Faron Young

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Faron Young
Faron Young.png
Faron Young in 1964
Background information
Birth nameFaron Young
Also known asThe Hillbilly Heartthrob
The Singing Sheriff
The Young Sheriff
Born(1932-02-25)February 25, 1932
OriginShreveport, Louisiana, United States
DiedDecember 10, 1996(1996-12-10) (aged 64)
GenresCountry music
Occupationssinger, songwriter, movie actor
Years active1951–1994
LabelsGotham, Capitol, Mercury, MCA, Step One
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Faron Young
Faron Young.png
Faron Young in 1964
Background information
Birth nameFaron Young
Also known asThe Hillbilly Heartthrob
The Singing Sheriff
The Young Sheriff
Born(1932-02-25)February 25, 1932
OriginShreveport, Louisiana, United States
DiedDecember 10, 1996(1996-12-10) (aged 64)
GenresCountry music
Occupationssinger, songwriter, movie actor
Years active1951–1994
LabelsGotham, 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 successful and 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 Young 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 one day before Johnny Cash, Young was the youngest of six children of Harlan and Doris Young. He grew up on a dairy farm that his family operated outside the city. He began singing at an early age. Young who originally wanted to be Pop singer went with some friends to see Hank Williams perform on the Louisiana Hayride, that night Williams did 9 encores and Faron Young was left so impressed that he switched to Country Music instead. He performed at the local Optimist Club and was discovered by Webb Pierce, who brought him to star on Louisiana Hayride on KWKH-AM in 1951. He graduated from Fair Park High School that year and attended Centenary College of Louisiana.

Recording career[edit]

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 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.[1] 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.[1] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[2]

Faron Young in Raiders of Old California (1957)

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.

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[3] 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,[4] and for other later incidents. In the mid-70s, Young was the spokesman for BC Powder.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Faron Young briefly dated Billie Jean Jones before her marriages to Hank Williams and Johnny Horton. It was through Young that Billie Jean was first introduced to Hank Williams. After their relationship ended Billie Jean married Williams in October of 1952.

In 1952 Faron Young met his future wife Hilda Macon the daughter of an Army Master Sergeant and the great granddaughter of Uncle Dave Macon while Young was stationed at Fort McPherson. The couple married two years later in November of 1954 after Young was discharged from the Army and had four children sons Damion, Robyn and Kevin and a daughter Alana. Faron and Hilda Young divorced after 32 years of marriage in 1986.

Young's later life was plagued with bouts of depression and alcoholism. On the night of December 4, 1984, Young fired a pistol into the kitchen ceiling of his Harbor Island Home. When he refused to seek help for his drinking problem Young and his Wife Hilda separated, sold their home and bought individual houses. When asked at the divorce trial if he feared hurting someone by shooting holes into the ceiling Faron Young answered "Not Whatsoever. I figured if I wanted to shoot holes in the ceiling, I could shoot it anywhere."

Faron Young's son Robyn Young followed him into the Country Music Business starting in 1975. Robyn was the main headliner at his father's night club Faron Young's Jailhouse. In the early 1980s Robyn began touring with his father performing as an opening act.

Damion Young, the oldest of Faron and Hilda Young's four children died on November. 25, 2006 at the age of 51 after suffering a long illness. Coincidently he died at four in the morning, the title of his father's last number one hit and three weeks before the tenth anniversary of his father's death.

Later years[edit]

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 new country acts including BR549 were putting his music before new audiences in the mid-1990s, Young apparently felt the industry had turned its back on him.[1] That and despondency over his deteriorating health were cited as possible reasons that Young shot himself on December 9, 1996. He died in Nashville the following day and was cremated. His ashes were spread by his family over Old Hickory Lake outside Nashville at Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's home while the Cashes were away.[6]

Legacy and influence[edit]

CD Reissues[edit]

Box sets[edit]

In 2012, the UK-based Jasmine Records released a budget-minded 2 CD box set entitled Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young: The Early Album Collection. The set focused on Young's first four albums. Later in 2012, Real Gone Music released a similar compilation which combined Young's first six albums with key singles.

Two years before Young's death, the German independent record label Bear Family Records released a box set entitled The Classic Years 1952-1962, which showcased Young's early recordings for Capitol. It did not include all of Young's best-known hits and is currently out of print.[citation needed]


Capitol Records promotional photo


YearAlbumUS CountryLabel
1957Sweethearts or StrangersCapitol T-778
1958Object of My AffectionCapitol T-1004
This Is Faron YoungCapitol T-1096
1959My Garden of PrayerCapitol T-1185
Talk About HitsCapitol T-1245
1960Sings the BestCapitol ST-1450
1961Hello WallsCapitol ST-1528
The Young ApproachCapitol ST-1634
1963All Time Greatest HitsCapitol DT-2037
This Is FaronMercury SR-60785
Aims at the West11Mercury SR-60840
1964Story Songs for Country Folks7Mercury SR-60896
Country Dance Favorites7Mercury SR-60931
Story Songs of Mountains and ValleysMercury SR-60931
1965Pen and PaperMercury SR-61007
Greatest HitsMercury SR-61047
1966Sings the Songs of Jim Reeves18Mercury SR-61058
1967Unmitigated Gall18Mercury SR-61110
1968Greatest Hits Vol. 224Mercury SR-61143
Here's Faron Young35Mercury SR-61174
1969I've Got Precious Memories38Mercury SR-61212
Wine Me Up13Mercury SR-61241
1970The Best of Faron Young45Mercury SR-61267
Occasional Wife31Mercury SR-61275
1971Step Aside19Mercury SR-61337
Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye23Mercury SR-61354
1972Its Four in the Morning11Mercury SR-61359
This Little Girl of Mine17Mercury SR-61364
1973This Time the Hurtin's on Me19Mercury SR-61376
Just What I Had in Mind26Mercury SRM1-674
1974Some Kind of a Woman25Mercury SRM1-698
A Man and His Music45Mercury SRM1-1016
1976I'd Just Be Fool EnoughMercury SRM1-1075
1977The Best of Faron Young Vol. 232Mercury SRM1-1130
1978That Young Feelin'Mercury SRM1-5005
1979Chapter TwoMCA -3092
1980Free and EasyMCA - 3212
1987Funny How Time Slips Away (with Willie Nelson)Columbia FC - 39484
Here's to YouStep One SOR - 0040
Greatest Hits 1-3Step One SOR - 43/44/45
1988Country ChristmasStep One SOP - 0059
1990Memories That Last (with Ray Price)Step One SOP - 0068
1993Live in BransonLaserlight 12137


YearSingleChart Positions [8]Album
US CountryUSCAN Country
1951"Hot Rod Shot Gun Boogie No 2"singles only
1952"You're Just Imagination"
"I Heard the Juke Box Playing"
"Tattle Tale Years"This Is Faron Young
"Foolish Pride"singles only
"Saving My Tears for Tomorrow"
"Goin' Steady"2This Is Faron Young
1953"I Can't Wait (For the Sun to Go Down)"5singles only
"That's What I'd Do for You"
"I'm Gonna Tell Santa Claus on You"
"Just Married"This Is Faron Young
1954"They Made Me Fall in Love with You"singles only
"Place for Girls Like You"8
"If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')"2This Is Faron Young
1955"Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young"1
"God Bless God"singles only
"Go Back, You Fool"11
"It's a Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)"5This Is Faron Young
1956"I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night"4
"Sweet Dreams"2
"Turn Her Down"9singles only
"I Miss You Already (And You're Not Even Gone)"5
1957"The Shrine of St. Cecilia"1596
"Love Has Finally Come My Way"12
"Vacation's Over"
1958"I Can't Dance"
"Alone with You"151Sings the Best
"That's the Way I Feel"9singles only
"Last Night at a Party"20
1959"That's the Way It's Gotta Be"14Sings the Best
"Country Girl"1
1960"Your Old Used to Be"5
"There's Not Any Like You Left"21Hello Walls
"Forget the Past"20
1961"Hello Walls"112
"Backtrack"889The Young Approach
1962"Three Days"7
"The Comeback"4single only
"Down by the River"9All Time Greatest Hits
1963"The Yellow Bandana"4114This Is Faron
"I've Come to Say Goodbye"30
"We've Got Something in Common"13
"You'll Drive Me Back (Into Her Arms Again)"10singles only
1964"Keeping Up with the Joneses" (with Margie Singleton)5
"Old Courthouse"48Story Songs for Country Folks
"Another Woman's Man - Another Man's Woman"
(with Margie Singleton)
38single only
"My Friend on the Right"11Story Songs of Mountains and Valleys
1965"Walk Tall"10Greatest Hits
"Nothing Left to Lose"34
"My Dreams"14Unmitigated Gall
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"14Greatest Hits Vol. 2
1968"She Went a Little Bit Farther"1432Here's Faron Young
"I Just Came to Get My Baby"81
1969"I've Got Precious Memories"25I've Got Precious Memories
"Wine Me Up"23Wine Me Up
"Your Time's Coming"4
1970"Occasional Wife"615Occasional Wife
"If I Ever Fall in Love (With a Honky Tonk Girl)"42
"Goin' Steady"58Step Aside
1971"Step Aside"611
"Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye"911Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye
"It's Four in the Morning"1921It's Four in the Morning
1972"This Little Girl of Mine"53This Little Girl of Mine
"Woman's Touch"
1973"She Fights That Lovin' Feeling"156This Time The Hurtin's on Me
"Just What I Had in Mind"99Just What I Had in Mind
1974"Some Kind of a Woman"86Some Kind of a Woman
"The Wrong in Loving You"2022
"Another You"23A Man and His Music
1975"Here I Am in Dallas"1649The Best of Faron Young Vol. 2
"Feel Again"2115
1976"I'd Just Be Fool Enough"33I'd Just Be Fool Enough
"(The Worst You Ever Gave Me Was) The Best I Ever Had"30The Best of Faron Young Vol. 2
1977"Crutches"25That Young Feelin'
1978"Loving Here and Living There and Lying in Between"38
1979"The Great Chicago Fire"6730Chapter Two
"That Over Thirty Look"6968
1980"(If I'd Only Known) It Was the Last Time"5674Free and Easy
"Tearjoint"72singles only
1981"Until the Bitter End"88
"Pull Up a Pillow"
1982"He Stopped Loving Her Today""Black Tie Country"
1988"Stop and Take the Time"100
"Here's to You"87
1989"It's Four in the Morning"Greatest Hits 1-3
1991"Just an Ol' Heartache"single only
1992"Memories That Last" (with Ray Price)Memories That Last
"Too Big to Fight" (with Ray Price)
"Christmas Song"Country Christmas


YearB-SideUS CountryOriginal A-Side
1955"Forgive Me, Dear"flip"Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young"
"All Right"2"Go Back, You Fool"
"For the Love of a Woman Like You"flip"It's a Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)"
1956"You're Still Mine"3"I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night"
"Until I Met You"flip"Sweet Dreams"
"I'll Be Satisfied with Love"flip"Turn Her Down"
1957"I'm Gonna Loive Some Before I Die"flip"I Miss You Already (And You're Not Even Gone)"
1958"Every Time I'm Kissing You"10"Alone with You"
"I Hate Myself"22"That's the Way I Feel"
"A Long Time Ago"16"Last Night at a Party"
1959"I Hear You Talkin'"27"Country Girl"
"Face to the Wall"10"Riverboat"
1960"A World So Full of Love"28"Forget the Past"
1961"Congratulations"28"Hello Walls"
1963"Nightmare"14"I've Come to Say Goodbye"
1964"No Thanks, I Just Had One" (with Margie Singleton)40"Keeping Up with the Joneses"
"Rhinestones"23"Old Courthouse"
1979"Second Hand Emotion"70"That Over Thirty Look"

Movie roles[edit]

Film depiction[edit]

Actor Fred Parker Jr. will play Young in the upcoming biopic I Saw the Light, set to release in 2015.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517608-7 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978), The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.), London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd, p. 141, ISBN 0-214-20512-6 
  3. ^ "It's Four in the Morning" was written at Young's request as he was recuperating from a serious automobile accident in which he suffered head injuries. His tongue had been partly severed in the accident, and it took him several months before he could regain normal speaking ability. He had particular trouble with the "s" sound in most words, so he asked for a song which largely avoided that sound as his comeback effort. (from "Country Classics" radio program)
  4. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2004), In The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517608-7 
  5. ^ Newcomer, Wendy "Got a Headache? Trace Adkins has the Cure" (November 16, 2009) http://blog.gactv.com/blog/2009/11/16/got-a-headache-trace-adkins-has-the-cure/
  6. ^ Live Fast, Die Hard - The Faron Young Story (Diekman)
  7. ^ Schulz, Charles (1975), Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art With Charlie Brown and Others, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, ISBN 0-03-015081-7 
  8. ^ FARON YOUNG SINGLES, LP Discography.
  9. ^ "Fred Parker has been cast as Faron Young". Fred Parker Jr. Official Website. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 


External links[edit]