Country Music Hall of Famer Ferlin Husky died this morning after an extended illness....Merle Haggard once said there was a time no one in the business could follow him..he was the big LIVE act of the day...a great entertainer....and might I add a gentleman. Proud strong solid performer. I liked him very much and his passing comes with great sorrow...The heavens now have another bright star..
Ferlin Husky was considered to be one of the most resourceful and versatile entertainers in the pop-country field. Born near Flat River, Missouri, in a town so small it was prone to be mistaken for a fly-speck by map makers, he left home for a hitch in the Merchant Marines and D-Day found him under forty-eight hours of continuous battle-fire during the invasion of Cherbourg. He was later awarded a citation as "Volunteer Gunner" as a result of his action during the battle.
After completing service, Ferlin moved to the west coast where he began recording under the name of Terry Preston. "Terry" never quite made it. It wasn't until Ferlin re-released his disc of "Gone", using his real name, Ferlin Husky, (and adding background singers to round out the basic country rhythm) that he hit pay dirt. This time,, "Gone" earned him a coveted gold record, signifying one million sales on the disc.
Since that time, Ferlin has sold over 20 million records, of which "Gone", Wings of a Dove", "A Dear John letter" and "Country Music is Here to Stay" (alter-ego Simon Crum's contribution) were all gold.
Ferlin Husky has also made more than eighteen motion pictures, and has had the honor of having his name placed among the greats in the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard. He has played a part in pictures starring such famous Hollywood-ites as the Gabors, Henry Fonda, Mamie Van Doran, Glen Ford, John Carradine and the late Jayne Mansfield, Lon Chaney and Basil Rathbone.
In the field of television, Husky's memorable appearances on the Kraft Television Theater were highlights of his crowded career, followed by a two-week hitch as CBS's choice for Arthur Godfry's TV and radio replacement. He has made frequent appearances on top-notch shows such as Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Dean Martin and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Ferlin also had a network show of his own. His road show has literally traveled around the world to Germany, England, Japan, all Canadian provinces and all fifty states.