Gene Watson's Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers, who were contacted by The Gene Watson Fan Site, during 2006, were most gracious with their time and words.
It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Mark Casstevens, which he submitted to this site on Thursday 19 October 2006.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Mark Casstevens who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Thursday 19 October 2006.
'I've had the privilege to play acoustic guitar behind Gene on a couple of recording projects and both were a treat.
It remains a career highlight to have worked with him on the arrangement when we recorded 'At Last' (Warner Bros. Records, 1991) - what a vocal!
Gene's work belongs in a time capsule...the hardest thing would be to pick which performances'.
Thank you, Mark Casstevens, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Mark Casstevens...
Mark Casstevens is a Texan who moved to Nashville, when he was twenty-two years old.
Among the career highlights of a guitar player in the Nashville studios was getting to meet musical heroes.
Mark Casstevens soon rubbed shoulders with the elite of Nashville musicians, including guitar / banjo player Bobby Thompson (Monday 5 July 1937 - Wednesday 18 May 2005), Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 - Saturday 30 June 2001), Jerry Reed (Saturday 20 March 1937 - Monday 1 September 2008) and drummer Larrie Londin (Friday 15 October 1943 - Monday 24 August 1992).
As a multi-instrumentalist specialising in acoustic guitar, Mark Casstevens has accompanied over 250 recording artists in Nashville studio sessions.
Mark Casstevens has played on ninety-eight No.1 singles on the Billboard country music singles chart and has added his talents to well over four hundred albums; the cumulative sales from those sessions is in the region of two hundred million units.
The songs and albums have been awarded over twenty Grammy Awards.
In May 1980, John Conlee saw the release of 'Friday Night Blues' (MCA Records, 1980), which included three tracks which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:
'Friday Night Blues' (written by Sonny Throckmorton and Rafe VanHoy) (No.2, 1980)
'She Can't Say That Anymore' (written by Sonny Throckmorton) (No.2, 1980)
'What I Had with You' (written by Curley Putman and Sonny Throckmorton) (No.12, 1981)
John Conlee's 'Friday Night Blues' (MCA Records, 1980) also included the following tracks:
'Honky Tonk Toys', which was written by Arthur Leo 'Doodle' Owens (Friday 28 November 1930 - Monday 4 October 1999) and Judy Vowell
'Old Fashioned Love' (written by Don Cook and Jamie O'Hara)
'Misery Loves Company', which was written by Jerry Reed Hubbard (Saturday 20 March 1937 - Monday 1 September 2008)
'Let's Get Married Again' (written by Rory Bourke, Charlie Black and Jerry Gillespie)
'When I'm Out of You' (written by Sanger D. 'Whitey' Shafer and Sonny Throckmorton)
'We Belong in Love Tonight' (written by Mark Paden)
'Always True' (written by David Loggins)
John Conlee's 'Friday Night Blues' (MCA Records, 1980) reached No.16 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1980.
Personnel involved in the recording of John Conlee's 'Friday Night Blues' (MCA Records, 1980) included the following:
John Propst (piano)
Larrie Londin (Friday 15 October 1943 - Monday 24 August 1992) (drums, percussion)
Steve 'Juke' Logan (saxophone)
Mark Casstevens (guitar)
Brent Rowan (guitar)
Joe Osborn (bass)
Buddy Emmons (Wednesday 27 January 1937 - Wednesday 29 July 2015) (steel guitar)
Lea Jane Berinati, Janie Fricke, Jackie Cusic and Todd Cerney (backing vocals)
In 1993, Music Row magazine named Mark Casstevens winner in the 'Guitar' category of their annual Studio Poll.
The Lonesome River Band recorded Mark Casstevens' 'Highway Paved with Pain' and included the track on 'Old Country Town' (Sugar Hill Records, 1994).
In 2003, Mark Casstevens was voted 'Specialty Instrumentalist of the Year' by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) for his multi-instrumental contributions to hit records.
The array of country music artists, whose recordings Mark Casstevens has contributed to, is an extraordinary list and includes the following:
Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 - Saturday 30 June 2001)
Baillie & The Boys
Brooks & Dunn (Kix Brooks & Ronnie Dunn)
T. Graham Brown
Johnny Cash (Friday 26 February 1932 - Friday 12 September 2003)
Beth Neilsen Chapman
Earl Thomas ConleyThe Cox Family
Floyd Cramer (Friday 27 October 1933 - Wednesday 31 December 1997)
John Denver (Friday 31 December 1943 - Sunday 12 October 1997)
Freddy Fender (Friday 4 June 1937 - Saturday 14 October 2006)
Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 - Tuesday 28 April 2009)
Rebecca Lynn Howard
Sonny James (Wednesday 1 May 1929 - Monday 22 February 2016)
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013)
Chris Ledoux (Saturday 2 October 1948 - Wednesday 9 March 2005)
John Michael Montgomery
Michael Martin Murphey
The Oak Ridge Boys
Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006)
Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003)
Webb Pierce (Monday 8 August 1921 - Sunday 24 February 1991)
Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013)
Eddie Rabbitt (Thursday 27 November 1941 - Thursday 7 May 1998)
Jerry Reed (Saturday 20 March 1937 - Monday 1 September 2008)
Jeannie C. Riley
Roy Rogers (Sunday 5 November 1911 - Monday 6 July 1998)
Billy Joe Royal (Friday 3 April 1942 - Tuesday 6 October 2015)
Dan Seals (Sunday 8 February 1948 - Wednesday 25 March 2009)
Kevin Sharp (Thursday 10 December 1970 - Saturday 19 April 2014)
Ricky Van Shelton
Shel Silverstein (Thursday 25 September 1930 - Saturday 8 May 1999 / Sunday 9 May 1999)
The Statler Brothers
Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993)
Dottie West (Tuesday 11 October 1932 - Wednesday 4 September 1991)
Keith Whitley (Thursday 1 July 1954 - Tuesday 9 May 1989)
Hank Williams Junior
Lee Ann Womack
Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998)
Mark Casstevens played guitar, on all tracks, on Tammy Wynette's highly acclaimed 'Higher Ground' (Epic Records, 1987), which was produced by Steve Buckingham.
Mark Casstevens played acoustic guitar on seven of the ten tracks ('At Last', 'A Gifted Hand', 'You Can't Get Arrested in Nashville', 'She's Leavin' Looking Good', 'I Catch Myself', 'Only Yesterday' and 'This Country's Bigger Than Texas') on Gene Watson's 'At Last' (Warner Bros. Records, 1991).
Mark Casstevens played guitar, mandolin and harmonica on Tim Menzies' 'This Ol' Heart' (Giant Records, 1992).
On Tuesday 9 June 1998, Joe Diffie saw the release of 'Greatest Hits' (Epic Records, 1998), his first 'greatest hits' package, which included the hit singles from Joe Diffie's first five studio albums, as well as three new tracks ('Poor Me', 'Texas Size Heartache' and 'Hurt Me All The Time'), of which the first two were released as singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart:
'Third Rock from The Sun' (written by Sterling Whipple, Tony Martin and John Greenebaum) (No.1 for one week in September / October 1994)
'John Deere Green', which was written by Dennis Linde (Thursday 18 March 1943 - Friday 22 December 2006) (No.5 in December 1993)
'Texas Size Heartache' (written by Zack Turner and Lonnie Wilson) (No.4, 1998) / this new track was produced by Don Cook, Lonnie Wilson and Joe Diffie
'Ships That Don't Come In' (written by Paul Nelson and Dave Gibson) (No.5 in July 1992) / this track also reached No.1 on Radio & Records Chart in the United States in 1992
'Pickup Man' (written by Howard Perdew and Kerry Kurt Phillips) (No.1 for four weeks in December 1994 / January 1995)
'So Help Me Girl' (written by Howard Perdew and Andy Spooner) (No.2 in February 1995)
'Poor Me' (written by Al Anderson and Bob DiPiero) (No.43, 1998) / this new track was produced by Don Cook, Lonnie Wilson and Joe Diffie
'Honky Tonk Attitude' (written by Joe Diffie and Lee Bogan) (No.5 in March 1993)
'Home' (written by Fred Lehner and Andy Spooner) (No.1 for one week in November 1990) / this track reached No.1 on all three major country music format charts which were in existence at the time - Billboard, Radio & Records (now known as Mediabase 24/7) and the now-defunct Gavin Report - marking the first time in chart history that a country singer's debut single had done so / this track also reached No.1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks Chart
'Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (if I die)' (written by Howard Perdew, Rick Blaylock and Kerry Kurt Phillips) (No.3 in August 1993)
'Bigger Than the Beatles' (written by Jeb Stuart Anderson and Steve Dukes) (No.1 for one week in February 1996)
'Hurt Me all the Time' (written by Terry Skinner and Chad Austin) / this new track was produced by Don Cook, Lonnie Wilson and Joe Diffie
Personnel involved in the recording of the three new tracks, 'Texas Size Heartache', 'Poor Me' and 'Hurt Me all the Time', which were included on Joe Diffie's 'Greatest Hits' (Epic Records, 1998), included the following:
Al Anderson (acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
Bruce C. Bouton and Paul Franklin (pedal steel guitar)
Mark Casstevens (acoustic guitar)
Joe Diffie (lead vocals, background vocals)
Larry Franklin (fiddle, mandolin)
John Barlow Jarvis (Hammond B-3, Wurlitzer)
Liana Manis (background vocals)
Brent Mason (electric guitar)
Steve Nathan (piano)
Lonnie Wilson (drums, percussion)
Glenn Worf (bass guitar)
Joe Diffie's 'Greatest Hits' (Epic Records, 1998) reached No.21 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1998, and No.131 on the Billboard Top 200 albums Chart.
On Tuesday 1 June 1999, Joe Diffie saw the release of 'A Night to Remember' (Epic Records, 1999), which included four tracks which were released as singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart:
'A Night to Remember' (written by Max T. Barnes and T.W. Hale) (No.6 in July 1999) / this track was Joe Diffie's highest entry on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart, reaching No.38
'The Quittin' Kind', which was written by Mark D. Sanders, Sam Hogin (1950 - Monday 9 August 2004) and Phil Barnhart (No.21, 1999)
'It's Always Somethin' (written by Aimee Mayo and Marv Green) (No.5, 2000)
'Better off Gone' (written by Zack Turner and Lonnie Wilson) / this track did not chart
Joe Diffie's 'A Night to Remember' (Epic Records, 1999) also included the following tracks:
'You Can't Go Home' (written by Joe Diffie, Zack Turner and Lonnie Wilson)
'I'm the Only Thing (I'll hold against you)', which was written by Joe Diffie, Lonnie Wilson and Kim Williams (Saturday 28 June 1947 - Thursday 11 February 2016)
'Are We Even Yet' (written by Joe Diffie, Zack Turner and Lonnie Wilson)
'My Heart's in Over My Head' (written by Joe Diffie and Tim Menzies)
'Not in This Lifetime' (written by Bob DiPiero and Steve Diamond)
'Don't Our Love Look Natural', which was written by Don Cook and Harlan Howard (Thursday 8 September 1927 - Sunday 3 March 2002)
Personnel involved in the recording of Joe Diffie's 'A Night to Remember' (Epic Records, 1999) included the following:
Sam Bush (mandolin)
Mark Casstevens (acoustic guitar)
Joe Diffie (lead and harmony vocals)
Larry Franklin (fiddle)
Paul Franklin (steel guitar)
David Hungate and Glenn Worf (bass guitar)
John Barlow Jarvis (piano, B3 organ, Wurlitzer)
Tim Lauer (B3 organ, keyboards)
Liana Manis (harmony vocals)
Brent Mason (electric guitar, gut string guitar, Tic tac bass)
Steve Nathan (piano, keyboards, B3 organ)
Tom Roady (percussion)
Brent Rowan (electric guitar)
Lonnie Wilson (drums, percussion, harmony vocals)
Joe Diffie's 'A Night to Remember' (Epic Records, 1999) reached No.23 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1999, No.189 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart, and No.25 on the Canadian RPM Country Albums Chart.
On Tuesday 8 February 2005, Lee Ann Womack saw the release of 'There's More Where That Came From' (MCA Records Nashville, 2005), which was produced by Greg Droman and Byron Gallimore, and included three tracks which were hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart:
'I May Hate Myself in the Morning' (written by Odie Blackmon) (No.10, 2004) / this track, which featured Lee Ann Womack's ex-husband, Jason Sellers, on background vocals, won 'Single of the Year' at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards in 2004
'He Oughta Know That by Now' (written by Clint Ingersoll and Jeremy Spillman) (No.22, 2005)
'Twenty Years & Two Husbands Ago' (written by Lee Ann Womack, Dean Dillon and Dale Dodson) (No.32, 2005)
Lee Ann Womack's 'There's More Where That Came From' (MCA Records Nashville, 2005) also included the following tracks:
'There's More Where That Came From' (written by Chris Stapleton and Chris DuBois)
'One's a Couple' (written by Billy Lawson, Dale Dodson and John Northrup)
'The Last Time' (written by David Lee, Tony Lane and Chris DuBois)
'Happiness' (written by Kostas)
'When You Get to Me' (written by Bill Luther and Marv Green)
'Painless' (written by Bill Luther, Hillary Lindsey and Luke Laird)
'What I Miss about Heaven' (written by Marcus Hummon and Annie Roboff)
'Waiting for the Sun to Shine' (written by Sonny Throckmorton)
'Stubborn (Psalm 151)' (written by Don Schlitz and Brett James)
'Just Someone I Used to Know', which was written by Cowboy Jack Clement (Sunday 5 April 1931 - Thursday 8 August 2013)
Personnel involved in the recording of Lee Ann Womack's 'There's More Where That Came From' (MCA Records Nashville, 2005) included the following:
Shannon Forrest and Lonnie Wilson (drums, percussion)
Michael Rhodes and Glenn Worf (bass)
Steve Nathan and Jimmy Nichols (piano, Wurlitzer, organ)
Paul Franklin and Robby Turner (steel guitar)
Tom Bukovac, Mark Casstevens, Rusty Dannmeyer, David Grissom, Troy Lancaster, B. James Lowry, Brent Mason, Randy Scruggs and Bryan Sutton (guitars)
Kirk 'Jelly Roll' Johnson (harmonica)
Aubrey Haynie (fiddle)
Stuart Duncan and Aubrey Haynie (mandolin)
Lisa Cochran, Wes Hightower, Luke Laird, Bill Luther, Chris Rodriguez, Jason Sellers, Harry Stinson, Lee Ann Womack and Andrea Zonn (backing vocals)
Lee Ann Womack's 'There's More Where That Came From' (MCA Records Nashville, 2005) reached No.3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 2005, and No.12 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart in 2005.
Lee Ann Womack's 'There's More Where That Came From' (MCA Nashville, 2005) was hailed by many people within the country music industry as 'a return to tradition' as it featured songs about drinking and cheating with a distinctive older country twang. The album won the Country Music Association (CMA) Award for 'Album of the Year' in 2005.
• Check out Julie S. Dobbins' 'Visit with Mark Casstevens' at craigdobbins.com