• The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • Gene Watson: 'Real Country Music' (Fourteen Carat Music, 2016)

  • Gene Watson: 'Back in the Fire & At Last' (Morello Records, 2016) / this album was officially released on Friday 11 November 2016

  • Gene Watson's Calendar

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • Gene Watson Guitars by Summey

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • Gene Watson at The Opry in Nashville

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

Management


Lytle Management Group
P.O. Box 128228
Nashville, TN 37212
Contact Sarah Brosmer
Telephone 615-770-2688

Bookings



Battle Artist Agency
8887 Horton Highway,
College Grove, TN
Contact Rob Battle
office: 615-368-7433
mobile: 615-957-3444



Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 - Thursday 26 July 2007)
An Appreciation



Lawton Williams, acclaimed songwriter of 'Farewell Party', was born on Monday 24 July 1922 in Troy, Tennessee.

Lawton Williams was the son of a fiddle player and was influenced by Roy Acuff (Tuesday 15 September 1903 - Monday 23 November 1992) and movie cowboy Gene Autry (Sunday 29 September 1907 - Friday 2 October 1998).

Lawton Williams was stationed in Houston, Texas during World War II; it was there that he learned how to write songs from Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003).  Lawton Williams' first cuts came with performers Cliff Bruner and Laura Lee McBride.

Lawton Williams made early recordings in the late 1940s for independent record labels Sultan Records and Fortune Records.  Later, Lawton Williams signed with Four-Star Records, Coral Records and Imperial Records.

In 1961, Lawton Williams charted with Mercury Records with 'Anywhere There's People', which was written by Steve Karliski (Sunday 10 March 1940 - Sunday 7 October 2007); Lawton also charted in 1964 with RCA Records with 'Everything's OK on the LBJ'.



A number of country music artists have recorded Lawton Williams' songs.



Bobby Helms (Tuesday 15 August 1933 - Thursday 19 June 1997) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein', as his first single, in 1957; it was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart and stayed on the listings for fifty-two weeks.

Bobby Helms' recording of Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' also reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1957, and was subsequently included on 'The Best of Bobby Helms' (Columbia Records, 1963).



Hank Locklin (Friday 15 February 1918 - Sunday 8 March 2009) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Geisha Girl', as his first single, in 1958, when it reached No.4 on the Billboard country music singles chart.

Hank Locklin's recording of Lawton Williams' 'Geisha Girl' also reached No.66 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1958, and was included on Hank Locklin's 'Foreign Love' (RCA Records, 1958).



Kitty Wells (Saturday 30 August 1919 - Monday 16 July 2012) recorded Lawton Williams' 'I'll Always Be Your Fraulein' (co-written with Roy Botkin and Wally Jarvis); the track, which was a follow-up to Bobby Helms' 1957 Billboard No.1 hit 'Fraulein', reached No.10 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1961, and was subsequently included on 'Golden Favourites' (Decca Records, 1961).



Marty Robbins (Saturday 26 September 1925 - Wednesday 8 December 1982) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Paper Face', which was co-written with Hank Locklin (Friday 15 February 1918 - Sunday 8 March 2009), and included the track on 'Marty Robbins' (Columbia Records, 1958).



In 1961, Little Jimmy Dickens (Sunday 19 December 1920 - Friday 2 January 2015) became the first artist to record Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party'; the track was the 'B' side of his 'Talking to The Wall' single, which was released on Columbia Records in May 1961 (catalogue number: 4-42013), as a non-album single, with Walter Haynes playing steel guitar.



Bobby Bare
recorded Lawton Williams' 'Shame on Me' (co-written with Bill Enis) and included the track on 'Detroit City' (RCA Records, 1963); the track reached No.18 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1963, and reached No.23 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1963.



Loretta Lynn recorded Lawton Williams' 'Colour of The Blues', which was co-written with George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013), and included the track on 'Loretta Lynn Sings' (Decca Records, 1963).



Jim Reeves (Monday 20 August 1923 - Friday 31 July 1964) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Senor Santa Claus' and included the track on 'Twelve Days of Christmas' (RCA Records, 1963).



George Jones
(Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Colour of The Blues' (co-written with George Jones) and included the track on 'Blue & Lonesome' (Mercury Records, 1964).



Roy Drusky (Sunday 22 June 1930 - Thursday 23 September 2004) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' and included the track on 'Country Music All Around The World' (Mercury Records, 1965).



Roy Drusky (Sunday 22 June 1930 - Thursday 23 September 2004) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Geisha Girl' and included the track on 'Country Music All Around The World' (Mercury Records, 1965).



Skeeter Davis (Wednesday 30 December 1931 - Sunday 19 September 2004) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Lost to a Geisha Girl' and included the track on 'Blueberry Hill' (RCA Records, 1965).



George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Colour of The Blues' (co-written with George Jones) and included the track on 'Starday Presents George Jones' (Starday Records, 1965).



Dave Dudley (Thursday 3 May 1928 - Monday 22 December 2003) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Geisha Girl' and included the track on 'There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere' (Mercury Records, 1966).



Dave Dudley (Thursday 3 May 1928 - Monday 22 December 2003) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' and included the track on 'There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere' (Mercury Records, 1966).



Johnny Bush also recorded Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party' and included the track on 'Sound of a Heartache' (Stop Records, 1967).



Jack Greene
(Tuesday 7 January 1930 - Thursday 15 March 2013) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' and included the track on 'You Are My Treasure' (Decca Records, 1968).



Roy Drusky (Sunday 22 June 1930 - Thursday 23 September 2004) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' and included the track on 'My Grass is Green' (Mercury Records, 1969).



Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 - Wednesday 13 February 2002) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party' and included the track on 'Just to Satisfy You' (RCA Victor Records, 1969).

Hank Locklin: 'Queen of Hearts' (Hilltop Records, 1969)

Hank Locklin (Friday 15 February 1918 - Sunday 8 March 2009) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Alone at a Table for Two' and included the track on 'Queen of Hearts' (Hilltop Records, 1969).



In 1971, Lawton Williams saw the release of 'Between Truck Stops' (Mega Records, 1971), which included the following tracks:

'Cold Cold Hands'
'Asphalt Cowboy'
'Ballad of Jim Blynn'
'Headin' Down The Wrong Highway'
'Tennessee Border'
'I'd Rather Drive a Truck'
'Sybil Writes'
'Highway to Nowhere'
'Truck Driver's Blues'
'Big Wheel Cannonball'



Townes Van Zandt (Tuesday 7 March 1944 - Wednesday 1 January 1997) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' and included the track on 'The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt' (Poppy Records, 1973).

Townes Van Zandt's 'The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt' (Poppy Records, 1973) was re-issued by Charly Records in 2015.

Mickey Gilley: 'City Lights' (Playboy Records, 1975) Mickey Gilley: 'Wild Side of Life' (Hilltop Records, 1976)

Mickey Gilley recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' and included the track on 'City Lights' (Playboy Records, 1975); the track was also included on Mickey Gilley's 'Wild Side of Life' (Hillside Records, 1976).



Gene Watson recorded Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party' and included the track on 'Reflections' (Capitol Records, 1978); when released as a single (Capitol 4680), the track reached No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1979.

'Farewell Party' would go on to become Gene Watson's signature tune and the name of his highly acclaimed touring band.

Gene Watson's version of Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party' is considered by many to be the definitive version of the song, with Lloyd Green playing the legendary steel guitar part - 'Farewell Party' was the last Gene Watson track, which Lloyd Green played steel guitar on, having played on a number of Gene's Capitol Records recordings.

'Farewell Party' should have been the foundation on which the recording session was based, but the track was apparently a last minute addition to the recording session.  Gene Watson also recorded 'Farewell Party' in one take.



On Tuesday 27 January 2009, England's Hux Records released 'Reflections' (Capitol Records, 1978), along with 'Should I Come Home' (Capitol Records, 1979), as a special '2-for-1' CD.

The Singing Kettles (Bill, Ross and Max Kettle): 'The Way it Used to Be, Volume 1 & 2' (Hadley Records, 1982)

The Singing Kettles (Bill, Ross and Max Kettle) recorded Lawton Williams' 'Fraulein' and included the track on 'The Way it Used to Be, Volume 1 & 2' (Hadley Records, 1982); the track, which had been recorded in January 1972, was subsequently included on 'The Way it Used to Be, Volumes 1 & 2' (Bellbird Music, 2005).



In 1985, Germany's Bear Family Records released a compilation of Lawton Williams' recordings; 'Lightning Jones' (Bear Family Records, 1985), included the following tracks:

'Blue Grass Skirt' / this track was previously un-issued
'Foreign Love' / this track was previously un-issued
'I'll Still Love You' / this track was previously un-issued
'Casino on the Hill'
'Train of Thoughts' / this track was previously un-issued
'If You're Waiting on Me'
'Don't Burn The Bridge Behind You'
'Rhinelander Waltz' / this track was previously un-issued
'Moon Joe'
'Lightning Jones'
'Carpetbaggers' (written by Bill Enis)
'Squawlein'
'Stay on the Ball'
'Mama, Pinch a Penny'
'Everything's O.K. on the L.B.J., Part 1'
'Everything's O.K. on the L.B.J., Part 2'



Alan Jackson, a long-time admirer of Gene Watson, recorded Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party', with Paul Franklin on steel guitar, and included the track on 'Under The Influence' (Arista Records, 1999).



In 2003, Lawton Williams saw the release of his final album, 'Mending Fences' (Tima Records, 2003), which was released by Tima Records in 2003, and included the following tracks:

'Mending Fences'
'The Last Trumpet'
'Lord, Forgive'
'The McNairy Country Sheriff'
'Golden Cigarette Lighter'
'The Sun's Gonna Shine Again'
'Neon Nights'
'Adam & Everett'
'World'
'Don't Play Angel with Me'
'Every Little Bit Hurts'
'Mockingbird Mansion'



Joe Nichols
, a long-time admirer of Gene Watson, recorded Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party' and included the track on ‘Revelation’ (Universal South Records, 2004).



Lawton Williams' last recording was included on 'The Influence' (Heart of Texas Records, 2004), which was a tribute album, which honoured the music of Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003) - Lawton Williams recorded his own song 'It Just Tears Me Up' with Floyd Tillman.

Floyd Tillman's 'The Influence' (Heart of Texas Records, 2004) included the following tracks:

'Slippin Around' (written by Floyd Tillman)
/ this track featured guest duet vocals from Dolly Parton
'It Makes No Difference Now' (written by Floyd Tillman) / this track featured guest duet vocals from Mel Tillis
'I Gotta Have My Baby Back' / this track featured guest duet vocals from Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013)
'Drivin' Nails in My Coffin' / this track featured guest duet vocals from George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013)
'I Love You So Much It Hurts Me' (written by Floyd Tillman) / this track featured guest duet vocals from Connie Smith
'Each Night at Nine' (written by Floyd Tillman) / this track featured guest duet vocals from Willie Nelson
'I'll Take What I Can Get' / this track featured guest duet vocals from Hank Thompson (Thursday 3 September 1925 - Tuesday 6 November 2007)
'This Cold War with You' (written by Floyd Tillman) / this track featured guest duet vocals from Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016), who also added a special guitar solo to the track
'I'll Keep on Lovin' You' (written by Floyd Tillman) / this track featured guest duet vocals from Darrell McCall
'Let's Make Memories Tonight' / this track featured guest duet vocals from Leona Williams
'They Took The Stars Out of Heaven' / this track featured guest duet vocals from Johnny Bush
'I'm Still in Love with Every Girl' (written by Floyd Tillman) / this track featured guest duet vocals from Justin Trevino
'Just as Long as I Have You' / this track featured guest duet vocals from Frankie Miller
'It Just Tears Me Up' (written by Lawton Williams) / this track featured guest duet vocals from Lawton Williams

Floyd Tillman's 'The Influence' (Heart of Texas Records, 2004), which was his final album, was produced by Justin Trevino and Tracy Pitcox and was recorded in San Marcos; the album was released on Heart of Texas Records, based in Brady, Texas.

Personnel involved in the recording of Floyd Tillman's 'The Influence' (Heart of Texas Records, 2004) included the following:

Johnny Gimble (fiddle, mandolin)
Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) (guitar) (this was Dave Kirby's last recording session)
Bobby Flores
Floyd Domino
Dicky Overbey (Monday 11 May 1942 - Saturday 4 October 2014)
Levi Mullen
John Smiley Reynolds
Leona Williams, Justin Trevino and Frankie Miller (harmony vocals)



Marti Brom recorded Lawton Williams' 'Alone at a Table for Two' and included the track on 'Marti Brom Sings...Heartache Numbers' (Goofin' Music Records, 2005).



On Thursday 26 July 2007, Lawton Williams passed away at Harris Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas at 2:00pm CST.

Visitation for Lawton Williams took place on Sunday 29 July 2007 between 5:00pm and 7:00pm in Lourel Land Funeral Chapel at 7100 Crowley Road in Fort Worth, Texas.

Lawton Williams' funeral service took place on Monday 30 July 2007 at 2:00pm CST.



Patty Loveless recorded Lawton Williams' 'Colour of The Blues', which was co-written with George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013), and included the track on 'Sleepless Nights' (Saguaro Records, 2009).



Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out recorded Lawton Williams' 'Farewell Party' and included the track on 'Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed' (Cracker Barrel, 2012).

Source
Tracy Pitcox, Heart of Texas Records, Brady, Texas
Jim Eaves
Country Music People

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