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Sweethearts or Strangers

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Album Review

Faron Young began recording in 1951, but Sweethearts or Strangers was his first album. Besides that distinction and the fabulous cover photo of Young in a brilliant turquoise western shirt, the album is standard fare. Sound-alike covers of Hank Williams' "I Can't Help It" and "Your Cheatin' Heart" join classic songs like Spade Cooley's "Shame on You" and Jimmie Davis' "You Are My Sunshine." Young's hard, Hank Williams-derived honky tonk sound is classic, but the menu of popular favorites is too predictable to be really interesting. None of the songs were hits for Young, but his country remake of the big '40s pop hit "You Call Everybody Darlin'" was a good idea.


Born: 25 February 1932 in Shreveport, LA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Originally known as "the Hillbilly Heartthrob" and "the Singing Sheriff," Faron Young had one of the longest-running and most popular careers in country music history. Emerging in the early '50s, Young was one of the most popular honky tonkers to appear in the wake of Hank Williams' death, partially because he was able to smooth out some of the grittiest elements of his music. At first, he balanced honky tonk with pop vocal phrasing and flourishes. This combination of grit and polish resulted in...
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Sweethearts or Strangers, Faron Young
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