Ferlin Husky is an American singer who became well-known as a country-pop chart-topper under various names, including Terry Preston and Simon Crum. In the 1950s and 60s, Husky had several hits, including “Gone” and “Wings of a Dove”, each reaching number one on the country charts. In 2010, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Ferlin Husky was born in Flat River, Missouri. As a member of the United States Merchant Marine, he entertained the troops on his ship in World War II. His official website states that his ship participated in the D-Day invasion of Cherbourg. After the war, Husky became a DJ in Missouri and Bakersfield, California, where he began using the moniker Terry Preston to hide his rural roots. As a honky tonk singer, Husky signed with Capitol Records in 1953 under the guidance of Cliffie Stone, also the manager for Tennessee Ernie Ford. With Capitol Records, he reverted to his given name. A few singles failed before “A Dear John Letter” with Jean Shepard became a No. 1 hit. The followup was called “Forgive Me John”.
In 1955, Husky had a solo hit with “I Feel Better All Over “/”Little Tom”, and developed “Simon Crum” as a comic alter ego. As Crum, Husky signed a separate contract with Capitol Records and began releasing records, the biggest of which was 1959’s “Country Music Is Here To Stay”. In the late 1950s, Husky had a long string of hits, including the No. 1 “Gone”; in 1957. “Gone” was a crossover success, also reaching No. 4 on the pop music chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. He then began an acting career, appearing on the Kraft Television Theatre program, and in the film Mr. Rock & Roll. Bob Ferguson’s “Wings of a Dove” became his biggest hit in 1960, topping the country charts for ten weeks and attaining No. 12 on the pop chart. Husky was also known for his ability to mimic other popular country singers.