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Jan. 4: In the game of country music chance, Faron Young knew when to let it ride. He’d had a huge, career-redefining hit with the Willie Nelson composition “Hello Walls” early in 1961. When it came time to make the next album, The Young Approach, Faron turned to the hot songwriter from Texas with the clever, offbeat perspective to contribute almost half of it — five songs, including “Three Days.” This is the Top 10 single version, recorded 49 years ago today at the Bradley studios on Music Row.

If you can find a copy of The Young Approach, you’re in for a treat. Aside from “Three Days,” its Nelson numbers are “I Can’t Find The Time,” “Moment Isn’t Very Long,” “Part Where I Cry” and “Things To Remember.” I’m also partial to Nelson’s “Hello Walls” and “Congratulations” from the previous Faron Young album. And then, by other artists, there’s “Crazy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Touch Me” and others from that same period.

Former Grand Ole Opry announcer (and friend to 3 Chords a Day) Kyle Cantrell once asked Willie Nelson what motivated him to write such great songs. The reply: “Hunger … raw hunger.” A joke? Not completely. Nelson said when a writer achieves success, he gets complacent and waits for that all-too-rare flash of inspiration. “Back in those days,” he said, “I was thinking every day.” For a list of what thoughts can do when they come from Willie Nelson, check out his complete writer’s catalog on And click here to learn more about the Hall of Fame career of the late, great Faron Young.

UPDATE, 1/5/10: I was wrong when I initially identified the version heard here as the Top 10 single recorded on Jan. 4, 1962, as opposed to the earlier cut used on the album. (I even got the math wrong; it would have been “48 years ago today.”) The aforementioned Kyle Cantrell wrote me a note of gentle correction, which included the history of Faron’s treatments of “Three Days.”  He said, in part:


    ‘Great post about “Three Days.” I think, however, the version you included is the album version. … According to the Bear Family discography, “Three Days” was recorded twice–once for The Young Approach, on June 21, 1961 (just a little more than five months after “Hello Walls,” which Faron had waxed in January), and again for the 45 on January 4, 1962. The … differences are notable. It’s much heavier on the drums and the electric guitar is more aggressive. Hank Garland had played electric on the June 21 session, while Grady Martin (following Hank’s [career-ending auto] accident) plays on the January 4 track. Also noteworthy is the fact that the producers were different–Ken Nelson produced the June session, and Marvin Hughes produced the January recording.

    I guess nobody cares about this stuff but us, but it’s still fun to dig into it.

Thanks, Kyle!  I appreciate the correction. And, for comparison, here’s the real 1/4/62 version.  It’s neat to listen to both.