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 Doyle Grisham, which he submitted to this site on Friday 19 October 2012.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Doyle Grisham who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Friday 19 October 2012.
'Gene Watson is one of the most overlooked and underrated traditional country music singers, in my opinion, as well as being one of my favorites.
I have several CDs of his in my mp3 player and play them quite often. I would have been honoured to have played on some of his recordings or to have done some touring with him.
However, I'll continue to listen to his great voice at every opportunity and wait for each new CD that he releases to add to my Gene Watson country music collection!'
Thank you, Doyle Grisham, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Doyle Grisham...
Doyle Grisham was born in Temple, Texas on Wednesday 1 April 1942. His parents were Claude and Viola Grisham and lived in Troy, Texas a town about seven miles north of Temple.
Doyle Grisham was always very interested in music, even at an early age. When he was about nine or ten years old, Doyle Grisham persuaded his parents to let him take guitar lessons. This was a great experience for Doyle Grisham as he is still using the knowledge from even today.
At the time, all Doyle Grisham wanted to do was to learn a few chords on the guitar so that he could be a star like Carl Smith (Tuesday 15 March 1927 - Saturday 16 January 2010) or Webb Pierce (Monday 8 August 1921 - Sunday 24 February 1991).
However, what he did learn was how to read music and studied chord theory, which has really been an advantage over the years in making music his career.
After Doyle Grisham completed the guitar lessons, at around the age of eleven or twelve, he started playing with some of the local musicians, playing mostly at church dances and charity functions, and gained some valuable experience in playing before the public.
Around the age of fifteen, Doyle Grisham started playing with the more professional musicians in the area and they worked the bigger dance halls and night clubs. He continued doing this all through high school and while he attended Temple Junior College for a year or so after High School.
While in college, Doyle Grisham studied to be a school teacher and it was here that he discovered that he could make more money, with less effort and more enjoyment, playing music than he would be able to do teaching school, so that effectively ended his college days.
After leaving college, Doyle Grisham began playing some show dates with Billy Western and some of the Stars of the Big 'D' Jamboree out of Dallas, Texas. They toured the south west and occasionally went up into Colorado and Wyoming.
All during this time period, DoyIe Grisham was playing electric guitar only. He didn’t start playing steel guitar, professionally, until he was about twenty-one years old. During one of their tours with the Big 'D' Jamboree Stars, Doyle Grisham bought a steel guitar and started messing around with it in the motel rooms, because that was the only place the other musicians would allow him to play it.
After a few weeks or so, they finally let Doyle Grisham set it up on stage to play on a song or two.
About a month later, Doyle Grisham had improved on his steel playing to the point to where George Kent, one of the Big 'D' Jamboree artists, asked him to play in his band and they toured up through Colorado and went to Cheyenne, Wyoming to work a club for about three months, finishing up after the week of the celebrated 'Cheyenne Days' rodeo.
After the Cheyenne, Wyoming gig, Doyle Grisham moved to Dallas, Texas and went to work with Eddie McDuff & The Big 'D' Jamboree Band, playing steel. They worked a club during the week nights, did recording sessions, car lot openings, had a television show and were the staff band for the Big 'D' Jamboree show on Saturday nights. This was a great experience and Doyle Grisham met a lot of great local musicians, as well as touring bands from Nashville that worked the Big 'D' Jamboree.
Doyle Grisham continued doing this for about a year and a half and then went to work for almost a year with Dewey Groom at Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas. This was a giant dance hall, for the times, and playing in this band was good experience, as they played all types of music.
After this, Doyle Grisham went to working some dances with Billy Thompson, who used to work with Hank Thompson (Thursday 3 September 1925 - Tuesday 6 November 2007). One night, in Wichita, Kansas, they worked a big ballroom and the guest artist was Roy Drusky (Sunday 22 June 1930 - Thursday 23 September 2004) and his band.
It just so happened that Roy Drusky’s steel player was quitting the same night and they offered Doyle Grisham a job.
Doyle Grisham had always wanted to move to Nashville, but was afraid to do so without a job waiting for him, and here was his opportunity.
Doyle Grisham accepted his job offer and left the same night with Roy Drusky and his band to play a show in Houston, Texas. They hit the stage in Houston with no rehearsal and several thousand people waiting to be entertained. However, Doyle Grisham was young and eager and it didn’t seem to bother him too much.
In 1966, Doyle Grisham came to Nashville and worked with Roy Drusky (Sunday 22 June 1930 - Thursday 23 September 2004) doing road dates and playing on The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
In the fall of 1967, DoyIe Grisham went into the armed services, stationed at Brunswick, Maine in Naval Air Squadron VP-11.
During the latter part of 1968, after his discharge from active duty, Doyle Grisham went to work with David Houston (Monday 9 December 1935 - Tuesday 30 November 1993). They were playing mainly concerts, but also some television shows as well.
In 1970, Doyle Grisham went to work with Tompall Glaser (Sunday 3 September 1933 - Tuesday 13 August 2013) & The Glaser Brothers (including Jim Glaser).
Doyle Grisham, Tompall Glaser (Sunday 3 September 1933 - Tuesday 13 August 2013) & The Glaser Brothers (including Jim Glaser) did road dates and played on The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Doyle Grisham also worked in their publishing company. It was at this point that he got involved in studio work in Nashville, at The Glaser Studio, doing demos for their publishing company and recordings for their own MGM Records releases.
It wasn't long until DoyIe Grisham began working for other producers around Nashville on their recording projects.
During this period, between 1970 and 1973, Doyle Grisham played on Jimmy Buffett's 'A White Sport Coat & a Pink Crustacean' (LP: Dunhill Records, 1973 / CD: MCA Records, 1987), which got him started doing studio work for artists in the pop music field, as well as in the country music field; this particular was re-issued, on CD, by MCA Records in 1987.
In 1974, when The Glaser Brothers act broke up, DoyIe Grisham went to work for Jim Glaser playing in his band. He also continued to do studio work when they weren't on the road.
In 1975, DoyIe Grisham went to work playing concert dates with Lynn Anderson (Friday 26 September 1947 - Thursday 30 July 2015). This was ideal for his schedule as they traveled by air and only worked about sixty to eighty days a year, which left him more time in Nashville to do studio work.
As doing concert dates with Lynn Anderson (Friday 26 September 1947 - Thursday 30 July 2015) and the excellent musicians she always employed, were such a pleasure, and it fitted his studio schedule so nicely, DoyIe Grisham continued to do both until the early part of 1985.
During the period of 1975 -1985, DoyIe Grisham did recording work with Lynn Anderson (Friday 26 September 1947 - Thursday 30 July 2015), England Dan (Seals) (Sunday 8 February 1948 - Wednesday 25 March 2009) & John Ford Coley, Dr. Hook, Jimmy Buffett, Bill Anderson, Buzz Cason, The Hemphills, The Rambos, The Lewis Family, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame), Freddy Weller, Dickey Lee, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, and Jim Glaser.
In 1982, as Lynn Anderson (Friday 26 September 1947 - Thursday 30 July 2015) wanted to do less concert dates per year, DoyIe Grisham stayed in Nashville continuing to play on recording sessions. He also became chief engineer at Fireside Recording Studio, a well respected recording facility over the years.
In March 1985, Doyle Grisham became studio manager at Fireside Studio after the previous owners sold the studio to Music Artist Corporation, a Florida-based company. He worked in this position for the next three years, as well as continuing to work on recording sessions for various artists.
Since 1985, Doyle Grisham was proud to play on record releases by many country music artists, including the following:
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013)
Johnny Duncan (Wednesday 5 October 1938 - Monday 14 August 2006)
Dan Seals (Sunday 8 February 1948 - Wednesday 25 March 2009)
Jim & Jesse
Frankie Laine (Sunday 30 March 1913 - Tuesday 6 February 2007)
Roy Drusky (Sunday 22 June 1930 - Thursday 23 September 2004)
Kitty Wells (Saturday 30 August 1919 - Monday 16 July 2012)
Del Reeves (Thursday 14 July 1932 - Monday 1 January 2007)
Baillie & The Boys
In 1986, Doyle Grisham was honoured to have been chosen as one of the five finalists for 'Instrumentalist of the Year' during the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards for that year. Although he did not have any instrumental albums of his own on the market, the category was open to musicians who had played on the top country music albums during the past year or so.
One of the most interesting projects Doyle Grisham had the pleasure to play on was the recording sessions for the duet album Randy Travis recorded with several of the top artists in the music world.
On Friday 31 August 1990, Randy Travis saw the release of 'Heroes & Friends' (Warner Bros. Records, 1990), which included two tracks, which were hit singlles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart:
'A Few Ole Country Boys' (written by Troy Seals and Mentor Williams) (No.8, 1990) / this track was a duet with George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013)
'Heroes & Friends' (written by Randy Travis and Don Schlitz) (No.3, 1991)
Randy Travis' 'Heroes & Friends' (Warner Bros. Records, 1990) also included the following tracks:
'Do I Ever Cross Your Mind' (written by Dolly Parton) / this track featured guest vocals from Dolly Parton
'The Birth of The Blues' (written by Lew Brown, Buddy DeSylva and Ray Henderson) / this track featured guest vocals from Willie Nelson
'All Night Long', which was written by Johnny Gimble (Sunday 30 May 1926 - Saturday 9 May 2015) and Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975) / this track featured guest vocals from Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016)
'The Human Race' (written by Tim Menzies, Jimmy Phillips and Gene Dobbins) / this track featured guest vocals from Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 - Tuesday 28 April 2009)
'Shopping for Dresses', which was written by Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016) and Little Jimmy Dickens (Sunday 19 December 1920 - Friday 2 January 2015) / this track featured guest vocals from Loretta Lynn
'Waiting on the Light to Change' (written by Gary Nicholson and Richard Leigh) / this track featured guest vocals from B.B. King
'Walk Our Own Road' (written by Bernie Nelson and Lisa Palas) / this track featured guest vocals from Kris Kristofferson
'We're Strangers Again', which was written by Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016) and Leona Williams / this track featured guest vocals from Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998)
'Smokin' The Hive' (written by Byron Hill and J. Remington Wilde) / this track featured guest vocals from Clint Eastwood
'Come See About Me', which was written by Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) / this track featured guest vocals from Conway Twitty
'Happy Trails', which was written by Dale Evans (Thursday 31 October 1912 - Wednesday 7 February 2001) / this track featured guest vocals from Roy Rogers (Sunday 5 November 1911 - Monday 6 July 1998)
'Heroes & Friends' (reprise) (written by Randy Travis and Don Schlitz)
Personnel involved in the recording of Randy Travis' 'Heroes & Friends' (Warner Bros. Records, 1990) included the following:
Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 - Saturday 30 June 2001) (gut string guitar, background vocals)
Kathie Baillie, Michael Bonagura Junior, Lib Hatcher, Don Schlitz, Troy Seals, Allen Shamblin, Martha Sharp and Keith Stegall (choir)
Eddie Bayers, Paul Liem, Larrie Londin (Friday 15 October 1943 - Monday 24 August 1992) and Carlos Vega (drums)
Barry Beckett, Randy Goodrum and Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (piano)
Dennis Burnside (piano, electric piano, Wurlitzer)
Larry Byrom, Mark Casstevens, Chris Leuzinger and Fred Tackett (acoustic guitar)
Gary Carter, Doyle Grisham and Jay Dee Maness (steel guitar)
Jerry Douglas (Dobro)
Clint Eastwood (duet vocals on 'Smokin' The Hive')
Steve Gibson (12-string guitar, electric guitar, mandolin)
Bob Glaub, David Hungate and Jack Williams (bass guitar)
Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 - Tuesday 28 April 2009) (duet vocals on 'The Human Race')
Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016) (duet vocals on 'All Night Long')
Sherilyn Huffman (choir, background vocals)
David Johnson and Mark O'Connor (fiddle)
Kirk 'Jelly Roll' Johnson and Mickey Raphael (harmonica)
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) (duet vocals on 'A Few Ole Country Boys')
Nancy Jones (background vocals on 'A Few Ole Country Boys')
Shane Keister (organ, piano)
B.B. King (duet vocals, electric guitar on 'Waiting on The Light to Change')
Kris Kristofferson (duet vocals on 'Walk Our Own Road')
Mike Lawler (banjo, synthesizer)
Kyle Lehning (Wurlitzer)
Loretta Lynn (duet vocals on 'Shopping for Dresses')
Terry McMillan (Monday 12 October 1953 - Friday 2 February 2007) (harmonica, percussion)
Brent Mason, Dean Parks and Brent Rowan (electric guitar)
Willie Nelson (duet vocals on 'The Birth of The Blues')
Dolly Parton (duet vocals on 'Do I Ever Cross Your Mind')
Roy Rogers (Sunday 5 November 1911 - Monday 6 July 1998) (duet vocals on 'Happy Trails')
Tom Rutledge (fiddle, acoustic guitar)
Lisa Silver and Diane Vanette (choir, background vocals)
Denis Solee (clarinet)
Randy Travis (lead vocals)
Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) (duet vocals on 'Come See About Me')
Dennis Wilson (background vocals)
Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998) (duet vocals on 'We're Strangers Again')
Randy Travis' 'Heroes & Friends' (Warner Bros. Records, 1990) reached No.1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1990, No.31 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart in 1990, and No.61 on the Canadian RPM Top Albums Chart in 1990.
A highlight in Doyle Grisham's musical career, around 1988, was working for Pete Drake (Saturday 8 October 1932 - Friday 29 July 1988), a world respected studio steel guitar player and record producer.
While working with Pete Drake (Saturday 8 October 1932 - Friday 29 July 1988), Doyle Grisham did some work as a musician, but mainly worked as his studio engineer. During this period, he enjoyed doing the mixes for one of Ernest Tubb's duet albums, which included several well-known traditional country music artists singing with Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984).
Ernest Tubb's 'Ernest Tubb Collection' (First Generation Records, 1979) was originally released on First Generation Records in 1979 under the title of 'The Legend & The Legacy'.
Gene Watson performed a 'duet' with Ernest Tubb on the track 'Yesterday's Winner is a Loser Today'. However, Gene Watson's contribution on 'Yesterday's Winner is a Loser Today' did not see the light of day until Step One Records released their version of this Ernest Tubb set in 1989 as 'Ernest Tubb Collection' (Step One Records, 1989).
First Generation Records (and this tribute album to Ernest Tubb) were the brainchild of famed session steel guitar player Pete Drake (Saturday 8 October 1932 - Friday 29 July 1988).
The Ernest Tubb album was subsequently released as 'The Legendary Ernest Tubb & Friends' (Laserlight Records, 1992) and 'Ernest Tubb & Friends' (Prism Leisure, 2004); both releases included Gene Watson's two 'duets', 'Sad Songs & Waltzes' (written by Willie Nelson) and 'Yesterday's Winner is a Loser Today'.
Doyle Grisham continued to divide his time up between being a studio musician and engineer, some record production, and a little traveling, playing in the bands of Lynn Anderson (Friday 26 September 1947 - Thursday 30 July 2015), Jim Glaser, and sometimes Johnny Duncan (Wednesday 5 October 1938 - Monday 14 August 2006).
In February 1999, having worked on a number of Jimmy Buffett albums in the past, Jimmy Buffett called Doyle Grisham back to do another album with him, 'Beach House on The Moon' (Margaritaville Records, 1999).
In May 1999, Doyle Grisham began touring with Jimmy Buffett's band, The Coral Reefers.
Toward the end of 2001, Doyle Grisham started doing some show dates of his own, along with his band, 'The Bandits'.
Doyle Grisham has, in recent years, been honoured to be asked to come and play at events for several of the Parrot Head Organisations across America; Parrot Head Organisations supported Jimmy Buffett's style of music and held their events to raise money for many worthwhile charities.
In May 2002, DoyIe Grisham was inducted into The Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
• Visit Doyle Grisham's Official Site at doylegrisham.com