• 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

Webster PR



Webster Public Relations
, PO Box 23015, Nashville, TN 37202

Contact Scott Adkins
Telephone 615-777-6995



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 2008, 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 Sonny Curtis, which he submitted to this site on Wednesday 9 January 2008.

Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Sonny Curtis who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.



Sonny Curtis
This quote was submitted on Wednesday 9 January 2008.

'Gene Watson is in the same league as those other good old Texas boys Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 - Wednesday 13 February 2002), Willie Nelson and Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959).

He is blessed with enormous soul, 'feel' and class.

I turn a lot of guys off these days, but Gene, I always turn up.


I'm happy to provide this quote because Gene is a terrific artist that I've always enjoyed listening to'.

Thank you, Sonny Curtis, for your support of Gene Watson.

About Sonny Curtis...



Sonny Curtis, from his West Texas beginnings as the lead guitarist in Buddy Holly's pre-Crickets band to a prolific song-writing career, is a rare talent who successfully transcended musical genres long before the term 'crossover' was coined.

Sonny Curtis has written over five-hundred songs which have been recorded by legendary artists, including the following:

Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Hank Williams Junior
Nanci Griffith
The Everly Brothers - Don Everly and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014)
Roy Orbison (Thursday 23 April 1936 - Tuesday 6 December 1988)

Sonny Curtis was born on Sunday 9 May 1937 in Meadow, a small town outside of Lubbock, Texas and was the second youngest of six children born to struggling cotton farmers during the devastating Dust Bowl era.

In the Curtis family, music was a way of life.  When he was a boy, Sonny Curtis and his family would gather with neighbours at 'musical Saturday nights' where they picked and sang old Revolutionary War tunes.

Sonny Curtis' first love was bluegrass music, inspired in part by his uncles, The Mayfield Brothers, who were professional musicians.  One of the brothers, Ed Mayfield, played guitar in the 1950s for Sonny Curtis' lifelong hero and the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe (Wednesday 13 September 1911 - Monday 9 September 1996).

Sonny Curtis learned to play the fiddle and guitar at a very early age and, by the time he was ten years old, he had joined brothers Pete and Dean to form the group The Curtis Brothers and together they performed on local radio stations and in jamborees.

Sonny Curtis received help from his friends and fellow musicians Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959), Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 - Wednesday 13 February 2002), and future Crickets J.I. Allison, Joseph Benson Mauldin Junior (Monday 8 July 1940 - Saturday 7 February 2015) and Glen D. Hardin.

While he was still in high school, word of Sonny Curtis' talent reached a local promoter in Lubbock, Texas who frequently added him to a bill that included a young Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 - Tuesday 16 August 1977), Carl Perkins (Saturday 9 April 1932 - Monday 19 January 1998), Johnny Cash (Friday 26 February 1932 - Friday 12 September 2003) and other contemporary stars of the day.

In 1956, Sonny Curtis accompanied Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959) and bassist Don Guess to Nashville, where he played lead guitar on several songs they recorded for Decca Records.

Soon afterwards, Sonny Curtis started to play guitar for country music legend Slim Whitman (Saturday 20 January 1923 - Wednesday 19 June 2013).



Up until this point, Sonny Curtis' song-writing efforts had been limited to making up tunes to fill the time.  Everything changed in 1956 when he wrote 'Someday', which was a country music hit single for Webb Pierce (Monday 8 August 1921 - Sunday 24 February 1991), reaching No.12 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1961; the track was included on 'Webb Pierce's Golden Favourites' (Decca Records, 1961).



On a hot Texas afternoon in the summer of 1958, Sonny Curtis wrote his most recognised and recorded tune; 'I Fought The Law', which was originally included on 'In Style with The Crickets' (Coral Records, 1960), made stars out of The Bobby Fuller Four when they re-recorded the song in 1965, when it reached No.9 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart.

'In Style with The Crickets' (Coral Records, 1960) was the sole album recorded by The Crickets without Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959) and was released prior to their move to Liberty Records; the album included the following tracks:

'More Than I Can Say' (written by Jerry I. Allison and Sonny Curtis)
'Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu' (written by Huey 'Piano' Smith and John Vincent)
'Great Balls of Fire', which was written by Otis Blackwell (Monday 16 February 1931 - Monday 6 May 2002) and Jack Hammer
'Ting-a-Ling', which was written by Ahmet Ertegun (Tuesday 31 July 1923 - Thursday 14 December 2006)
'Just This Once', which was written by Sonny Curtis, Joseph Benson Mauldin Junior (Monday 8 July 1940 - Saturday 7 February 2015) and Henry Earl Sinks
'Deborah' (written by J.I. Allison and Sonny Curtis)
'Baby My Heart' (written by Sonny Curtis)
'When You Ask About Love' (written by Jerry I. Allison and Sonny Curtis)
'Time Will Tell', which was written by Paul Leon Gayten (Thursday 29 January 1920 - Tuesday 26 March 1991)
'A Sweet Love' (written by Sonny Curtis)
'I Fought the Law' (written  by Sonny Curtis)
'Love's Made a Fool of You', which was written by Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959) and Bob Montgomery (Wednesday 12 May 1937 - Thursday 4 December 2014)

The CD re-issue of 'In Style with The Crickets' (Coral Records, 1960), in 1993, on MCA Records, added six bonus cuts from non-LP singles and out-takes, which were otherwise only available on the German compilation 'Rare Items, 1959 - 1960', and included the following tracks:

'Someone, Someone' (written by Edwin Greines and Vi Petty)
'Don't Cha Know', which was written by Harold David Box (Wednesday 11 August 1943 - Friday 23 October 1964) and Ernie Hall
'Why Did You Leave?' (written by Robert Guidry)
'Smooth Guy' (written by Sonny Curtis)
'So You're in Love' (written by Jerry I. Allison and Sonny Curtis)
'Peggy Sue Got Married', which was written by Buddy Holly (Monday 7 September 1936 - Tuesday 3 February 1959)

Although the front sleeve of 'In Style with The Crickets' (Coral Records, 1960) only showed pictures of Joseph Benson Mauldin Junior (Monday 8 July 1940 - Saturday 7 February 2015), Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis, the line-up was as follows:

The Crickets
Henry Earl Sinks (lead vocals)
Sonny Curtis (lead guitar)
Joseph Benson Mauldin Junior (Monday 8 July 1940 - Saturday 7 February 2015) (double bass)
Jerry I. Allison (drums, rhythm guitar)

Additional personnel
Harold David Box (Wednesday 11 August 1943 - Friday 23 October 1964) (lead guitar, lead vocals)
Dudley Brooks Dudley Brooks (22 December 1913 - Monday 17 July 1989) (piano)
Ernie Hall (drums)
The Roses (backing vocals)
Tommy Allsup (Tuesday 24 November 1931 - Wednesday 11 January 2017) (rhythm guitar)
Vi Petty (piano)

When he was twenty-one years old, Sonny Curtis rejoined The Crickets just prior to Buddy Holly's death in a plane crash, on Tuesday 3 February 1959.



Sonny Curtis then took a job playing lead guitar for The Everly Brothers - Don Everly and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014).  Sonny Curtis then received his draft notice from the United States Army and was stationed in France for eighteen months.

 

It was while he was in France when Sonny Curtis composed 'Walk Right Back', which was a major Billboard pop music hit single for The Everly Brothers, in the United States (No.7, 1961), Australia (No.8, 1961), Canada (No.3, 1961) and in the United Kingdom (No.1 for three weeks in 1961); the track was subsequently included on 'The Golden Hits of The Everly Brothers' (Warner Bros. Records, 1962).

After his discharge from the United states Army, Sonny Curtis moved to Los Angeles where, in 1965, he devoted his time to song-writing and to developing his own career as an artist.

Throughout the 1970s, Sonny Curtis applied his song-writing skills to television and radio commercials, and also wrote and sang 'Love is All Around', the theme song for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which starred Mary Tyler Moore (Tuesday 29 December 1936 - Wednesday 25 January 2017).

In 1976, Sonny Curtis moved to Nashville, where he toured steadily with Waylon Jennings' road show as a member of The Crickets for five years.



Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Number One' (co-written with Billy Swan) and included the track on 'Natural Act' (A&M Records, 1978).

As a recording artist for Elektra Records in the early 1980s, Sonny Curtis scored numerous songs in the Billboard Top 100 country music chart, including 'Good Ole Girls' (No.15, 1981).



Along with co-writer Ron Hellard, Sonny Curtis achieved one of his biggest country music successes with 'I'm No Stranger to The Rain', a Billboard country music No.1 record for Keith Whitley (Thursday 1 July 1954 - Tuesday 9 May 1989).

'I'm No Stranger to The Rain' (written by Sonny Curtis and Ron Hellard) was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for two weeks in April 1989 and was included on Keith Whitley's 'Don't Close Your Eyes' (RCA Records, 1988); the Country Music Association (CMA) voted the song 'Single of the Year' in 1989.

Sonny Curtis is a member of BMI's 'Million Airs Club' in recognition of 'I Fought The Law', 'More Than I Can Say' (co-written with Jerry I. Allison), 'Walk Right Back', 'The Straight Life' and 'I'm No Stranger to The Rain', each of which have logged over a million airplays in over 500,000 radio hours apiece.



Sonny Curtis' wide-ranging contributions to song-writing earned him a place in the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Hall of Fame in 1991.



The Everly Brothers - Don Everly and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014) - recorded Sonny Curtis' 'This is The Last Song I'm Ever Going to Sing' (co-written with Jerry I. Allison) and included the track on 'The Everly Brothers Sing Great Country Hits' (Warner Bros. Records, 1963).



The Wilburn Brothers - Doyle Wilburn (Monday 7 July 1930 - Saturday 16 October 1982) and Teddy Wilburn (Monday 30 November 1931 - Monday 24 November 2003) - recorded Sonny Curtis' 'A Fool Never Learns' and included the track on 'Never Alone' (Decca Records, 1964).



On Wednesday 17 November 1965, The Everly Brothers - Don Everly and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014) - recorded Sonny Curtis' 'And I'll Go'; the track was subsequently included on 'Heartaches & Harmonies' (Rhino Records, 1994), a compilation box-set CD, which was released in 1994.

The Everly Brothers' 'Heartaches & Harmonies' (Rhino Records, 1994) included 103 songs, spanning from a 1951 radio performance of 'Don't Let Our Love Die' through 1990; the box-set included their early Cadence Records hits and a large representation of their Warner Bros. output, along with alternate takes and less-successful singles.



The Everly Brothers - Don Everly and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014) - recorded Sonny Curtis' 'I Used to Love You' and included the track on 'In Our Image' (Warner Bros. Records, 1966).



The Everly Brothers - Don Every and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014) - recorded Sonny Curtis' 'The Collector' (co-written with Don Everly and Phil Everly) and included the track on 'Two Yanks in England' (Warner Bros. Records, 1966).



Jimmy Dean (Friday 10 August 1928 - Sunday 13 June 2010) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'My Way of Life' and included the track on 'Jimmy Dean is Here' (RCA Records, 1967).



Dave Dudley (Thursday 3 May 1928 - Monday 22 December 2003) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'My Way of Life' and included the track on 'My Kind of Love' (Mercury Records, 1967).



Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 - Wednesday 13 February 2002) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Destiny's Child' and included the track on 'Love of The Common People' (RCA Records, 1967).



Glen Campbell recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Straight Life' and included the track on 'Wichita Lineman' (Capitol Records, 1968).



Johnny Duncan (Wednesday 5 October 1938 - Monday 14 August 2006) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Day Drinker' and included the track on 'Johnny One Time' (Columbia Records, 1968).



Nat Stuckey (Sunday 17 December 1933 - Wednesday 24 August 1988) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Soul Fever' and included the track on 'Country Fever' (RCA Victor Records, 1970).

Ann M. Stuckey submitted a 'Peer's Quote' about Gene Watson on Saturday 25 January 2014



Eddy Arnold (Wednesday 15 May 1918 - Thursday 8 May 2008) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'My Way of Life' and included the track on 'Standing Alone' (RCA Records, 1970).



Jerry Reed (Saturday 20 March 1937 - Monday 1 September 2008) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'You Made My Life a Song' and included the track on 'Jerry Reed' (RCA Records, 1972).



Anne Murray recorded Sonny Curtis' 'I Like Your Music' and included the track on 'Annie' (Capitol Records, 1972).



Anne Murray recorded Sonny Curtis' 'You Made My Life a Song' and included the track on 'Annie' (Capitol Records, 1972).

Roy Orbison: 'Memphis' (MGM Records, 1972)

Roy Orbison (Thursday 23 April 1936 - Tuesday 6 December 1988) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'I Fought The Law' and included the track on 'Memphis' (MGM Records, 1972).



Johnny Duncan (Wednesday 5 October 1938 - Monday 14 August 2006) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Day Drinker' and included the track on 'You're Gonna Need a Man' (Harmony Records, 1973).



Hank Williams Junior recorded Sonny Curtis' 'I Fought The Law' and included the track on 'Family Tradition' (Elektra Records / Curb Records, 1979).



Leo Sayer recorded Sonny Curtis' 'More Than I Can Say' (co-written with Jerry I. Allison) and included the track on 'Living in a Fantasy' (United Kingdom: Chrysalis Records, 1980 / United States: Warner Bros. Records, 1980); the track was No.2 for five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in December 1980 / January 1981.

Leo Sayer's version of 'More Than I Can Say' (written by Sonny Curtis and Jerry I. Allison) was certified a 'Gold' record by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Leo Sayer's recording of Sonny Curtis' 'More Than I Can Say' (co-written with Jerry I. Allison) also spent three weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart in 1980.  In the United Kingdom, the song peaked at No.2 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart (also in 1980), while it spent two weeks at No.1 on the Kent Music Report Chart in Australia in 1980.



Rosanne Cash recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Where Will The Words Come From?' (co-written with Glen D. Hardin) and included the track on 'Seven Year Ache' (Columbia Records, 1981).



John Schneider recorded Sonny Curtis' 'Bad Case of Love' and included the track on 'Tryin' to Outrun The Wind' (MCA Records, 1985).



John Schneider recorded Sonny Curtis' 'An Old Rainbow Jukebox & You' and included the track on 'A Memory Like You' (MCA Records, 1986).



Keith Whitley (Thursday 1 July 1954 - Tuesday 9 May 1989) recorded Sonny Curtis' 'I'm No Stranger to The Rain' (co-written with Ron Hellard) and included the track on 'Don't Close Your Eyes' (RCA Records, 1988); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for two weeks in April 1989, and the Country Music Association (CMA) voted the song 'Single of the Year' in 1989.



Ricky Skaggs recorded Sonny Curtis' 'He was on to Somethin' (so he made you)' and included the track on 'Kentucky Thunder' (Epic Records, 1989); the track reached No.25 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1989.



Sean Keane recorded Sonny Curtis' 'I'm No Stranger to The Rain' (co-written with Ron Hellard) and included the track on 'No Stranger' (Grapevine Records, 1998).



Sammy Kershaw recorded Sonny Curtis' 'More Than I Can Say' (co-written with Jerry I. Allison) and included the track on 'Maybe Not Tonight' (Mercury Records, 1999).

• Visit Sonny Curtis' Official Site at sonnycurtis.com

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Gene Watson Fan Site