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 2013, 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 Rance Norton, which he submitted to this site on Monday 19 August 2013.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Rance Norton who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Monday 19 August 2013.
'Yes, Gene Watson has always been the exemplary of a great voice.
Even today, he's great as always'.
Thank you, Rance Norton, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Rance Norton...
Rance Norton grew up in small town Texas and has always had a love for traditional country music. Rance has stated that 'If it doesn’t have fiddle or steel guitar, it isn’t country music'.
At an early age, while his peers were listening to the new fad in popular music, Rance Norton was listening to the likes of Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013), Johnny Bush, Faron Young (Thursday 25 February 1932 - Tuesday 10 December 1996) and Darrell McCall. Rance recalls hearing aRay Price shuffle for the first time and he was instantly hooked.
When he was five years old, Rance Norton started singing at local country oprys around Texas; something that would last for the next fifteen years. It was at an opry show where he was discovered by Tracy Pitcox, the owner and president of Heart of Texas Records.
When he was seventeen years old, Rance Norton became a recording artist for Heart of Texas Records, joining the likes of Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall, Tony Booth, Curtis Potter, Frankie Miller and Amber Digby.
In the fall of 2008, Rance Norton saw the release of his debut album, 'True Country' (Heart of Texas Records, 2008), which included many of Rance's favourite songs and included duets with his producer Justin Trevino and one of his idols Johnny Bush. The album was a resounding success.
Rance Norton's debut album, 'True Country' (Heart of Texas Records, 2008), included the following classic country music tracks:
'Wine Me Up', which was written by Billy Deaton, Faron Young (Thursday 25 February 1932 - Tuesday 10 December 1996) and Eddie Crandell / originally recorded by Faron Young and included on 'Wine Me Up' (Mercury Records, 1969); Faron Young's version of the track reached No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1970
'Pass Me By' (written by Hillman Hall) / originally recorded by Johnny Rodriguez and included on 'Introducing Johnny Rodriguez' (Mercury Records, 1973); Johnny Rodriguez's version of the track reached No.9 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1973
'Got No Reason Now For Going Home', which was written by Johnny Russell (Tuesday 23 January 1940 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) / originally recorded by Gene Watson and included on 'Heartaches, Love And Stuff' (MCA Records, 1984)
'Texas Honky Tonk'
'I Never Go Around Mirrors', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Sanger D. 'Whitey' Shafer / originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell and included on 'The Legendary Lefty Frizzell' (ABC Records, 1973); Lefty Frizzell's version reached No.25 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1974
'Big Blue Diamonds' (duet With Justin Trevino)
'Should I Come Home (or Should I Go Crazy)', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) / originally recorded by Gene Watson and included on 'Should I Come Home' (Capitol Records, 1979)
'One More Time'
'Pop A Top', which was written by Nat Stuckey (Sunday 17 December 1933 - Wednesday 24 August 1988)(duet With Johnny Bush) / originally recorded by Jim Ed Brown and included on 'Just Jim' (RCA Victor Records, 1967) / check out Ann M. Stuckey's 'Peer's Quote' about Gene Watson, which was submitted on Saturday 25 January 2014
'Heart Over Mind' (written by Mel Tillis) / originally recorded by Mel Tillis and included the track on 'Heart Over Mind' (Columbia Records, 1962)
In 2009, Rance Norton graduated from high school and embarked on the next part of his life: college. When Rance started at Baylor University, he left his musical career behind him to focus on his studies.
However, Rance was driving home after he had taken his last final and a song came on the radio. The song was from Willie Nelson; ‘I’d Have to Be Crazy', which was written by Steven Fromholz (Friday 8 June 1945 - Sunday 19 January 2014), was included on Willie's 'The Sound In Your Mind' (Columbia Records, 1976) and the track reached No.11 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1976.
The first part of ‘I’d Have to Be Crazy' really hit Rance hard when it got to the part, ‘I’d have to be crazy to stop all my singing, and never play music again'.
It was at that moment that Rance Norton knew that his life was at another changing point. He was graduating from Baylor University a year early, so he decided to forgo law school for a year to pursue his country music career.
In the fall of 2012, Rance started his own band, which was named after his first album, 'Rance Norton And True Country'. It was this time that Rance Norton began work on his second album project for Heart of Texas Records.
In January 2013, Rance Norton saw the release of his second album, 'Here We Go Again' (Heart of Texas Records, 2013), which included classic country music tracks, some of which are obscure traditional country music songs which people probably haven’t heard before, mixed with some favourite Texas dancehall classics:
'This Time I Won't Cheat On Her Again', which was written by Dallas Frazier and Arthur Leo 'Doodle' Owens (Friday 28 November 1930 - Monday 4 October 1999) / originally recorded by Moe Bandy and included on 'I Just Started Hatin' Cheatin' Songs' (GRC Records, 1974)
'When Its Midnight In Dallas' (written by Ray Pennington) / originally recorded by Johnny Bush in 1974
'Different Kind Of Flower' (written by Gary Sefton) / originally recorded by Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013) and included on 'Reunited' (Dot Records, 1977)
'Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets' (written by Wayne C. Thompson and Donn Tankersley) / originally recorded by Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003) and included on 'Slide Off Your Satin Sheets' (Epic Records, 1977); Johnny Paycheck's version reached No.7 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1977
'Texas Dance Hall Girl', which was written by Justin Tubb (Tuesday 20 August 1935 - Saturday 24 January 1998) / originally recorded by Johnny Bush and included on 'Texas Dance Hall Girl' (RCA Victor Records, 1973)
'Nashville Drunkard' (duet with Frankie Miller)
'Here We Go Again' (written by Russell Steagall and Don Lanier) / originally recorded by George Strait and included on 'Holding My Own' (MCA Records, 1992)
'Right Side Of The Wrong Side Of The Bed'
'Right Back In Your Arms Again' (written by Mel Tillis) / originally recorded by Johnny Bush and included on 'Whiskey River/There Stands The Glass' (RCA Victor Records, 1973)
'There's Nothing To Hold Me Anymore'
'Love Comes From The Other Side Of Town' (written by Fred Freiling) / originally recorded by George Strait and included on 'Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind' (MCA Records, 1984)
'I Never Miss A Day (Missing You)', which was written by Carl Belew (Tuesday 21 April 1931 - Wednesday 31 October 1990), Van Givens and Moe Bandy / originally recorded by Moe Bandy and included on 'Love Is What Life's All About' (Columbia Records, 1978)
Rance Norton has opened shows for numerous country music legends, including Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall, Mona McCall, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, Johnny Rodriguez, Dottsy, Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, Junior Brown, Bill Anderson, Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely, Jean Sheppard, Leona Williams, Jack Greene (Tuesday 7 January 1930 - Thursday 15 March 2013) and Johnny Lee.
At the time of the acquisition of this Gene Watson 'Peer's Quote', in August 2013, Rance Norton and The Cadillac Cowboys were traveling each weekend around the great state of Texas, performing at various dancehalls and festivals, helping to keep the traditional honky-tonk country sound of Texas music alive.
Connect with Rance Norton at rancenortonmusic.com