On this day in 1955 Faron Young reached number one in the US C & W (it was called American Country at the time I think) charts with his Live fast, Love Hard, Die Young. (Covered unsuccessfully, by Eddie Cochran)
To my ears there is something very odd and unsettling about this track. It might be the ‘country’ violins, the semi yodel delivery. It might be that all such calls to youth become more and more distasteful as the singers get older (My Generation performed by geriatric members of The Who, for example – ‘though Patti Smith still pulls it off with great aplomb and style). Two videos here, one as originally recorded and a live performance sometime later.
The artist as a young man, as they say
The artist as an older man….
Faron Young was 64 when he committed suicide in 1996. He had grown bitter, feeling that older performers were forgotten and ignored. There were also health problems including emphysema. After a divorce to his wife of 32 years he had alienated his family. A lonely, seemingly forgotten and bitter man he shot himself in the head on 9th December 1996.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.