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Live Fast, Love Hard:
The Faron Young Story
By Diane Diekman
University of Illinois Press
2007
296 Pages
ISBN:  0-252-03248-9

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As one of the best-known honky-tonkers to appear in the wake of Hank Williams's death, Faron Young was a popular presence on Nashville's music scene for more than four decades. The Singing Sheriff produced a string of Top Ten hits, placed more than 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, Young 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's family, band members, and colleagues. Impeccably researched, Diekman's narrative also weaves anecdotes from the Louisiana Hayride and other old-time radio shows with ones from Young's business associates, including Ralph Emery. Her unique insider's look into Young's career adds to an understanding of the burgeoning country music industry during the key years from 1950 to 1980, when the music expanded beyond its original rural roots and blossomed into a national—and ultimately, international—phenomenon. Echoing Young's characteristic ability to entertain and surprise fans, Diekman combines an account of his public career with a revealing, intimate portrait of his personal life.

About the Author
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.