Monday, 25 February 2013
Faron Young born 25 February 1932
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 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 Singing Sheriff, Young's singles reliably charted for more than 30 years.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on February 25, 1932, Faron Young was the youngest of six children. He grew up on a dairy farm his family operated outside the city and began singing at an early age. He performed at the local Optimist Club and was discovered by Webb Pierce, who brought him to star on the Louisiana Hayride on KWKH-AM radio in 1951. He graduated from Fair Park High School that year and attended Centenary College of Louisiana.
Young recorded in Shreveport, but his first releases were on Philadelphia’s Gotham Records. By February 1952, he was signed to Capitol Records, where he recorded for the next ten years. His first Capitol single appeared that spring. That same year, he was invited to perform regularly on the Grand Ole Opry.
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. 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. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
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.Faron left the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, deciding that it was more profitable for him to tour as a solo artist instead of being restricted to the Opry. Following his departure, Young began to explore a number of different business ventures.
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". Faron left the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, deciding that it was more profitable for him to tour as a solo artist.By the end of the decade, he began to return to honky tonk, most notably with the hit "Wine Me Up," which reached number two upon its summer 1969 release.
Released in 1971, waltz-time ballad "It's Four In The Morning" written by Jerry Chesnut 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, and for other later incidents. In the mid-70s, Young was the spokesman for BC Powder.
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. During the '90s, Young was stricken with a debilitating emphysema. Depressed by his poor health, he shot himself on December 9, 1996, and passed away the next day. Though he was underappreciated toward the end of his career, Faron Young was a groundbreaking vocalist during the '50s, and he remains one of the finest honky tonkers of his time.
(Info edited from CMT & Wikipedia)