As one of the best-known honky tonkers to appear in the wake of Hank Williams\u2019s death, Faron Young was a popular presence on Nashville\u2019s music scene for more than four decades. The Singing Sheriff produced a string of Top Ten hits, placed over eighty songs on the country music charts, and founded the long-running country music periodical Music City News in 1963. Flamboyant, impulsive, and generous, he helped and encouraged a new generation of talented songwriter-performers that included Willie Nelson and Bill Anderson. In 2000, four years after his untimely death, Faron was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Presenting the first detailed portrayal of this lively and unpredictable country music star, Diane Diekman masterfully draws on extensive interviews with Young\u2019s family, band members, and colleagues. Impeccably researched, Diekman\u2019s narrative also weaves anecdotes from Louisiana Hayride and other old radio shows with ones from Young\u2019s business associates, including Ralph Emery.
Her unique insider\u2019s look into Young\u2019s career adds to an understanding of the burgeoning country music entertainment industry during the key years from 1950 to 1980, when the music expanded beyond its original rural roots and blossomed into a national (ultimately, international) enterprise. Echoing Young\u2019s characteristic ability to entertain and surprise fans, Diekman combines an account of his public career with a revealing, intimate portrait of his personal life.
Diane Diekman is the author of Navy Greenshirt: A Leader Made, Not Born and A Farm in the Hidewood: My South Dakota Home. A retired U.S. Navy captain, she was acquainted with Faron Young for the 26 years before his death in 1996.