Born in Cantwell, Missouri, Ferlin Husky learned to play guitar from his uncle at a young age and knew that music was to be his lot in life, even though he had to work for a long time before finding his success. Husky dropped out of high school in order to move to St. Louis and work as a truck driver and in a steel mill, but the real reason he was there was to play at the local honky tonks after his shifts were over. With the emergence of World War II, Husky enlisted in the United States Merchant Marines where he used his comedic and musical talents to entertain his fellow shipmates. After five years of service in the Merchant Marines, Husky worked as a DJ in Missouri and later in California where he developed the stage personas of Terry Preston and Simon Crum. In 1953, Husky signed with Capitol Records and recorded the wildly popular hit, “A Dear John Letter,” and its followup, “Forgive Me John,” with Jean Shepard. In 1955, Husky released his first solo hit, “I Feel Better All Over (More Than Anywhere Else).” That same year, Husky signed a separate Capitol Records contract as Simon Crum and released the popular track, “Country Music is Here to Stay.” The biggest hits of Husky’s solo career were “Gone” and “Wings of a Dove,” which helped him sell over one million records. Husky also dabbled in the acting field by making appearances on Kraft Television Theater and in the movie, Mr. Rock and Roll, as himself. Ferlin Husky died in March 2011 though his music and comedy continue to influence the country music industry.
- Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame 2010
- One of the first country musicians to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Was originally named “Furland,” but the name was misspelled on his birth certificate and the new spelling stuck.