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obituary; Ferlin Husky.

FERLIN Husky, a country music pioneer in the 1950s and early 1960s whose hits included Wings of a Dove and Gone, has died at the age of 85.

Husky, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year, died at home on Thursday.

He had suffered from heart problems and related ailments for several years.

Husky's resonant voice and good looks made him one of the most versatile entertainers to emerge from country music. He was a singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor.

He was one of the first country musicians to bring the genre to television and helped spread its popularity in booming post-Second World War California.

Husky, who was one of the first country artists to have his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, sold more than 20 million records, mostly in the 1950s and early 1960s. He won many country music awards long before such gala shows were televised and meant so much to careers.

He was born in 1925 near Flat River, Missouri. After five years in the Merchant Marines during World War II, he began his singing career in honky-tonks and nightclubs around St Louis and later in the Bakersfield area of California.

He recorded some songs early in his career under the name Terry Preston, and in some early records he spelled his last name Huskey.

Signed to Capitol records in the early 1950s, he had his first big success when he teamed with 2011 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Jean Shepard on Dear John Letter, which reached number four on Billboard's list of top country songs of 1953.

In 1957, he had a number one hit on the country chart with Gone, a re-recording of a song he had done several years earlier. It also broke the top five on the pop charts.

Wings of a Dove, a gospel song, became another number one country hit in 1960 and was one of his signature songs. His other hits included A Fallen Star, My Reason for Living, The Waltz You Saved for Me and Timber I'm Falling.

While still recording under his real name, Husky created a character named Simon Crum as his comic alter ego, hitting the charts with such songs as Cuzz You're So Sweet and Country Music is Here to Stay. He cut back on his entertaining in 1970 and performed part-time, mostly concert dates. He was performing once a month in the mid-2000s. But his imprint on country music remained. Ferlin Husky, country singer born, December 3, 1925; died, March 17, 2011
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Mar 21, 2011
Words:426
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