1960 Ferlin Husky – On The Wings Of A Dove
His mother named him Furland Husky at birth, but an error on the birth certificate declared his name to be Ferlin. He dropped out of school and began working truck driver and steel mill worker while playing and singing in honky tonks in the evenings and weekends.
While in the merchant marine during World War II, Ferlin entertained others by making up and telling humorous stories about a character he named Simon Crum. After the war, he began recording. Actor Smiley Burnette convinced Ferlin that he needed to use a stage name, and he released an early version of the song Gone using the name Terry Preston.
Ferlin signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and dropped the pseudonym. He and Jean Shepard reached #1 on the Country chart and #4 on the pop chart with their single Dear John.
They immediately followed their success with an answer song, Forgive Me John, which reached #4 on the Country chart but only #24 on the pop chart.
Ferlin had two more top ten solo hits in 1955. He continued with his comedy patter about Simon Crum in his live shows and even released the single Cuzz Yore So Sweet credited to Simon Crum on the label; that single peaked at #5 on the Country chart!
In 1957, Ferlin recorded a new version of Gone. The new version of the song featured the horns and backup singers that were common in the emerging Nashville Sound. The single again took Ferlin to the top of the Country chart and also reached #4 on the Hot 100.
Ferlin had seven more singles reach the top twenty-five on the Country chart during the fifties, including a single credited to Simon Crum that reached #2.
The biggest hit of his career came in 1960 with the release of Wings Of A Dove. The single was his last chart-topping hit on the Country chart and also peaked at #12 on the Hot 100.
Ferlin had over two dozen more top forty singles on the Country chart by 1975, but his only other appearance on the Hot 100 was a single that stalled at #94 in 1962. He had heart surgery in 1977 and briefly retired, but eventually returned to appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and limited live shows. Additional heart surgery and pneumonia also affected his career later on.
Ferlin died from another bout of congestive heart failure in 2011.
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