At some stage in World War II, Husky served in the United States Merchant Marine for five years. There he entertained troops on transport ships by telling stories. Just then, the character Simon Crum evolved from stories about a Missouri neighbor named Simon Crump.
Rising Star Simon Crum
When Husky moved to Bakersfield’s California to work as a disc jockey in 1947, he also started to develop the character, Crum. In an interview, he said, “I just knocked the ‘P’ out in crump” and then you got Simon Crum”.
A year later, he signed with Four Star Records. With them, he made several singles before moving to Capitol in 1952. Cliffie Stone, a senior Capitol executive, had previously hired him to replace Tennessee Ernie Ford on the television variety show “Hometown Jamboree”.
In 1953, Ferlin signed a separate contract with Capitol Records and began releasing records under the name Simon Crum. One of the breakthroughs was 1959’s “Country Music is Here to Stay”. For three weeks, his track stayed at number 2 in the charts. Husky continued to use Crum in his live performances, on TV shows and movies. Never missing a beat while simultaneously performing as multiple characters on stage, he kept his audiences captivated and hooked. In the year 2010, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Husky Talking about Simon Crum in Country Family Reunion
Bill Anderson: Where did the idea of Simon Crum come from?
Ferlin Husky: “Well, actually it was a man’s name that is like an uncle to us who lived across a creek from us when I was a kid, and I usually call him Uncle Simon. But really how it really got started is when we were in the war, for the invasion of France. We have a mine alert or air attack or whatever, and I was scarder than anybody else was, but I tell them stories. Try to build their morale up, you know. And I would tell stories. Some of them are true stories but I got the point when there’s an alert they would ask me stories, and I make up some stories…”
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