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Faron Young

Capitol Records promotional photo
Background information
Birth name Faron Young
Also known as The Hillbilly Heartthrob
The Singing Sheriff
Born February 25, 1932(1932-02-25)
Origin Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Died December 10, 1996 (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 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. He committed suicide in 1996. Young is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.



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.

Recording career

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 number two, 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.[2] 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.[3]

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, The 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 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 number 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.

Later years

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 young country acts like BR5-49 were putting his music before new audiences in the mid-1990s, Young apparently felt the industry had turned its back on him.[5] That, and despondency over his deteriorating health, were cited as possible reasons why Young shot himself with a revolver on December 9, 1996. He died in Nashville the following day and was cremated.

Legacy and influence


Studio albums

  • 1957 Sweethearts Or Strangers (Capitol T-778)
  • 1958 Object of My Affection (Capitol T-1004)
  • 1958 This Is Faron Young (CapitolT-1096)
  • 1959 My Garden of Prayer (Capitol T-1185)
  • 1959 Talk About Hits (Capitol T-1245)
  • 1960 Sings The Best (Capitol ST-1450)
  • 1961 Hello Walls (Capitol ST-1528)
  • 1961 The Young Approach (Capitol ST-1634)
  • 1963 All Time Greatest Hits (Capitol DT-2037)
  • 1964 Memory Lane (Capitol DT-2037)
  • 1965 Falling in Love (Capitol DT-2307)
  • 1966 If You Ain't Lovin' You Ain't Livin' (Capitol DT-2536)
  • 1966 It's Great Life (Tower DT-5022)
  • 196? 3 Country Gentlemen split LP: Faron Young with Claude King & Carl Perkins (Hilltop JM-6011)
  • 1966 Faron Young (Hilltop JS-6037)
  • 1968 The World of Faron Young (Tower ST-5121)
  • 1968 Just Out of Reach (Hilltop JS-6062)
  • 1969 I'll Be Yours ( Hilltop JS-6073)
  • 1963 This Is Faron (Mercury SR-60785)
  • 1963 Aims At The West (Mercury SR-60840)
  • 1964 Story Songs for Country Folks (Mercury SR-60896)
  • 1964 Country Dance Favorites (Mercury SR-60931)
  • 1964 Story Songs of Mountains and Valleys (Mercury SR-60931)
  • 1965 Pen and Paper (Mercury SR-61007)
  • 1965 Greatest Hits (Mercury SR-61047)
  • 1966 Sings The Songs of Jim Reeves (Mercury SR-61058)
  • 1967 Unmitigated Gall (Mercury SR-61110)
  • 1968 Greatest Hits 2 (Mercury SR-61143)
  • 1968 Here's Faron Young (Mercury SR-61174)
  • 1969 I've Got Precious Memories (Mercury SR-61212)
  • 1969 Wine Me Up (Mercury SR-61241)
  • 1970 The Best (Mercury SR-61267)
  • 1970 Occasional Wife (Mercury SR-61275)
  • 1971 Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye (Mercury SR-61354)
  • 1972 Its Four in the Morning (Mercury SR-61359)
  • 1972 This Little Girl of Mine (Mercury SR-61364)
  • 1973 This Time The Hurtin's On Me (Mercury SR-61376)
  • 1973 Just What I had in Mind (Mercury SRM1-674)
  • 1974 Some Kind of Woman (Mercury SRM1-698)
  • 1974 A Man and His Music (Mercury SRM1-1016
  • 1976 I'd Just be Fool Enough (Mercury SRM1-1075)
  • 1977 The Best 2' (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 w/ Willie Nelson (Columbia FC - 39484)
  • 1987 Here's To You (Step One SOR - 0040)
  • 1987 Greatest Hits 1-3 (Step One SOR - 43/44/45)
  • 1988 Country Christmas (Step One SOP - 0059)
  • 1993 Live in Branson (Laserlight 12137)


Year Single Chart Positions [7]
US Country US
1951 "Hot Rod Shot Gun Boogie No 2"
1952 "You're Just Imagination"
"I Heard The Juke Box Playing"
"Tatle Tale Years"
"Foolish Pride"
"Saving My Tears For Tomorrow"
"Goin' Steady" 2
1953 "I Can't Wait (For The Sun To Go Down)" 5
"That's What I'd Do For You"
"I'm Gonna Tell Santa Claus On You"
"Just Married"
1954 "They Made Me Fall In Love With You"
"Place For Girls Like You"
"If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')" 2
1955 "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" 1
"God Bless God"
"All Right" 2
"It's A Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)" 5
1956 "I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night" 4
"Sweet Dreams" 2
"Turn Her Down" 11
"I Miss You Already (And You're Not Even Gone)" 5
1957 "He Was There"
"Love Has Finally Come My Way" 12
"Vacation's Over"
1958 "I Can't Dance"
"Alone With You" 1 51
"That's The Way I Feel" 9
"A Long Time Ago" 16
1959 "That's The Way It's Gotta Be" 14
"Country Girl" 1
"Riverboat" 4
1960 "Your Old Used To Be" 5
"There's Not Any Like You Left" 21
"Forget The Past" 20
1961 "Hello Walls" 1 12
"Backtrack" 8
1962 "Three Days" 7
"The Comeback" 4
"Down By The River" 9
1963 "The Yellow Bandana" 4
"Nightmare" 14
"We've Got Something In Common" 13
"What Will I Tell My Darling"
1964 "Keeping Up With The Joneses" (w. Margie Singleton) 5
"Rhinestones" 23
"Honky Tonk Happy" (w. Margie Singleton)
"My Friend On The Right" 11
1965 "Walk Tall" 10
"Nothing Left To Lose" 34
"My Dreams" 14
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
1968 "She Went A Little Bit Farther" 14
"I Just Came To Get My Baby" 8
1969 "I've Got Precious Memories" 25
"Wine Me Up" 2
"Your Time's Coming" 4
1970 "Occasional Wife" 6
"If I Ever Fall In Love (With A Honky Tonk Girl)" 4
"Goin' Steady" 5
1971 "Step Aside" 6
"Leavin' And Sayin' Goodbye" 9
"It's Four in the Morning" 1 92
1972 "This Little Girl Of Mine" 5
"Woman's Touch"
1973 "She Fights That Lovin' Feeling" 15
"Just What I Had In Mind" 9
1974 "Some Kind Of A Woman" 8
"The Wrong In Loving You" 20
"Another You" 23
1975 "Here I Am In Dallas" 16
"Feel Again" 21
1976 "I'd Just Be Fool Enough" 33
"(The Worst You Ever Gave Me Was) The Best I Ever Had" 30
1977 "Crutches" 25
1978 "Loving Here And Living There And Lying In Between" 38
1979 "The Great Chicago Fire" 67
"That Over Thirty Look" 69
1980 "(If I'd Only Known) It Was The Last Time" 56
"Tearjoint" 72
1981 "Until The Bitter End" 88
"Pull Up A Pillow"
1988 "Stop And Take The Time" 100
"Here's To You" 87
1989 "It's Four in the Morning"
1991 "Just An Ol' Heartache"
1992 "Memories That Last" (w. Ray Price)
"Too Big To Fight" (w. Ray Price)
"Christmas Song"

Movie roles

  • 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


  1. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195176087  .
  2. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195176087  .
  3. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195176087  .
  4. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195176087  
  5. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195176087  .
  6. ^ Schulz, Charles (1975). Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art With Charlie Brown and Others. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. ISBN 0-0301-5081-7.  
  7. ^ FARON YOUNG SINGLES, LP Discography.


  • Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195176087  ., 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

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