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Faron Young

Originally known as "the Hillbilly Heartthrob" and "the Singing Sheriff," Faron Young had one of the longest-running and most popular careers in country music history. Emerging in the early '50s, Young was one of the most popular honky tonkers to appear in the wake of Hank Williams' death, partially because he was able to smooth out some of the grittiest elements of his music. At first, he balanced honky tonk with pop vocal phrasing and flourishes. This combination of grit and polish resulted in a streak of Top Ten hits -- including "If You Ain't Lovin'," "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young," "Sweet Dreams," "Alone With You," and "Country Girl" -- that ran throughout the '50s. During the '60s, Young gave himself over to country-pop, and while the hits weren't quite as big, they didn't stop coming until the early '80s. Through that time, he was a staple at the Grand Ole Opry and various television shows, including Nashville Now, and he also founded the major country music magazine, Music City News. Most importantly, he continued to seek out new songwriters -- including Don Gibson, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson -- thereby cultivating a new generation of talent.

Faron Young was born and raised outside of Shreveport, LA. While he was growing up on his father's dairy farm, he was given a guitar, and by the time he entered high school, he had begun singing in a country band. Following high school, he briefly attended college, before he left school to join the Louisiana Hayride as a regular performer. While on the Hayride, he met Webb Pierce and in a short time, the pair were touring throughout the South, singing as a duo in various nightclubs and honky tonks. In 1951, he recorded "Have I Waited Too Long" and "Tattle Tale Tears" for the independent label Gotham. After hearing the singles, Capitol Records decided to buy Young's contract away from Gotham in 1952. That same year, he was invited to perform regularly on the Grand Ole Opry.

Just as his career was taking off, Young was drafted into the Army to serve in the Korean War. Assigned to the Special Service division, he sang for the troops in Asia and appeared on recruitment shows; while on leave, he recorded his debut on Capitol, "Goin' Steady." Upon its early 1953 release, it climbed to number two on the country charts and it was followed in the summer by "I Can't Wait (For the Sun to Go Down)," which hit number five. Young was discharged from the Army in November of 1954, releasing "If You Ain't Lovin," his biggest hit, shortly after he returned. The single was quickly followed in the spring of 1955 by "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young," which became his first number one hit, and the number two single, "All Right."

As soon as he returned to the States, Faron Young began turning out singles at a very rapid pace, and most of them charted in the Top Ten. In addition to recording, he began appearing in films, starting with 1955's Hidden Guns. Over the next few years, he was in no less than ten films -- including Daniel Boone, Road to Nashville, Stampede, A Gun and a Gavel, That's Country, and Raiders of Old California -- and was featured in many television shows. Upon his first film appearance, Faron earned the nickname "the Young Sheriff," which eventually metamorphasized into "the Singing Sheriff." Young's career truly began to hit its stride in 1956, as "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night" and "You're Still Mine" reached number four and three, respectively, during the spring, followed by the number two "Sweet Dreams" later that summer. "Sweet Dreams" was not only his biggest hit since "All Right," but it gave songwriter Don Gibson his first significant exposure. Soon, Young developed a reputation for finding promising new songwriters, bringing Roy Drusky's "Alone With You" to the top of the charts in the summer of 1958 and taking Willie Nelson's "Hello Walls" to number one in 1961; Young was one of the first artists to record a Nelson song.

Young continued to record for Capitol through 1962, when he switched labels and signed with Mercury. In general, Young's Mercury recordings were more pop-oriented than his Capitol work, possibly because "Hello Walls," his last number one for Capitol, reached number 12 on the pop charts. Throughout the early and mid-'60s, Young's music became more polished and produced, yet his audience didn't decline dramatically; he may not have been hitting every top of the charts with the same frequency as he was during the '50s, but he was still a consistent hitmaker, and singles like "You'll Drive Me Back (Into Her Arms Again)," "Keeping Up With the Joneses," and "Walk Tall" climbed into the Top Ten.

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, including a Nashville-based racetrack and helping to run the country music publication Music City News, which he co-founded with Preston Temple in 1963. 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. For nearly five years, Young continued to reach the Top Ten with regularity, including such hits as "Your Time's Comin'," "If I Ever Fall in Love (With a Honky Tonk Girl)," "Step Aside," and "It's Four in the Morning." During this time, Young continued to appear on television shows and he made the occasional appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. During the late '70s, his hits gradually began to fade away. In 1979, he left Mercury for MCA, but none of his singles for the new label reached the Top 40.

For most of the '80s, Young performed concerts, maintained his business interests, and appeared on television; in short, he was acting like the country music statesman he was. In 1988, he briefly returned to recording, signing with the small label Step One, and had two minor hits on the label. After that brief burst of activity, he retreated to semi-retirement, occasionally making concert appearances.

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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Faronyoung
Four Walls is my #1 country hit of all time and Faron Young did it best!
Faron was GREAT!!! I miss him! I hate the so called country artist of today...its not country music! He one of of the best!!!!!!!!
Faron Young knew how to really sing a true country song. One of the best country singers that we were lucky to have enjoyed .
Now this is country
Faron young was one of the very best!
Would you please play selections from Faron's Rivetboat album
i love hymns but please other music too
Does anyone have faron's "RIVERBOAT" ALBUM? I would gladly pay for a copy. I think it was his best ever. Please respond to fdjdagttt@gm a i l . c o m
i love Faron Young onway Twitty Ray Price Ferlin Huskey and others like these please play these great singers and not the grap
i love this station but i just wished you did not play the stupid songs that you play please olay good classic music not crao
nbillingsley 6
very great singer and entertainer sorely missed
Faron was depressed over health problems.He shot himself in the head Dec 9,1996 such a sad ending for such a great singer.
Probably not a lot of Faron Young listeners didn't know he commited suicide in Tampa,FL.a few years ago. he was named an honorary sheriff in Nashville,Te n n . W a s one of the great ones.
nisonca go where you might be appreciated I would guess it would be a rap stn. You have no business listening to good music
dyork3974
This is great country music.
no greater singer then Faron Young he's gone but will never be forgotten by his fans he had a very smooth voice
i was born in NYC NY have always been a honkey tonker and will be till I die.
chicknhead30
I am 61yrs old when I was a kid my Dad would take me to a Beer Joint with him. He would buy me a Coke and give a 50 cents are so. I could get ten plays on the Juke Box. I would play Faron, Patsy and Ray Price ETC, that was a big treat for me. I am a guitarist and bass player here in Austin. Today's country can't compare with the story's and compassion of the singers and Musicians back then. There is just something about that pedal steel in the back ground.
hey rascal flatts- this is REAL country. you're a boy band. faron rules and you suck dick!
Faron Young was great. So sorry he is gone. But his music is so good and still with us. Thanks Faron.
Faron Young was a super intertainer. . . t o o bad he is not with us anymore''all the excellent singers are gonebut at least they left us there beautiful musik..thank s ,Pandora for playing their songs..
Faron Young is Unknown Hinson's one & only true favorite Country/West e r n Artist! He was pretty smooth!
It is not generally knnwn that Faron recorded the first true Soul music which didwell but was not a smash.
newtexan8
I grew up in Australia and always liked Faron. I was about 6 when 'A Place for Girls like You' came out on the back side 'Chapel in the Moonlight' and always remembered the words of the song.
When he came to Houston in the mid 80's I met him at the show and he invited me up on stage to sing it with him. What a treat.
was he really a sherriff ?
droptop07
LOVE IT
faron young was the best ever
faron young was in the army with my daddy,i grew up with faron on my old time record player.
Grew up in New Mexico in the 50's & 60's. Faron Young was always a favorite.
beaandlavern e w e n t w o r t h
When Faron came to Stoneboro, Pennsylvania & paly at the Kish Hotel, Brother we had us some fun. We becamefriend s & he never made it up this way that I wasn't there to greet him. This worlds loss was HEAVENS GAIN. Because HEAVENS CHOIR certainly became a whole lot SWEETER sounding the day he joined it. Love ya' Faron & SURE DO MISS YOU.
He was my all time favorite. I saw him four times in Dallas in the late 80's, and he was always fun, funny, and gracious. He invited us onto his bus, before a show, and regaled us with funny stores. He told me about "Honkytonk Girl, a song picked for song of the year in early 70's. Tom T. Hall wrote it for him. After that they had a falling out, I believe he said Tom ran off with Faron's secretary, and after that Faron refused to sing the song again. It was a favorite of mine, so he told me "you
one of the best
saw him in Atlanta in the late 60's. What a wonderful show!!!
creolelorrai n e d u l e c h e
one of the best voices ever....will nashville evre remmeber their roots of success...?? ? ! ! !
debnron0
Very great singer, one of the finest with Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Don Gibson and others. What a great era these guys were from!!!!
It doesn't get any better the Faron!!!
My Mom met Faron When he played at the Hay Loft in New Milford Ct., in the late 70's. He was a great performer& Mom says Faron was one of us He loved his audience &gave 200%TO THEM!!!!
did you know faron young was the founder of music city news
mothers best..E. E. L . VERMONT..FAR O N YOUNG''
she loves him ;;
" "Seasons Come. Seasons Go" is one of his greatest performances . His enshrinement in the Hall of Fame was fully justified!
Always thought he was great
FARON IS ONE OF THE BEST. HIS KIND OF MUSIC STAND OUT. YOU CAN TELL IT FARON EVEN BEFORE HE START SINGING. I LOVE HIS STYLE.
When Faron came to Rhode Island to perform I always got to go up on stage and sing Keeping up with the Joneses with him. He always treated his fans like family. He will always be my all time favorite.
sandrakbetts
Faron is my favorite country singer of all time...My favorite song is I Miss You Already. I miss him !!!! I love this style of music which is a lost art, for sure.
one word--- great
he was one of the best countrey singers of all time along with Johnny Cash,Waylon, and and so on. He has been missed a lot
I first became acquainted with Faron Young while stationed overseas. Four in the Morning was and still is one of my favorite all-time songs. I guess I am just a honky tonker at heart as it is still my favorite kind of music and they ain't makin' any more of it.
dawabigdaddy
like the old boy said if you don't like faron young and this kind of country music you an't worth a s t all said and done.
lep8361
Just A great artist
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