Morning
1972 "This Little Girl of Mine" 5 3 This Little Girl of Mine
"Woman's Touch"
1973 "She Fights That Lovin' Feeling" 15 6 This Time The Hurtin's on Me
"Just What I Had in Mind" 9 9 Just What I Had in Mind
1974 "Some Kind of a Woman" 8 6 Some Kind of a Woman
"The Wrong in Loving You" 20 22
"Another You" 23 A Man and His Music
1975 "Here I Am in Dallas" 16 49 The Best of Faron Young Vol. 2
"Feel Again" 21 15
1976 "I'd Just Be Fool Enough" 33 I'd Just Be Fool Enough
"(The Worst You Ever Gave Me Was) The Best I Ever Had" 30 The Best of Faron Young Vol. 2
1977 "Crutches" 25 That Young Feelin'
1978 "Loving Here and Living There and Lying in Between" 38
1979 "The Great Chicago Fire" 67 30 Chapter Two
"That Over Thirty Look" 69 68
1980 "(If I'd Only Known) It Was the Last Time" 56 74 Free and Easy
"Tearjoint" 72 singles only
1981 "Until the Bitter End" 88
"Pull Up a Pillow"
1982 "He Stopped Loving Her Today" "Black Tie Country"
1988 "Stop and Take the Time" 100
"Here's to You" 87
1989 "It's Four in the Morning" Greatest Hits 1-3
1991 "Just an Ol' Heartache" single only
1992 "Memories That Last" (with Ray Price) Memories That Last
"Too Big to Fight" (with Ray Price)
"Christmas Song" Country Christmas

B-sides[edit]

Year B-Side US Country Original A-Side
1955 "Forgive Me, Dear" flip "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young"
"All Right" 2 "Go Back, You Fool"
"For the Love of a Woman Like You" flip "It's a Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)"
1956 "You're Still Mine" 3 "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night"
"Until I Met You" flip "Sweet Dreams"
"I'll Be Satisfied with Love" flip "Turn Her Down"
1957 "I'm Gonna Loive Some Before I Die" flip "I Miss You Already (And You're Not Even Gone)"
1958 "Every Time I'm Kissing You" 10 "Alone with You"
"I Hate Myself" 22 "That's the Way I Feel"
"A Long Time Ago" 16 "Last Night at a Party"
1959 "I Hear You Talkin'" 27 "Country Girl"
"Face to the Wall" 10 "Riverboat"
1960 "A World So Full of Love" 28 "Forget the Past"
1961 "Congratulations" 28 "Hello Walls"
1963 "Nightmare" 14 "I've Come to Say Goodbye"
1964 "No Thanks, I Just Had One" (with Margie Singleton) 40 "Keeping Up with the Joneses"
"Rhinestones" 23 "Old Courthouse"
1979 "Second Hand Emotion" 70 "That Over Thirty Look"

Movie roles[edit]

  • 1956 Hidden Guns
  • 1956 Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer
  • 1957 Raiders of Old California
  • 1958 Country Music Holiday
  • 1966 Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar
  • 1966 Nashville Rebel
  • 1967 What Am I Bid?
  • 1967 The Road to Nashville
  • 1977 That's Country

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517608-7 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978), The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.), London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd, p. 141, ISBN 0-214-20512-6 
  3. ^ "It's Four in the Morning" was written at Young's request as he was recuperating from a serious automobile accident in which he suffered head injuries. His tongue had been partly severed in the accident, and it took him several months before he could regain normal speaking ability. He had particular trouble with the "s" sound in most words, so he asked for a song which largely avoided that sound as his comeback effort. (from "Country Classics" radio program)
  4. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517608-7 
  5. ^ Newcomer, Wendy "Got a Headache? Trace Adkins has the Cure" (November 16, 2009) http://blog.gactv.com/blog/2009/11/16/got-a-headache-trace-adkins-has-the-cure/
  6. ^ Live Fast, Die Hard - The Faron Young Story (Diekman)
  7. ^ Schulz, Charles (1975), Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art With Charlie Brown and Others, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, ISBN 0-03-015081-7 
  8. ^ FARON YOUNG SINGLES, LP Discography.

References[edit]

  • Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517608-7 ., p. 606-7
  • Diekman, Diane. "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story." Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007, p. 27

External links[edit]