Ferlin Husky Funeral Today

The funeral for Ferlin Husky will be held this afternoon (3/21) in Hendersonville – the Country Music Hall of Fame member died on Thursday March 17 at age 85 following 30 years of heart problems.

His funeral will be officiated by the Rev. Dallas Frazier. Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Frazier was a protégée of Husky’s. Frazier was treated as an adopted son by Husky and wrote seven of the superstar’s charted singles. Husky was also an early career booster of the late Tommy Collins and Buck Owens.

As a concert entertainer, Ferlin Husky is considered to be the top showman of his era.

He charted more than 50 titles between 1953 and 1975. Husky also recorded as “Terry Preston” and as a comic alter ego named “Simon Crum” on such light-hearted hits as 1955’s “Cuz Yore So Sweet” and 1958’s “Country Music Is Here to Stay.”

His hit making began with 1953’s “A Dear John Letter” and “Forgive Me John,” duets with Jean Shepard that launched both artists’ radio careers. Shepard will serve as an official pallbearer at the funeral. “Simon Crum” is also listed as a pallbearer.

Husky’s biggest solo hits included “I Feel Better All Over” (1955), “Gone” (1957, his biggest pop-crossover smash and regarded as the first true “Nashville Sound” recording), “A Fallen Star” (1957), “Draggin’ the River” (1959), “Wings of a Dove” (1960, his biggest all-time country hit), “The Waltz You Saved for Me” (1962), “Timber I’m Falling” (1962), “I Hear Little Rock Calling” (1966, written by Frazier), “Once” (1966), “Just for You” (1968), “Heavenly Sunshine” (1970) and “Sweet Misery” (1971).

Formerly a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast, Husky was also notable as one of country’s most prolific B-movie makers, He was featured in nearly 20 of them, including Country Music Holiday (1958), Mr. Rock & Roll (1958), Las Vegas Hillbillies (1966), Hillbillies in a Haunted House (1967) and Swamp Girl (1971).

He was prominent on TV, beginning with hosting Hometown Jamboree in L.A. in 1951. He made several appearances on NBC’s Kraft Television Theatre in the 1950s, reportedly was chosen to replace Arthur Godfrey as the host of CBS’s Talent Scouts in 1958 and guest starred on he programs of Steve Allen, Ed Sullivan, Rosemary Clooney, Mike Douglas and many others.

In later years, Ferlin Husky performed frequently in Branson, MO and opened a “Wings of a Dove” museum at Twitty City in suburban Nashville.

Married six times, Ferlin Husky is survived by seven of his nine children, by 16 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

The funeral will be at 2 P.M. this afternoon at the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville. Internment will follow at Hendersonville Memorial Gardens. In addition to Jean Shepard, pallbearers will include Charley Pride, Jimmy Capps, John Conlee, Ray Stevens, Bill Anderson, Frankie Miller, Keith Bilbrey, Eddie Stubbs, Keith Adkinson and Jett Williams.

Contributions may be made to Sumner Hospice, 575 E. Bledsoe Street, Suite 9, Gallatin, TN 37066.

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About the Author

Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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