Back in the 1950s, a fresh-faced country music singer by the name of Faron Young comes into the scene. He starts making hits such as “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young” and “If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’)”. Faron gains a reputation as one of the decade’s preeminent singing cowboys. He maintains a career in the entertainment industry until the early 1990s. Sadly, Faron’s popularity dwindles by the end of his life, and he commits suicide in 1996 no one notices. In 2008, Faron’s classic material is lost in the infamous 2008 Universal Studios fire, calling his legacy into question. Join Facts Verse as we explore the devastating loss of Faron Young.
FARON YOUNG AND HIS FAMILY
Faron Young was born on February 25, 1932, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Faron’s parents are Harlan and Doris, and they operated a dairy farm just outside of the city. Faron was the last of six children, finding himself the youngest of his many siblings. As the young of six, Faron had a challenge standing out from his brothers and sisters. This led to Faron developing some notable talents, such as singing. The young boy begins singing at an early age, it isn’t long before he envisions himself as a pop singer.
Although Faron Young envisions himself as a pop singer. This dream changes when he and his friends catch country music singer Hank Williams performing on Louisiana Hayride. It is a local program broadcast to the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium. Faron impresses by the singer’s performance, as well as the reactions of the crowd! From that moment forward, Faron no longer wanted to be a popular music singer. Instead, he wanted to sing country music.
THE FIRST PERFORMANCE
As Faron Young came of age, he began performing more and more in public. He can be in performing at a local club called the Optimist Club. It is during one of his performances there that Faron eventually catches the eye of honky-tonk singer Webb Pierce. He impresses Faron, it is this connection that leads to the singer getting a gig performing on Louisiana Hayride himself! Faron performs on the program in 1951, the subsequent broadcast brings the young man to attention more than ever before.
During these early years, Faron Young was also attending school. He graduated from Fair Park High School the same year that he made his premiere on Louisiana Hayride. Subsequently, he began attending Centenary College of Louisiana. However, Faron’s other interests are quickly overshadowed by his country music career.
As Faron began making waves in his local area, he also began recording music! Before signing with Capitol Records in February of 1952, Faron releases a piece of material through Gotham Records, in Philadelphia. After Faron signed with Capitol Records, he remains with the prestigious record label for 10 years. During this time he releases his most notable material.
FIRST SINGLE RECORDING
Faron Young’s first single release through Capitol Records comes in the spring of 1952 after he signs with the label. Although the song didn’t chart, it proved to the label that the singer was serious. Faron moves to Nashville, Tennessee, in half of 1952, feeling the big things that will happen in his music career. In October of that year, he released his first charting single, “Goin’ Steady”.
It appears that Faron’s career is on an impressive upwards trajectory. Things are an unfortunate halt when the singer drafts into the United States Army in November of 1952. It follows the release of his first hit single. Faron found himself in basic training as “Goin’ Steady” was climbing the charts. The song peaked at number two on the chart of the most popular country songs. When the army realizes that it’s a star in its ranks, Faron recruits into the United States Army Band. Faron brings into the band to replace the previous member Eddie Fisher, he becomes the band’s first country music singer. He begins touring with the US Army Band, and one of his singles, “If You Ain’t Lovin’”, is climbing up the country charts.
Faron Young discharges from the United States Army in 1954. He comes back to America and continues to release music to immense avail through Capitol Records. Faron would continue working with the label until 1962, releasing many hit honky-tonk songs. Sadly, Faron’s fame dwindles in his later life before his 1996 suicide. He also experiences several controversies in his career leading up to that point. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
After discharge from the army, he continues releasing music through Capitol Records, the most successful period of his career! It lasts from 1954 to 1962, during the country music singers release such hits as “Sweet Dreams” and “Hello Wall”. The prior song was a cover of a Don Gibson tune, while Willie Nelson had initially written the latter song. Willie Nelson’s version of “Hello Walls” didn’t prove as successful as Faron’s cover. Faron turns the song into a crossover hit that impacts much more than just the country charts.
Young’s cover of Nelson’s “Hello Walls” sells over one million copies, leading to the award of a gold disc. Besides achieving success in the recording industry, the 1950s also saw Faron break out into film. In the mid-1950s, he can be in Raiders of Old California, Hidden Guns, Country Music Holiday, and Daniel Boone, TrailBlazer. Faron can also be on television, frequently performing his hit country songs. One of the television programs that Faron can be on is Ozark Jubilee. As its name suggests, Ozark Jubilee was a country music variety show showcasing various artists in the honky-tonk scene.
In 1963, Faron Young made the move from Capitol Records to Mercury Records. This move coincided with a slight change in the singer’s sound and a slight decrease in his popularity. Faron found himself lost in the shuffle for years before releasing his final number one hit in 1971. That hit song calls “It’s Four in the Morning”, and also becomes the singer’s only success in the United Kingdom.
After the release of Faron’s final number one hit, it is downward for the singer until his 1996 suicide. Not only is his music becoming less popular, but his career begins to be mired by various controversies. In 1972, Faron was charged with assault when he spanked a young girl in the audience at a concert he was performing in West Virginia. Faron had claimed that the girl had spat at him, which is what led him to spank her. The country music singer ends up getting off with just a slap on the wrist. He pays a small fine, before moving on with his life. Faron had also begun drinking excessively, and fans began noticing that he wasn’t the same man that he used to be.
In 1979, Faron Young signed with MCA Records, though he only worked with the label for a few years. The singer’s popularity had decreased considerably by that point. Following his release from MCA Records, Faron began working with a small independent label named Step One Records. He signs with the Nashville-based label in 1988 and continues to release material through the label into the early 1990s. Around 1991, Faron concludes that he isn’t welcome in the world of country music anymore and withdraws from the public.
In 1952, while in the army, Faron meets a woman that becomes his first and only wife. That woman’s name was Hilda Macon. The two went on to marry after Faron was discharged, tying the knot in November of 1954. They remained married until 1986, over which time the couple had numerous domestic spats, frequently related to Faron’s excessive drinking. Despite their domestic turmoil, Faron and Hilda consist of four children during their three-decade marriage, Damion, Robyn, Kevin, and Alana.
In 1984, there was an incident in which Faron Young decided to shoot a pistol into the ceiling of his home while his family was present. This resulted in some legal trouble and, inevitably, a divorce trial. After 32 years of marriage, Faron and Hilda officially divorced in 1986. When Faron was asked during the trial if he had been worried that he might have hurt one of his children during the shooting of his pistol within his home, the singer had said that he hadn’t been.
By all accounts, the last years of Faron Young’s life were incredibly dark. Alone without his family and abandoned by the country music scene that had previously held him in such esteem, the singer lived out the remaining years of his life lost and alone before eventually deciding to pull the plug. Faron Young shot himself on December 9, 1996. Few people in the world of country music even noticed at the time, though the singer would end up being posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
Although few people even noticed when Faron Young committed suicide in late 1996, there had been a time several decades prior where the singer had been one of the most popular musicians in country music!
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