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Ferlin Husky dies at 85

Thursday, March 17, 2011 – Country Music Hall of Fame member Ferlin Husky, 85, died today after battling health problems.

Ferlin Eugene Husky was born in Flat River, Mo. After World War II, Husky became a disc jockey in his home state and Bakersfield, Cal.

He later signed with Capitol Records in 1953 under the guidance of Cliffie Stone. After a few failed singles, he had a number one hit with Jean Shepard on A Dear John Letter.

Two years later, he had a solo hit with I Feel Better All Over (More Than Anywhere's Else)/Little Tom. He also had a comic alter ego, "Simon Crum." As Crum, Husky signed a separate deal with Capitol Records and began releasing records. The biggest was 1959's Country Music Is Here To Stay.

In the late 1950s, Husky had a string of hits, including the number one Gone, which also reached number 4 on the pop music chart. Husky's biggest hit was Wings of a Dove, which was number 1 for 10 straight weeks.

Husky never topped the charts again, but he more than two dozen hits between 1961 and 1972, including Once (1967) and Just For You (1968). In late 1972, after more than 20 years with Capitol, Husky signed with ABC Records, where he scored several Top 40 hits into 1975 with the biggest being the Top 20 Rosie Cries A Lot (1973). Husky briefly retired in 1977 after heart surgery, but eventually toured.

Husky has suffered from heart problems for many years and has been hospitalized several times since the late 1970s, most recently for heart surgery in 2005 and blood clots in his legs in 2007.

He became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

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