The Song: "Faron Young," Prefab Sprout. Words & music by Paddy McAloon. Track 1 of Steve McQueen, 1985.
When/how acquired: Gift CD, 2007.
Is it just me, or is everyone a little nuts this week? Not saying we don't all have reason, although I suspect that franticness is contagious. I'm just not sure whether it started with me, or whether I caught it from someone and am passing it along. At this point, it doesn't matter.
This album was a Christmas present from a friend, and new to me, although it had been released more than 20 years earlier. It was released in the U.S. as Two Wheels Good, because Steve McQueen's estate objected to the use of his name as a title.
Faron Young was still alive when this album came out, though he hadn't recorded anything since 1980, and was fighting a losing battle with alcohol, emphysema and mental illness. He recorded three more albums in the late 1980s-early 1990s, but as a kid growing up in Tidewater Virginia, I knew him mainly as the spokesman for BC Powder (which, by the way, is still the best hangover remedy I know, though almost impossible to find north of Virginia). He killed himself in 1996, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
Click here to see his duet with Willie Nelson on "Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away." It's a beautiful voice, and nice to see the real affection between these two old friends. Faron Young was his own worst enemy, but aren't we all?