Faron Young Biography

Review The Artist (14)

Source: Daniel Cooper
Faron Young-photo
From the early 1950s through the mid-1970s, Faron Young was among the top stars and most colorful personalities in all of country music. Signature hits like “If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’)” and “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young” marked him as a honky-tonk man in both sound and personal style, while other chart-topping singles like “Hello Walls” and “It’s Four in the Morning” showed off his versatility as a vocalist. A music industry entrepreneur, he invested in Music Row real estate, and in the 1960s he published the influential trade paper Music City News. Though his career did not lack for controversy, Young’s voluble, outgoing personality was well received, and the entire community was as shocked as it was saddened when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of sixty-four.

Born in Shreveport and raised on a farm outside of town, Young, as a teenager, was more interested in pop music than country. But that changed when his high school football coach, who moonlighted in a country band, started Young singing at the local Optimist Club and nursing homes. Young then met Webb Pierce and began working with Pierce in clubs and on KWKH. By 1951, Young was appearing on the radio station’s feature program, the Louisiana Hayride.

Though he recorded in Shreveport, Young’s first sides appeared on Philadelphia’s Gotham label. But by February 1952 he had been signed to Capitol Records, for which he would record for the next ten years. His first Capitol single appeared that spring, and soon thereafter he moved to Nashville. He recorded his first chart hit, “Goin’ Steady,” in October 1952, but his career got sidetracked when he was drafted the following month. While in the service, he performed on army recruitment programs and continued to record. He was discharged in November 1954, just as “If You Ain’t Lovin’ ” was hitting the charts.

From 1954 to 1962, Young cut a slew of honky-tonk classics for Capitol, including the first hit version of Don Gibson’s “Sweet Dreams.” Most famous was “Hello Walls,” a crossover smash for Young in 1961. It was written by Willie Nelson, who reportedly pitched the song to Young at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.

In 1963 Young switched from Capitol to Mercury Records. Though initially his Mercury catalog drifted through various bland Nashville Sound stylings, by the end of the decade he had recaptured much of his hard country fire with hits like “Wine Me Up.” Released in 1971, the waltz-time ballad “It’s Four in the Morning” was one of Young’s finest records and his last #1 hit. By the mid-1970s his records were becoming overshadowed by his salty persona. For example, he made headlines in 1972 when he spanked a little girl who was in the audience at a concert in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Young switched labels again in 1979, signing with MCA. The association lasted only two years, and little was heard from Young after that until the Nashville independent Step One picked him up in 1988. He recorded for Step One into the early 1990s (including a charming, if not particularly exciting, duet album with Ray Price), and then withdrew from public view. Though young country acts like BR5-49 were putting his music before a whole new audience in the mid-1990s, Young apparently felt the industry had turned its back on him. That and despondency over his deteriorating health were cited as possible reasons why Young shot himself on December 9, 1996. He died in Nashville the following day.

—Daniel Cooper

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gentleman for sure | Reviewer: jeanette | 8/28/14

I have always liked faron young. it was sad to hear he shot his self. I do not know why people commit suicide. I lost my dear son and I live with that every day. I feel sorry for his children. I hope he had a good relationship with his children. he had a a voice.

What year/date did Faron Young perform at my old High School? | Reviewer: Thankful Fan | 2/26/14

I had the overwhelming joy & shock of seeing & hearing The most incredibly talented, 'Faron Young' with his band at my alma mater, 'East Hartford High School', on Burnside Ave., in E. Hartford, CT, sometime after I graduated in 1978. If anyone knows the exact date or even year that he performed there, I would be very grateful for that info. We had 2 High Schools in town from the early 60s til '85 or '86. After that til presently, they were combined giving the rival 'George J Penny HS' the 'East Hartford HS' name & changing the 'EHHS' my 4 bros. & I went to, into 'East Hartford Middle School'. This might possibly have been its name at the time, but I'm fairly certain it was still in HS status, when Mr. Faron Young gave us a very remarkable performance. His voice was still in full vigor and sweetness as ever. He hadn't missed a thing & to this day I am just as shocked as then when he honoured us with his amazing talent. So if anyone can recall or come by that info, I would be most grateful. A thankful fan.

Dispute Donna L. 5/18/12 | Reviewer: Marcia | 10/31/13

Faron married one time only. I guarantee you that Faron and his wife, did NOT adopt a son that was born from an affair Faron had with another woman. Faron had four children by his wife, Damion, Robyn, Alana and Kevin. None of which were adopted. Faron has NO other sons, by any woman. How do I know? Take if from someone IN THE FAMILY!

Thinking of days gone by | Reviewer: Daris/ NC | 6/30/13

Faron was 1 of my favorites through life. I play a little with several groups in NC & do "Four In The Morning", If You Ain't Lovin', You Ain't Livin' & Wine Me Up." MISS YOU FARON as well as a lot of the others who have gone.

Faron's children's names &ages | Reviewer: Joanne | 3/21/13

I have been a country music fan all my life, I like the old style country music , not
What they call country today. I have always loved Faron's music and he had a
wonderful singing voice, his son Robyn sounds right like his father, I would like
to hear more music from Faron &Robyn singing together, I would also like to
know where I can buy their CDs, I would like to know where I can buy Robyn's
CD's? Also Faron's children's names & ages? Please print an answer to my
questions, keep up the good work. Thank you from Joanne in Pennsylvania

Did you know he had a son by another woman when he was married to his wife? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/28/12

I met the lady that adopted his son another woman had while he was married. They live in NASHVILLE now. His son and the woman that adopted him. His son changed his last name to Young after he found out who his father was.

seranade in the service | Reviewer: Donna L | 5/18/12

My husband tells of his years in the service, and listening to Faron sing and play. We listen to his seranade still today. My husband talks of how much Faron was enjoyed by the servicemen.

Would like to know if Faron was ever married | Reviewer: Mariane | 3/27/11

I seen Faron Young in the 50's at a small dance hall outside Potlatch, Idaho, Called Riverside Park and have all of his albums. I was 13 and 14 years old and he was always such a great country artist. I remember well the blue suit with white that he wore. I wondered if he ever married.

Family Bible | Reviewer: Rose Mueller | 6/10/10

I think I am right, did Faron Young record Family Bible and how
do I get a DVD with the song on it. I loved his music and voice.
I can't download on my cell phone to recieve music.
Please answer me.

Faron's impact on country music | Reviewer: Geoff Price | 8/14/09

From Riverboat, to Hello Walls, to Backtrack, and It's Four in the Morning, this guys could pretty much sing it all. Likely in the same league as Marty Robbins when it came to versatility with a country song. Where o where is this type of talent today. God how I miss those good ole honky tonk, fiddle laced tunes of yesterday. Like ole Waylon said in one of his songs, "We need a change." Miss ya Faron and Buck, and Waylon, Marty and Wynn.

Greatest Fan | Reviewer: SUSIE | 5/25/09

I began listening to Faron Young in 1961 when I was 14, I thought I was in love with this great artist, I think I have all of his albums and would like to have some DVD's of him, I went to Nashville year after year to see him, but finally got to see him in Orlando, Florida in the 1980's. I think he was the greatest Country Music singer of all times, the way he presented himself and his voice could never be duplicated. He was the greatest.

A Fan | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/23/08

as a honky tonk musician for over 25 years I can say that if you do a Faron song you will have the crowd in your hand. especially if they like to dance. Thanks Faron

Sad I never got to see Faron Young in Person | Reviewer: George C | 10/16/07

Thought your review of Faron Young was very good.
Would have liked to know more about his personal
life,like was he married and did he have any
Faron Young was a GREAT singer, I have listened to
him for years, I think he desires a lot more credit
then he is given.

Did Faron Young ever marry? | Reviewer: DOn Noble | 9/14/06

Sure would like to know if he had family or died alone??? Was he ever married?

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