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  • Born

    10 November 1945 (age 77)

  • Born In

    Mount Airy, Surry County, North Carolina, United States

Born November 10, 1945 (1945-11-10)
Origin Mt. Airy, North Carolina, U.S.
Genre(s) Country pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, Author
Instrument(s) Vocals, guitar
Years active 1967 – present
Label(s) Ramco Records
Challenge Records
Dot Records
Warner Bros. Records
Songbird Records
RCA Records
Mercury Records
Cleveland Records
Associated acts Billy Joe Royal
Website Official Fan Club Site
Donna Fargo (born Yvonne Vaughan on November 10, 1945 in Mount Airy, North Carolina) is an American country music singer-songwriter, who is best-known for a series of Top 10 Country hits in the 1970s. This includes "The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA" and "Funny Face", which both became major crossover Pop hits in 1972.

Fargo has won major awards since her debut in the late 60s, including one Grammy award, five awards from the Academy of Country Music and one award from the Country Music Association.

Early career before music
Donna Fargo was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina in 1945. Fargo had been singing since her early years, but never thought about singing professionally. Fargo attended High Point College, then headed west to study at the University of Southern California. After getting her degree, she became a high school teacher in Covina, California, progressing to head of the English Department. While in California, she met Stan Silver, who became her manager when Fargo was performing in California clubs and first seeking a career in music. At this point, Fargo was still teaching. Fargo and Silver eventually married.

Career discovery
She soon started to appear around L.A. while teaching. She went to Phoenix in 1966, adopted the name "Donna Fargo", and recorded her first single. Her first major show was with Ray Price and she began playing in Southern California. Fargo recorded for a few small labels in the early '60s, including Ramco and Challenge, but songs like "Who's Been Sleeping on My Side of the Bed" didn't catch fire. Although her original singles were not successful, the Academy of Country Music Awards named her the "Top New Female Vocalist" award in 1969 anyway. In 1972, Fargo recorded a single for the Decca label before achieving her breakthrough later that year.

Country music career

1972 – 1978: Breakthrough
In 1972 one of Fargo's self-penned songs, "The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA" was picked up by Dot Records. Fargo was then signed to the label, and the single was released the same year. She was one of the few female country singers to write her own material at the time, and one of the few country singers to cross over to the Pop charts in a big way, which she did in 1972 with "The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A." (number 11). The song also became a major Country hit, peaking at #1 in 1972. An album of the same name was also released following the song's success, which was also quite successful as was certified "Gold" by the RIAA in early 1973 for selling over 500,000 copies. The follow-up single, "Funny Face" also peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart, and became an ever bigger Pop hit than her previous single, peaking at #5. Both singles were certified "Gold" by the end of the year.

She never made the pop Top 40 again, but placed over a dozen more singles in the country Top Ten in the '70s, most written by herself. Fargo's second album, My Second Album, released in 1973, peaked at #1 on the "Top Country Albums" chart and spawned two singles, both of which were #1 Country hits, "Superman" and "You Were Always There", which both charted on the Pop charts. Fargo remained successful with her third album, also released in 1973, All About Feeling, which released two Top 10 Country hits, "Little Girl Gone" and "I'll Try a Little Bit Harder". The same year, the Grammy awards awarded Fargo the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award for "The Happies Girl in the Whole USA". She was also named "Top Female Vocalist" by the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Fargo ultimately became the fifth most successful female country artist of the 1970s, according to Billboard, behind Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, and Lynn Anderson.

For a better part of the 70s, Fargo stayed high on the charts with songs like "You Were Always There", "It Do Feel Good", and "Mr. Doodles." Fargo had another successful album with Dot in 1974 releasing Miss Donna, which spawned three Top 10 hits, including "You Can't Be a Beacon if You're Light Don't Shine", which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart. Dot Records was acquired by ABC and the was a noticeable drop-off in chart placings and in 1976, she moved to Warner Bros. Records. In 1976 however, she returned on Warner Bros. with the On the Move album, which brought two Top 20 hits to Fargo. The next year her next album, Fargo Country was released. The album spawned her first #1 Country hit since 1974, "That Was Yesterday", followed by another Top 10 Country hit, "Mockingbird Hill", which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1977. Fargo's 1978 album, Shame on Me also yielded two Top 10 hits, the title track and "Do I Love You", which peaked at #2.

Recognized as one of the leading country songwriters of the era, Fargo's songs have been recorded by Tammy Wynette, Sonny James, Kitty Wells, Tanya Tucker, Jody Miller, Marty Robbins, Dottie West and other artists. Additionally, almost everything Fargo recorded for years was self-penned.

She briefly had her own TV special (produced by the Osmond Brothers), which ran for a year, beginning in 1978. Fargo is one of only five country female vocalists to have their own television series. Kitty Wells in 1968 and Dolly Parton in 1976) were the first. Barbara Mandrell and Reba McEntire are the other two who have had shows since the Fargo series.

1979: Multiple sclerosis problems
In 1978, Fargo found was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She was down for a while, but with medical advice and her husbands support, Donna made it back, returning to a limited schedule in 1979 and another Top 10 hit. For the next few years the successes came at a lower level. Although the illness caused a serious decline in her promotional work, Fargo vowed to not let the disease ultimately get to her. In 1979 She recorded a new album, Just for You, which spawned 1 Top 40 hit, "Daddy", a song Fargo had recorded ten years before. The song peaked at #14 in 1979. The follow-up, "Preacher Berry" peaked outside the Country Top 40.

1980 – 1991: Career decline
Fargo released one more album with Warner Bros. in 1980, before switching to the smaller "Songbird" label in 1981. She recorded a well-received Gospel album in 1981 for MCA/Songbird and in 1982 she moved to RCA. Fargo singles charted off RCA in 1983 and 1984, and she recorded one album for the label in 1983. She recorded a single for Columbia records in 1983, as well for Cleveland records in 1984. By now, Fargo's career began to decline in terms of album sales and chart placements.

After several other label changes, Donna signed with Mercury and began another upswing. She recorded an album with the label, Winners, which resulted in three singles spawned from the album, including a Top 30 hit, "Me and You". Fargo also dueted with Billy Joe Royal for her next single, "Members Only". The song became a Top 25 Country hit in 1987, peaking at #23. In 1991, she released the song, "Soldier Boy", a reference to the Gulf War at the time. The song was Fargo's last charting single.

Fargo has since not released another studio since 1986. In 1992, she began work on her autobiography.

Writing career
Since having left recording albums and singles, Fargo has since pursued other careers outside of the music business. She has since established a successfuyl line of greeting cards in The Donna Fargo Collection through the Blue Mountain Arts Poets and Artists series. She has just finished another book. More recently, Fargo has released another series of poem books, including Turst in Yourself, To the Love of My Life, and Ten Golden Rules. Fargo sells her books at her official website.

Year Award Award Program
1969 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Female Vocalist
1972 Top Female Vocalist
Song of the Year; "The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA"
Single of the Year; "The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA]]"
Album of the Year; The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA
Country Music Association Awards Single of the Year; "The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA"
1973 Grammy Awards Best Female Country Vocal Performance; "The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA"
Biillboard Awards Top All-Around Female Vocalist-Songwriter
BMI Awards Song of the Year

^ Donna Fargo at Birthplace of Country; profile
^ Donna Fargo at Birthplace of Country; profile
^ Wolff, Kurt (2000). In Country Music: The Rough Guide. Orla Duane, Editor. London: Rough Guides Ltd. p. 435.
^ Donna Fargo biography at; retrieved April 3, 2008
^ Donna Fargo biography at
^ Wolff, Kurt (2000). In Country Music: The Rough Guide. Orla Duane, Editor. London: Rough Guides Ltd. p. 436.
^ Birthplace of Country Music's profile on Donna Fargo
^ Wolff, Kurt (2000). In Country Music: The Rough Guide. Orla Duane, Editor. London: Rough Guides Ltd. p. 436.
^ Donna Fargo at Birthplace of Country
^ Donna Fargo at Sing

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