Gene Watson's 'My Heroes Have Always Been Country' (Fourteen Carat Music, 2014)
Available Tuesday 10 June 2014!
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It is difficult to imagine the world of country music without the vast contribution that Gene Watson has made to it. Between his major label debut on Capitol Records in 1975 and the present day, Gene Watson has excelled with his traditional slant within country music.
Gene Watson is a singer in country music's grand tradition and has the skill to give powerful vocal performances and draw all the emotion from his selected material effortlessly. Gene has remained true to his Texas music roots for the best part of 50 years and is a standard bearer for honest, traditional country music.
Following years of honing his country music craft around Texas, Gene Watson emerged on the American country music scene in July 1975. He immediately earned himself a reputation as one of the best of the new 'real country' singers to emerge on the scene and for adhering to a traditional country sound, characterised by prominent steel guitar and swirling fiddle.
Since 1975, Gene Watson has been an artist who has adhered to, and remained faithful to, a 'hard' traditional country sound. Gene Watson is truly a 'Lone Star Hero', not only within the state boundary of Texas but also around the wider country music world.
The music of Gene Watson is part of the very constitution of country music. It is in Gene Watson's country music recordings that the tradition of heartfelt, genuine country music is preserved for all time.
Gene Watson's 'Beautiful Country' speaks for itself. It is a music of the people, for the people and ultimately by one of the people. His music is part of the very constitution of country music. It is in Gene Watson's recordings that the tradition of heartfelt, country music is preserved for all time.
Gary Gene Watson never intended becoming a professional singer within the country music genre. Apparently, he didn't go searching for music - music found him. For those of us who love traditional country music, we have a lot to be thankful to Gene Watson for.
When you consider the vast catalogue of classic country songs that he has recorded since the early 1960s, his absence from the country music world would have left a gaping hole. Of course, other artists could have recorded these tracks, but not with the same passion, emotion and genuine feeling that Gene Watson has brought to them.
Gene Watson was born Gary Gene Watson in Palestine, Texas on Monday 11 October in 1943; Gene's father was Elbert 'Ted' Watson (Saturday 2 July 1912 - Tuesday 24 May 1986) and his mother was Thelma Lee Watson (Monday 9 March 1914 - Monday 30 July 1962).
Gene Watson's mother was born Thelma Lee England in Novice, Lamar County, Texas on Monday 9 March 1914 and she passed away in Paris, Lamar County, Texas on Tuesday 3 July 1962.
Gene Watson Family Photo: circa 1945
Gene Watson was one of seven children born to Elbert and Thelma Watson:
Mary Lois (Friday 28 October 1932 - Friday 9 April 2004)
Edmond Ray Watson (Saturday 24 February 1935 - Wednesday 10 January 2001)
Gary Gene (Monday 11 October 1943)
Jessie Elbert Watson (Sunday 11 August 1946 - Monday 6 February 2012)
As a child, Gene lived and travelled in a re-modeled school bus with his parents and six brothers and sisters. The family eked out a living doing farm labour, moving from crop to crop.
Gene Watson’s father also earned a living in various east Texas towns as a sawmill worker. Gene’s family eventually settled in Paris, Texas where most of Gene's mother’s family originally hailed from and where his father switched to selling car parts.
Gene attended school, until he dropped out in the ninth grade in order to earn vital money for his family by working in the auto salvage business. Gene learned how to repair cars and he developed a love for automobiles.
As far back as he can remember talking, Gene Watson can remember singing. Music was a part of everyday life for the Watson family. The family members sang in the local Pentecostal Church and also with each other for their own pure enjoyment of music.
Gene Watson also learned to appreciate blues music because his father played it at home. Gene, however, took his singing, in church and with his six siblings, for granted. He never believed for one moment that, one day, music would be his profession and that it would prove to play a major part in the life of Gene Watson.
Gene's younger brother Jessie played steel guitar and Gene was the singer, and they would entertain at a lot of school functions and local get-togethers - they even appeared on Fort Worth's Cowtown Hoedown. However, music at this time was not one of Gene's goals - all he ever dreamed of was working on cars, a love of which he no doubt attributes to his father who used to deal in selling car parts.