• 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 during 2011, 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 John Pennell, which he submitted to this site on Monday 4 July 2011.

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

John Pennell

John Pennell
This quote was submitted on Monday 4 July 2011.

'It would be an honour to provide a quote for Gene's Ireland-based website.

I consider Gene Watson to be one of the greatest country singers of all time, both in the quality and sound of his voice, as well as the creative interpretation he brings to the tremendous material he chooses to sing.

There are really only a handful of powerful, male country singers who have graced the airwaves with their voices; Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953), George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013), Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016), Johnny Horton (Thursday 30 April 1925 - Saturday 5 November 1960) and Keith Whitley (Thursday 1 July 1954 - Tuesday 9 May 1989), and right up there with them is Gene Watson.

A true country music genius!'

Thank you, John Pennell, for your support of Gene Watson.

About John Pennell...

John Pennell

John Pennell was born in Sidney, Illinois on Tuesday 19 September 1950 and started playing bluegrass music in Arizona while he was in school at Arizona State University.

John Pennell grew up surrounded by music; his father played upright bass, the instrument which John himself plays, in square dance bands, while his uncle played fiddle and guitar.

In 1962, when he was twelve years old, John Pennell started playing trumpet and continued that through his high school years.  He started playing guitar during his junior year in high school.

Andrea Zonn

John Pennell got more involved in bluegrass music when he returned to Illinois for graduate school.  Paul Zonn, father of Andrea Zonn, invited him to play with them and they played a lot around the Champaign, Illinois area.

Paul Zonn acquired a bass fiddle which John Pennell played through the music school.  While John Pennell was a composition student at University of Illinois, he wrote songs for their little ensemble.

In 1970, when he was twenty years old, John Pennell began writing songs.  He was doing solo gigs on guitar and included some songs that he had written.  John Pennell was a fan of The Beatles and he studied their song-writing technique which always inspired him.

When John Pennell got into bluegrass, initially, he wrote songs that showed a lot of their influence, as well as James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell.  As he became more involved in bluegrass music, he started writing songs more specifically influenced by bluegrass music or country music.  The first songs John Pennell wrote were 'acoustic' in style, but they could be adapted to bluegrass music.

Alison Krauss

John Pennell met Alison Krauss during this period and the duo, along with Nelson Mandrell and John Gantz, started a band called Silver Rail.

Alison Krauss was very good about wanting to record original material and John Pennell was able to get a number of his compositions placed on 'Too Late to Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987), Alison's first Rounder album.  It was which that got John Pennell started as a songwriter.

John Pennell was also one of the founding members of Alison's Union Station Band.

Alison Krauss: 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'Too Late to Cry' and included the track on 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987).

Alison Krauss: 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'Foolish Heart' and included the track on 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987).

Alison Krauss: 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'If I Give You My Heart' and included the track on 'Too Late to Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987).

Alison Krauss: 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'In Your Eyes' and included the track on 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987).

Alison Krauss: 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'Don't Follow Me' and included the track on 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987).

 Alison Krauss: 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'On The Borderline' and included the track on 'Too Late To Cry' (Rounder Records, 1987).

Alison Krauss: 'Two Highways' (Rounder Records, 1989)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'Love You in Vain' and included the track on 'Two Highways' (Rounder Records, 1989); John Pennell also played bass on the album.

Alison Krauss: 'Two Highways' (Rounder Records, 1989)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'Here Comes Goodbye' and included the track on 'Two Highways' (Rounder Records, 1989); John Pennell also played bass on the album.

Alison Krauss: 'Two Highways' (Rounder Records, 1989)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'As Lovely as You' and included the track on 'Two Highways' (Rounder Records, 1989); John Pennell also played bass on the album.

Alison Krauss & Union Station: 'I've Got That Old Feeling' (Rounder Records, 1990)

Alison Krauss & Union Station recorded john Pennell's 'Dark Skies' and included the track on 'I've Got That Old Feeling' (Rounder Records, 1990).

Alison Krauss & Union Station: 'I've Got That Old Feeling' (Rounder Records, 1990)

Alison Krauss & Union Station recorded john Pennell's 'Will You Be Leaving' and included the track on 'I've Got That Old Feeling' (Rounder Records, 1990).

Alison Krauss & Union Station: 'I've Got That Old Feeling' (Rounder Records, 1990)

Alison Krauss & Union Station recorded john Pennell's 'One Good Reason' and included the track on 'I've Got That Old Feeling' (Rounder Records, 1990).

Alison Krauss & Union Station's 'I've Got That Old Feeling' (Rounder Records, 1990), which was released in August 1990, reached No.61 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1990 and was awarded 'Best Bluegrass Album' at the Grammy Awards in 1991.

Alison Krauss & Union Station: 'Every Time You Say Goodbye' (Rounder Records, 1992)

Alison Krauss & Union Station recorded John Pennell's 'Every Time You Say Goodbye' and included the track on 'Every Time You Say Goodbye' (Rounder Records, 1992).

Alison Krauss & Union Station's 'Every Time You Say Goodbye' (Rounder Records, 1992), which was released on Friday 14 February 1992, reached No.75 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1992 and was awarded 'Best Bluegrass Album' at the Grammy Awards in 1993.

Chris Jones: 'Blinded By The Rose' (Rebel Records, 1996)

In 1995, Chris Jones recorded 'Blinded By The Rose' for Rebel Records; John Pennell played bass on the album, which was subsequently released on Tuesday 2 April 1996.

Chris Jones recorded John Pennell's 'Looks Like the Blues Got Me' and included the track on 'Blinded By The Rose' (Rebel Records, 1996).

Chris Jones' 'Looks Like the Blues Got Me' and included the track on 'Blinded By The Rose' (Rebel Records, 1996) also included the following tracks:

'You Can Take Your Time' (written by Ron Block)
'Dark Wind of Missouri' (written by Chris Jones and Kevin O'Morrison)
'House of Memories', which was written by Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016)
'John Henry' (traditional)
'Will You Be There' (written by Chris Jones)

'Blinded by The Rose' (written by Chris Jones)
'You'll Lay It All Down' (written by Chris Jones)
'Alone With You' (written by Chris Jones and Paul Kramer)
'Dark Side of The Moon' (written by Chris Jones and Paul Kramer)
'Georgie Buck' (traditional)
'Zion's Hill', which was written by Keith Whitley (Thursday 1 July 1954 - Tuesday 9 May 1989)

In April 1996, John Pennell moved to Nashville.

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers: 'No One But You' (Rebel Records, 1997)

On Tuesday 22 July 1997, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers saw the release of 'No One But You' (Rebel Records, 1997); John Pennell played bass on the album.

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers recorded john Pennell's 'Only My Heart' and included the track on 'No One But You' (Rebel Records, 1997).

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers' 'No One But You' (Rebel Records, 1997) also included the following tracks:

'Ribbon of Darkness' (written by Gordon Lightfoot)
'No One But You' (written by Chris Jones)
'I'm Not That Good at Goodbye' (written by Bob McDill and Don Williams)
'Stream of Love' (written by Chris Jones)
'My Baby's Just Like Money', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975)
'Sweetest Love', which was written by Carter Stanley (Thursday 27 August 1925 - Thursday 1 December 1966)
'Model Prisoner' (written by Chris Jones)
'Close the Door' (written by Chris Jones)
'In a Mansion Stands My Love', which was written by Johnny Russell (Tuesday 23 January 1940 - Tuesday 3 July 2001)
'Shaky Ground' (written by Allen Jones)
'Whispering Now' (written by Eddie Hill)

Jeff White: 'The Broken Road' (Rounder Records, 1999)

Jeff White recorded John Pennell's 'I Wonder' and included the track on 'The Broken Road' (Rounder Records, 1999).

John Pennell: 'All The Lonely' (JPE Records, 1999)

In 2000, John Pennell saw the release of his own album project, 'All The Lonely' (JPE Records, 1999).  Not a singer himself, John Pennell enlisted some of his friends to do the vocal chores, and they, like the session-picker buddies who provided the instrumental backing, were a dandy bunch.

Chris Jones, Mandy Barnett and former Union Station colleague Jeff White each sang a track each, demo / backup singers Kim Parent and Ingrid Graudins sang two tracks apiece, while Jeff Allen sang three songs.

The biggest single share of the vocals, however, went to Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 - Wednesday 30 March 2011), son of bluegrass legend Red Allen (Wednesday 12 February 1930 - Saturday 3 April 1993) and an accomplished, successful songwriter himself.

Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 - Wednesday 30 March 2011)

A stunning singer, with a mournful, world-weary, sometimes wry voice, Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 - Wednesday 30 March 2011) turned in a searing set of performances.

Alan Jackson: 'When Somebody Loves You' (Arista Records, 2000)

Alan Jackson recorded John Pennell's 'Meat & Potato Man', which was co-written with Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 - Wednesday 30 March 2011) and included the track on 'When Somebody Loves You' (Arista Records, 2000).

Dan Tyminski: 'Carry Me Over The Mountain' (Rounder Records, 2000)

Dan Tyminski recorded John Pennell's 'Carry Me Over The Mountain' and included the track on 'Carry Me Over The Mountain' (Rounder Records, 2000).

Sally Jones: 'Love Hurts' (Pinecastle Records, 2001)

Sally Jones recorded John Pennell's 'Lost & Found' and included the track on 'Love Hurts' (Pinecastle Records, 2001).

Barry & Holly Tashian: 'At Home' (Copper Creek Records, 2002)

Barry & Holly Tashian recorded John Pennell's 'The Sound of Your Name' (co-written with Barry Tashian) and included the track on 'At Home' (Copper Creek Records, 2002).

Sam Bush: 'King of My World' (Sugar Hill Records, 2004)

Sam Bush recorded John Pennell's 'Bless His Heart' (co-written with Sam Bush) and included the track on 'King of My World' (Sugar Hill Records, 2004).

Sam Bush: 'King of My World' (Sugar Hill Records, 2004)

Sam Bush recorded John Pennell's 'The Wizard of Oz' (co-written with Sam Bush) and included the track on 'King of My World' (Sugar Hill Records, 2004).

Sam Bush: 'Laps in Seven' (Sugar Hill Records, 2006)

Sam Bush recorded John Pennell's 'Ridin' That Bluegrass Train' (co-written with Sam Bush) and included the track on 'Laps in Seven' (Sugar Hill Records, 2006).

Alecia Nugent: 'A Little Girl...A Big Four Lane' (Rounder Records, 2006)

Alecia Nugent recorded John Pennell's 'You've Still Got It' (co-written with Jerry Salley) and included the track on 'A Little Girl...A Big Four Lane' (Rounder Records, 2006).

Alan Jackson: 'Like Red on a Rose' (BMG / Arista Nashville Records, 2006)

Alan Jackson recorded John Pennell's 'As Lovely As You' and included the track on 'Like Red on a Rose' (BMG/Arista Nashville Records, 2006).

Alison Krauss: 'A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection' (Rounder Records, 2007)

Alison Krauss recorded John Pennell's 'Jacob's Dream' (co-written with Julie Lee) and included the track on 'A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection' (Rounder Records, 2007).

The Charlie Sizemore Band: 'Good News' (Rounder Records, 2007)

Charlie Sizemore & The Charlie Sizemore Band recorded John Pennell's 'Devil on a Plow' and included the track on 'Good News' (Rounder Records, 2007).

Gina Jeffreys: 'Walks of Life' (Ocean Road Records, 2007)

Gina Jeffreys recorded John Pennell's 'Never Mine' (co-written with Julie Lee) and included the track on 'Walks of Life' (Ocean Road Records, 2007).

Eva Cassidy: 'Somewhere' (Blix Street Records, 2008)

Eva Cassidy (Saturday 2 February 1963 - Saturday 2 November 1996) recorded John Pennell's 'If I Give You My Heart'; the track was subsequently included on 'Somewhere' (Blix Street Records, 2008).

Sierra Hull: 'Secrets' (Rounder Records, 2008)

Sierra Hull recorded John Pennell's 'Only My Heart' and included the track on 'Secrets' (Rounder Records, 2008).

Sierra Hull: 'Daybreak' (Rounder Records, 2011)

Sierra Hull recorded John Pennell's 'Don't Pick Me Up' and included the track on 'Daybreak' (Rounder Records, 2011).

As a bluegrass performer, John Pennell has performed with Chris Jones, Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 - Wednesday 30 March 2011) and Charlie Sizemore, in addition to Alison Krauss.

John Pennell and his wife Julie play live shows as a vocal duo with guitar accompaniment, primarily.  John Pennell also plays upright bass, while Julie also plays banjo and dulcimer.

John's wife, Julie Pennell, hails from North Bay in Ontario, Canada and comes from a very musical family of bluegrass musicians.  Julie Pennell was voted 'Songwriter of the Year' by the Canadian Song Writing Club of Ontario in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

John Pennell

• Visit Julie & John Pennell's Official Site at julieandjohnpennell.com

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Gene Watson Fan Site