60s Music

Ferlin Husky – The Versatile Country Singer

Ferlin Husky
Photo of country singer Ferlin Husky. (Source: Wikipedia)

Career summary on Ferlin Husky

Ferlin Husky was one of the most versatile singers during his time, holding his own in several genres such as country, honky-tonk, comedy and rockabilly. He recorded under several other aliases such as honky-tonk singer Terry Preston (from 1948 to 1953) and country funnyman Simon Crump. His first singles were flops until his duet with Jean Shepard’s “A Dear John Letter” became a chart-topper in 1953. It wasn’t until two years later when Husky scored his solo hit with “I Feel Better All Over (More Than Anywhere’s Else),” which figured in the country singles chart. Husky had also developed his other persona as Simon Crum; he signed a separate recording contract with Capitol and released records under that name. Crum had almost become a household name since, especially when his own single “Country Music Is Here To Stay” hit number two on the charts in 1959. As Ferlin Husky himself, he achieved a string of hits that included “A Fallen Star,” “Wings Of A Dove,” and “Gone,” the last which peaked at a high position on the Top 10 pop chart in 1957. He died in 2011, aged 85, from congestive heart failure.

 

Husky’s other “identities” Simon Crum and Terry Preston

Ferlin Eugene Husky was born in Cantwell, St. Francois County in Missouri on December 3, 1925.

He had recorded in three separate names and identities: himself as the country star, as a honky-tonk crooner under the name of Terry Preston, and as a country funnyman Simon Crum. He established his other persona as Simon Crum during his service in the second world war. Afterwards he worked as a disc jockey at a local station in Missouri and California. Husky began to use the name Terry Preston because he felt his own name sounded too provincial. As Preston the honky tonk singer, Husky signed with Capitol Records with the help of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s manager Cliffe Stone. As soon as he got inked by his recording contract, he reverted into using his own given name.

 

Ferlin Husky as himself

As Ferlin Husky himself, he achieved his biggest hit with “Gone,” which was his only Top 10 pop at #4; it also went to #1 on the country singles chart in 1957. “A Fallen Star” (1957) was only several steps away from the the Top 40 pop chart (at #47), while it peaked at #8 on the country singles chart. Ferlin also hit the Top 20 pop chart for the last time with “Wings of a Dove” in 1960 (#12 pop, #1 country). He had several other contry hits such including “Draggin’ the River,” “My Reason for Living,” “Somebody Save Me,” “The Waltz You Saved for Me,” “Timber I’m Falling,” “Once,” “Just for You,” “Heavenly Sunshine,” “Sweet Misery,” and countless other minor country smashes.

Later life and final years

Although he would never enter the Top 40 pop nor topped on any charts again, Husky continue to score several country hits until 1975; he also performed on the Grand Ole Opry. Husky dabbled in acting as well, having appeared on Kraft Television Theatre, and Mr. Rock and Roll.

Husky had suffered a history of illnesses since the 1970s that include cardiopathy, congestive heart failure and pneumonia; he had been in and out of the hospital a few times. Husky died at his daughter’s home in Tennessee on March 17, 2011, of congestive heart failure. He was 85 years old.

Husky, for his inestimable contributions, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

 

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