Donna Fargo Biography

Yvonne Vaughn, 10 November 1949, Mount Airy, North Carolina, USA. Fargo is the daughter of a tobacco farmer, and she sang in church as a child. She became a schoolteacher and was discovered by her future husband, record producer Stan Silver, singing in a club in Los Angeles. She first recorded in 1969, but her success started once she had signed with Dot Records in 1971. She won gold records for her compositions ‘The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A.’ (number 11 US pop charts, number 1 country) and ‘Funny Face’ (number 5 pop, number 1 country), which was Silver’s nickname for her (she called him ‘fuzzy face’ because of his beard). In 1973 she had country hits with more of her own songs - ‘Superman’, ‘You Were Always There’, a tribute to her late mother (both number 1), and ‘Little Girl Gone’ (number 2). In 1974 she topped the country charts again, this time with Marty Cooper’s gospel song ‘You Can’t Be A Beacon (If Your Light Don’t Shine)’. The packaging of the US versions of her early albums included guitar chords as well as lyrics. She moved to WEA Records and went to number 1 on the country charts with a narration, ‘That Was Yesterday’. For some years she was in poor health but multiple sclerosis was not diagnosed until 1979. She has continued her career to the best of her ability and her strong beliefs led to a gospel album, Brotherly Love. Her duet with Billy Joe Royal, ‘Members Only’, was a US country hit in 1987 and she topped the US country singles chart for independent labels with a revival of the Shirelles’ ‘Soldier Boy’, which was aimed at US forces involved in the Gulf War. Donna Fargo and her husband, Stan Silver, were declared bankrupt in 1991.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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