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 2012, 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 Amy Francis, which she submitted to this site on Tuesday 8 May 2012.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Amy Francis who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Tuesday 8 May 2012.
'I have loved traditional style country music all my life.
Growing up listening to the classics, I have always enjoyed the beautiful tenor voice of Gene Watson.
'Farewell Party', which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 - Thursday 26 July 2007), would have to be at the top of my favorites list.
I also have admired the more recent music he has done with Rhonda Vincent.
Their voices blend so beautifully together.
Gene Watson's music and work is iconic for those who appreciate and love real country music'.
Thank you, Amy Francis, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Amy Francis...
Amy Francis is a native Texan, born in Corpus Christi, Texas and raised in Poteet, Texas.
Amy Francis was raised on gospel, country and bluegrass music. With parents as gospel singers, Amy Francis was surrounded by music her whole life. Much of her childhood was spent behind the piano and microphone at church. This gave Amy Francis a venue to mold her natural musical abilities.
At the tender age of fifteen, Amy Francis landed a professional gig as a vocalist for a local wedding band in San Antonio, Texas. Every weekend, Amy Francis had gigs all over Texas. This was where she learned stage presence and honed in on her musicianship.
Through the years, Amy Francis had been a vocalist and performer in 'Las Vegas' style show bands, variety bands, country music bands, jazz combos and rock bands. She had been performing professionally for twenty years. Currently residing in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and three sons, Amy Francis is active in the local music scene.
In addition to performing live, Amy Francis is a songwriter. She has also been featured vocally on many albums, including performers like The Luke Olsen Band and Two Tons of Steel.
Amy Francis is also featured on The San Antonio Rose Live album 'Classic Country Christmas' and The San Antonio Rose Live album 'The Hits Volume 2'.
Amy Francis has done numerous commercial jingles for various local businesses as well.
Amy Francis studied music at University of Texas in San Antonio focusing on voice and piano.
Amy Francis' vocal style resembles contemporary artists, including Martina Mcbride and Carrie Underwood, and classic artists, including Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963) and Dolly Parton. Amy Francis' versatile vocals are powerful and emotional, yet sultry and sweet.
Amy Francis is also a former featured performer in the San Antonio Rose Live Classic Country Music Show.
On Thursday 1 November 2011, Amy Francis saw the release of her debut album, 'Balladacious' (Cherry Ridge Records, 2011), which included her wonderful renditions of the following classic country songs:
'Don't Touch Me', written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010)
Jeannie Seely recorded 'Don't Touch Me', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010), and included the track on 'The Seely Style' (Monument Records, 1966); the track reached No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1966, and No.85 on the Billboard pop music singles chart in 1966.
'I'm Still Not Over You'
Jack Greene (Tuesday 7 January 1930 - Thursday 15 March 2013) recorded 'I'm Still Not Over You' and included the track on 'What Locks The Door' (Decca Records, 1967).
'A Picture of Me (Without You)'
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) recorded 'A Picture of Me (Without You)' and included the track on 'A Picture of Me (Without You)' (Epic Records, 1972); the track reached No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1972.
'Ode to Billy Joe' (written by Bobbie Gentry)
Bobbie Gentry recorded 'Ode to Billy Joe' and included the track on 'Ode to Billy Joe' (Capitol Records, 1967); the track reached No.17 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1967, and No.1 on the Billboard pop music singles chart in 1967.
'Apartment No.9', which was written by Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003), F. Foley and C. Owen
Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998) recorded 'Apartment No.9', which was written by Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003), F. Foley and C. Owen, and included the track on 'Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad' (Epic Records, 1967); the track reached No.44 on the Billboard country music singles chart in late 1966.
'I'll Share My World With You'
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) & Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998) recorded 'I'll Share My World With You' and included the track on 'I'll Share My World With You' (Musicor Records, 1969); the track reached No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1969.
'When I Call Your Name' (written by Tim DuBois and Vince Gill)
Vince Gill recorded 'When I Call Your Name' (written by Tim DuBois and Vince Gill) and included the track on 'When I Call Your Name' (MCA Records, 1989); the track, which featured background vocals from Patty Loveless, reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1990.
The video for Vince Gill's 'When I Call Your Name' (written by Tim DuBois and Vince Gill) featured Matraca Berg.
'Sweet Dreams', written by Don Gibson (Tuesday 3 April 1928 - Monday 17 November 2003)
In early 1963, Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963) recorded 'Sweet Dreams', which was written by Don Gibson (Tuesday 3 April 1928 - Monday 17 November 2003).
However, on Tuesday 5 March 1963, Patsy Cline died in a plane crash. Decca Records issued a double album, 'The Patsy Cline Story' (Decca Records, 1963), in the summer of 1963.
In late 1963, 'Sweet Dreams' reached No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart, and No.44 on the Billboard pop music singles chart; the track also peaked on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart at No.15.
In 1988, 'The Patsy Cline Story' (Decca Records, 1963 / MCA Records, 1988) was re-issued, with a new cover, by MCA Records.
Brenda Lee recorded 'Fool No.1' and included the track on 'Brenda, That's All' (Decca Records, 1962); the track reached No.3 on the Billboard country music singles chart in late 1961.
'Stranger Things Have Happened' (written by Roger Murrah and Keith Stegall)
Ronnie Milsap recorded 'Stranger Things Have Happened' (written by Roger Murrah and Keith Stegall) and included the track on 'Stranger Things Have Happened' (RCA Records, 1989); the track reached No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1989.
Country Music People: December 2011
Amy Francis' 'Balladacious' (Cherry Ridge Records, 2011)
5-stars out of 5 - CD of the Month!
'The morning this CD arrived in the post I was facing a one hour drive. The cover looked great, I liked the title Balladacious, and a cursory look at the familiar titles clinched it, so out I went, knowing nothing of Amy Francis or the origins of this CD.
Well, I don’t think I could ever tire of hearing Hank Cochran's 'Don’t Touch Me', but this one blew me away. Not only does Amy have a set of pipes, but the arrangement, all very Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963), with some wonderful fiddle flourishes and fantastic steel guitar, was absolutely stunning. I even liked the intake of breath at the very beginning.
I was pretty sure this must have come from RCA Studio B, or been a long lost Owen Bradley (Thursday 21 October 1915 - Wednesday 7 January 1998) set, and that was only the opening track.
And, as the songs continued, I was more and more impressed. There are string arrangements of which Nelson Riddle would have been proud, tinkling piano straight out of 1960s Music Row, and the whole set just oozed class.
By the time I reached my destination, I had heard Balladacious twice and finally got to read the credits. I've admired the work of Tommy Detamore for years, and he is one of my favourite steel players, but was pleasantly surprised to see his name (and Floresville, Texas studio) on the production credits. This is probably the best produced album I’ve heard this year.
Other familiar names were also present. Steve Maynard, who made one of the albums of last year ('One More Day Left To Live' was released in June 2010), was on piano (Jerry Maynard also provides some background vocals), and the fiddle that had so impressed on 'Don’t Touch Me' was by Bobby Flores.
The songs are, as the title suggests, all ballads, some newer than others, and most likely fairly familiar to CMP readers.
Tammy’s 'Apartment No.9', Patsy Cline’s 'Sweet Dreams', Brenda Lee’s 'Fool Number One', and one of Ray Price’s finest moments, 'I’m Still Not Over You' (Ray Price: Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013), sit comfortably alongside Vince Gill’s 'When I Call Your Name' and Larry Boone’s 'Stranger Things Have Happened'.
Less comfortable was 'Ode to Billy Joe', which apart from not being a particular favourite of mine seemed somewhat out of place amongst the lush arrangements on the rest of the album. That said though, Amy Francis sings it as well as anybody, in fact she sings all of these songs as well as anybody.
Further investigation shows that Francis has been performing professionally for 20 years, has previously made a couple of solo albums and has featured vocally on recordings by the likes of Two Tons of Steel and Jake Owen.
Fans of the Teea Goans record from last year - 'The Way I Remember It' (Crosswind Records, 2010) - are going to love this, but the musicianship and production take it to a whole other level. One word - 'quality'.
Duncan Warwick, Editor
Country Music People