Ferlin Husky portrait I won't positively assert that Ferlin Husky was Nashville's corniest singer ever, but he does rank pretty high up there. The thing about Ferlin Husky (1925-2011) is that, while baritones such as Jim Reeves shared a similar style, they tended to overdo it on the schmaltz, but Ferlin could sometimes summon a redeemingly gruff, backwoods grumble. The trick is to find his early stuff, when he still had a strong hint of Lefty Frizzell in his phrasing -- and even though he had become pretty schlocky by the early 1960s, he still occasionally pepped things up with upbeat tunes and hard country numbers. Here's a look at his work...


Ferlin Husky "Vintage Collections" (Capitol, 1996)
This is a pretty strong selection of Husky's best material on the Capitol label, including his earliest singles made under the name "Terry Preston," which included several excellent ballads. It was Husky, however, who was one of the first Nashville crooners to discover that by recording songs with neutral arrangements that were devoid of "identifying" country touches (ie, no fiddles or pedal steel), he could tap into the mainstream pop audience. Once that happened, the writing was on the wall, and his work became much less vigorous and much less exciting. Considering what a schlockmeister he became, this is a pretty enjoyable collection, and includes several surprisingly upbeat, engaging numbers, such as the gospel stomper, "Take A Look" and "Timber, I'm Falling," one of his better later novelty hits... It does lack one of my favorite Husky tunes, "Money Greases The Wheels," but hey -- you can't have everything. This collection is well worth looking for -- and may come as a big surprise!

Ferlin Husky "Greatest Hits" (Curb, 1990)

Ferlin Husky "Best Of The Best" (King/Federal, 1996)
Not sure what the vintage is here... Some tracks seem to be originals, others may be re-recordings. Good song selection, though.

Ferlin Husky "Feelin' Better All Over" (Jasmine, 2000)

Ferlin Husky (as Simon Crum) "Country Music Is Here To Stay: The Complete Simon Crum" (Collector's Choice, 2002)
"Simon Crum" was the nom-de-shellac that country crooner Ferlin Husky used to record various rockabilly parodies, hard country thumpers and comedy numbers that wouldn't have fit in on his regular, softcore Capitol releases. Since this stuff has been pretty hard to find for many years, I looked forward to this release, a comprehensive set that includes all his Capitol Crum sides from the 1950s... but I was sorely disappointed. The material is very strained, and Husky's hillbilly affectations are repetitive and genuinely irritating. It's not that it's "gimmicky" (duh, of course it is...) but just that it's not very imaginitive or interesting. Homer & Jethro this is not. A few good tunes, but those are mostly the ones where he plays it relatively straight. I did get a kick out of the Webb Pierce parody, "Cuzz Yore So Sweet," though.

Ferlin Husky "The Gospel Way" (King, 2002)

Ferlin Husky "Tennessee Hillbilly Ghost" (BACM, 2005)
Early hillbilly stuff, recorded under Husky's hick pseudonym, Terry Preston. (Also available through the British Archive of Country Music website.)

Ferlin Husky "Early Capitol Recordings: 1953-1955" (BACM, 2005)

Ferlin Husky "Greatest Hits" (K-Tel, 2009)
Re-recorded versions of old hits -- I'm not sure what vintage these recordings are from.


Ferlin Husky & Jean Shepard "Ferlin Husky & Jean Shepard" (Capitol, 1955)

Ferlin Husky "Songs Of The Home And Heart" (Capitol, 1956)

Ferlin Husky "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" (Capitol, 1957)

Ferlin Husky "Sittin' On A Rainbow" (Capitol, 1958)

Ferlin Husky "Born To Lose" (Capitol, 1959) (LP)
(Produced by Ken Nelson)

A swell set of corny yet resonant and robust country standards, as interpreted by Ferlin with a solid all-pro band behind him, and clear, precise production that has just enough twang in it to make it sound just fine. He invests the mopey, heartworn lyrics with plenty of sentiment, but the ballads ring true -- the slushy, overripe gooeyness of later years still hasn't swamped him yet, and this is a pretty enjoyable album. Definitely worth a spin!

Ferlin Husky "Ferlin Husky" (King, 1959)

Ferlin Husky "Easy Livin' " (King, 1960)

Ferlin Husky "Ferlin's Favorites" (Capitol, 1960)

Ferlin Husky "Gone" (Capitol, 1960)

Ferlin Husky "Walkin' And A Hummin' " (Capitol, 1961)

Ferlin Husky "Memories Of Home" (Capitol, 1961)

Ferlin Husky "Some Of My Favorites" (Capitol, 1962)

Ferlin Husky "The Unpredictable Simon Crum" (Capitol, 1963)

Ferlin Husky "The Heart And Soul Of Ferlin Husky" (Capitol, 1963)

Ferlin Husky "The Hits Of Ferlin Husky" (Capitol, 1963)

Ferlin Husky "By Request" (Capitol, 1964)

Ferlin Husky "True True Lovin' " (Capitol, 1965)

Ferlin Husky "...Sings The Songs Of Music City, USA" (Capitol, 1966)

Ferlin Husky "I Could Sing All Night" (Capitol, 1966)

Ferlin Husky "What Am I Gonna Do Now?" (Capitol, 1967)

Ferlin Husky "Christmas All Year Long" (Capitol, 1967)

Ferlin Husky "Where No One Stands Alone" (Capitol, 1968)

Ferlin Husky "White Fences And Evergreen Trees" (Capitol, 1968)

Ferlin Husky "The Best Of Ferlin Husky" (Capitol, 1969)

Ferlin Husky "That's Why I Love You So Much" (Capitol, 1969)

Ferlin Husky "Your Love Is Heavenly Sunshine" (Capitol, 1970)

Ferlin Husky "Green Green Grass Of Home" (Capitol, 1970)

Ferlin Husky "Your Sweet Love Lifted Me" (Capitol, 1970)

Ferlin Husky "One More Time" (Capitol, 1971)

Ferlin Husky "Just Plain Lonely" (Capitol, 1972)

Ferlin Husky "True True Lovin' " (ABC, 1973)

Ferlin Husky "Sweet Honky Tonk" (ABC, 1973)

Ferlin Husky "Freckles And Polliwog Days" (ABC, 1974)

Ferlin Husky "Champagne Ladies And Blue Ribbon Babies" (ABC, 1974)

Ferlin Husky "Foster And Rice Songbook" (ABC, 1975)

Ferlin Husky "Feelin' Better" (CMI, 1977)

Ferlin Husky "Country Music Is Here To Stay: Ferlin Husky & His Nashville Boy" (Koala, 1979)
A split album, with Husky singing on Side One and the band playing alone on Side Two.

Ferlin Husky "Star Of The Grand Ole Opry" (First Generation, 1981)

Ferlin Husky "What Are We Doin' Lonesome" (51 West, 1982)

Ferlin Husky "Audiograph Alive" (Audiograph, 1983)

Ferlin Husky "Ferlin Husky" (MCA, 1986)


Hick Music Index

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