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 2023, 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 Barry Corbin, which he submitted to this site on Thursday 16 February 2023.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Barry Corbin who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
On Tuesday 14 February 2023, acclaimed character actor, Barry Corbin, helped Alan Mercer on the 14th anniversary of his blog
This quote was submitted on Thursday 16 February 2023.
‘Gene Watson songs were always playing on the radio when I was filming ‘Urban Cowboy’ in Houston.
I thought he was a major talent then, and I certainly say he’s a classic today’
Thank you, Barry Corbin, for your support of Gene Watson.
Barry Corbin was born Leonard Barrie Corbin on Wednesday 16 October 1940, in Lamesa, Texas and is the eldest of three children (brother Blaine and sister Jane), born to Kilmer and Alma Corbin.
Barry Corbin’s father, Kilmer Blaine Corbin (1919 – 1993), was a successful lawyer, who graduated from Texas Tech University and the University of Texas Law School. Kilmer Blaine Corbin represented twenty-four West Texas counties in the Senate between 1948 and 1956, and also served as a Dawson County judge and School principal.
Barry Corbin’s mother, Alma LaMerle (Scott) Corbin (1918 – 1994), was an elementary-school teacher.
Barry Corbin’s first public performance was delivered from behind a piano at church when he was six years old. By the age of seven, Barry Corbin was organising neighborhood plays.
Barry Corbin told his parents that he planned to be an actor. Barry Corbin drew cartoons and learned to play the guitar.
Like most ten-year-old-boys, Barry Corbin sat in the darkened Majestic Theater in Lamesa for Saturday afternoon matinees. Dreams of exchanging places with the larger-than-life heroes on the screen filled his head. Barry Corbin was mesmerised by ‘B’ Westerns, and he idolised the Durango Kid.
Barry Corbin attended Monterey High School in Lubbock, where he appeared regularly in school plays, including musicals; he became a member of the Future Farmers of America.
Barry Corbin studied theatre at Texas Tech University between the late 1950s and early 1960s, during the reign of professors Clifford Ashby and Ronald Schulz, and soon became a leading actor. In his freshman year, Barry Corbin played Falstaff.
When not enrolled full time at Texas Tech, Barry Corbin took roles in community theatre, chopped cotton, and worked on an oil rig.
When he was twenty-one years old, Barry Corbin left the university to join the Marine Corps. Barry Corbin spent about two years at Camp Pendleton in California, training South Vietnamese officers. His Marine Corps training served Barry Corbin well in both his public and private pursuits. Following his discharge, Barry Corbin returned to Texas in order to pursue his dreams and started acting in regional theatres.
In 1966, Barry Corbin arrived in New York, which he used as a home base and traveled the United States to perform in regional theatre, dinner theatre and with touring theatre companies, as well as some television work.
For the next decade, Barry Corbin starred in a string of stage productions, as Jud in ‘Oklahoma!’, Henry II in ‘Beckett’, Falstaff in ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’, and as Macbeth in ‘Macbeth’.
Barry Corbin also appeared in several musicals, including ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ and ‘My Fair Lady’.
In 1972, Barry Corbin was plying his acting trade in Alabama.
In 1976, Barry Corbin returned to New York City.
In 1977, Hollywood beckoned, and Barry Corbin moved west.
‘Urban Cowboy’ (Paramount Pictures, 1980)
Director: James Bridges (Monday 3 February 1936 – Sunday 6 June 1993)
Director of photography: Reynaldo Villalobos
In May 1979, Barry Corbin auditioned for the role of Uncle Bob in ‘Urban Cowboy’ (Paramount Pictures, 1980), the John Travolta film which made mechanical bulls, Gilley’s Honkytonk and Debra Winger famous.
Writer Aaron Latham (Sunday 3 October 1943 – Saturday 23 July 2022) and director James Bridges (Monday 3 February 1936 – Sunday 6 June 1993) wanted to hire Barry Corbin, but they had misplaced his photo and résumé. A week later, someone remembered Barry Corbin’s name, and Barry had his first movie break.
‘Urban Cowboy’ was released in the summer of 1980, the year that Barry Corbin’s prolific film career began. Since then, he has appeared in more than 200 films and television shows, but Barry Corbin still treasures the memory of his time at Gilley’s.
Most of Barry Corbin’s scenes were with John Travolta, including the inspirational moment when Bob, a former bull rider, advises Bud on what it takes to become a champion.
‘John gave me some pointers, which helped. Most of my career had been on the stage at that point, so this was all new to me. It was my first movie, and my son, Jim, was born just before we started filming, so it will always be special. He still has the T-shirt we bought him from Gilley’s that says ‘Uncle Bob’s Baby”
On Friday 6 June 1980, Elektra Records released the soundtrack for ‘Urban Cowboy’ (Elektra Records, 1980), which included the following tracks:
‘Hello Texas’ (written by Brian Collins and Robby Campbell) / this track was performed by Jimmy Buffett
‘All Night Long’ (written by Joe Walsh) / this track was performed by Joe Walsh
‘Times Like These’, which was written by Dan Fogelberg (Monday 13 August 1951 – Sunday 16 December 2007) / this track was performed by Dan Fogelberg
‘Nine Tonight’ (written by Bob Seger) / this track was performed by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
‘Stand By Me’, which was written by Benjamin Earl King (Wednesday 28 September 1938 – Thursday 30 April 2015), Jerome ‘Jerry’ Leiber (Tuesday 25 April 1933 – Monday 22 August 2011) and Mike Stoller / this track was performed by Mickey Gilley (Monday 9 March 1936 – Saturday 7 May 2022), and was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in August 1980
‘Cherokee Fiddle’ (written by Michael Martin Murphey) / this track was performed by Johnny Lee (No.10, 1982)
‘Could I Have This Dance’, which was written by Wayland D. Holyfield and Bobby Lee House (Friday 11 February 1949 – Thursday 25 November 2004) / this track was performed by Anne Murray, and was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in November 1980
‘Lyin’ Eyes’, which was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey (Saturday 6 November 1948 – Tuesday 19 January 2016) / this track was performed by Eagles, and reached No.8 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1975
‘Lookin’ For Love’ (written by Bob Morrison, Wanda Mallette and Patti Ryan) / this track was performed by Johnny Lee, and was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for three weeks in September 1980
‘Don’t It Make Ya Wanna Dance’ (written by Rusty Wier) / this track was performed by Bonnie Raitt
‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’, which was written by Charlie Daniels (Wednesday 28 October 1936 – Monday 6 July 2020), Tom Crain, Taz DiGregorio, Fred Edwards, Charlie Hayward and Jim Marshall / this track was performed by The Charlie Daniels Band, and was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in August / September 1979
‘Here Comes The Hurt Again’ (written by Jerry Foster and Bill Rice) / this track was performed by Mickey Gilley (Monday 9 March 1936 – Saturday 7 May 2022), and reached No.9 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1978
‘Orange Blossom Special / Hoedown’, which was written by Ervin Thomas Rouse (Wednesday 19 September 1917 – Wednesday 8 July 1981) / this track was performed by Gilley’s ‘Urban Cowboy’ Band
‘Love The World Away’ (written by Bob Morrison and Johnny Wilson) / this track was performed by Kenny Rogers (Sunday 21 August 1938 – Friday 20 March 2020)
‘Falling In Love For The Night’, which was written by Charlie Daniels (Wednesday 28 October 1936 – Monday 6 July 2020) / this track was performed by The Charlie Daniels Band
‘Darlin’ (written by Oscar Stuart Blandamer) / this track was performed by Bonnie Raitt
‘Look What You’ve Done To Me’ (written by Boz Scaggs and David Foster) / this track was performed by Boz Scaggs
‘Hearts Against The Wind’ (written by John David Souther) / this track was performed by John David Souther and Linda Ronstadt
‘Rockin’ My Life Away’, which was written by Mack Vickery (Wednesday 8 June 1938 – Tuesday 21 December 2004) / this track was performed by Mickey Gilley (Monday 9 March 1936 – Saturday 7 May 2022)
‘The Moon Just Turned Blue’ (written by John David Souther) / this track was performed by John David Souther
‘Jukebox Argument’ (written by Gary Nicholson) / this track was performed by Mickey Gilley (Monday 9 March 1936 – Saturday 7 May 2022)
‘Here You Come Again’ (written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) / this track was performed by Gilley’s ‘Urban Cowboy’ Band
‘Cotton-Eyed Joe’ (traditional) / this track was performed by Bayou City Beats
‘Texas’, which was written by Charlie Daniels (Wednesday 28 October 1936 – Monday 6 July 2020) / this track was performed by The Charlie Daniels Band
‘Honky Tonk Wine’, which was written by Mack Vickery (Wednesday 8 June 1938 – Tuesday 21 December 2004) / this track was performed by Mack Vickery
‘Rode Hard & Put Up Wet’ (written by Marshall Chapman) / this track was performed by Johnny Lee
‘Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’, which was written by Ed Bruce (Friday 29 December 1939 – Friday 8 January 2021) and Patsy Ann Bruce (Friday 8 March 1940 – Sunday 16 May 2021) / this track was performed by Mickey Gilley (Monday 9 March 1936 – Saturday 7 May 2022) and Johnny Lee
‘The Eyes of Texas’ (Urban Cowboy Breakdown) (written by J.L. Sinclair) / this track was performed by The Charlie Daniels (Wednesday 28 October 1936 – Monday 6 July 2020) Band
‘Orange Blossom Special’ / this track was performed by Gilley’s ‘Urban Cowboy’ Band / this track earned Gilley’s ‘Urban Cowboy’ Band a trophy for ‘Best Country Instrumental Performance
Barry Corbin with Clint Eastwood on the set of ‘Any Which Way You Can’ in Jackson, Wyoming in June 1980 (photo courtesy of Barry Corbin)
Director: Wayne ‘Buddy’ Van Horn (Monday 20 August 1928 – Tuesday 11 May 2021)
Director of photography: David Worth
‘Any Which Way You Can’ (Warner Bros. Pictures, 1980)
Director: Wayne ‘Buddy’ Van Horn (Monday 20 August 1928 – Tuesday 11 May 2021)
Director of photography: David Worth
Besides ‘Urban Cowboy’ (Paramount Pictures, 1980) in 1980, Barry Corbin was also on the big screen, with supporting roles in ‘Any Which Way You Can’ (Warner Bros. Pictures, 1980), a Clint Eastwood comedy, and ‘Stir Crazy’ with Gene Wilder (Sunday 11 June 1933 – Monday 29 August 2016) and Richard Pryor (Sunday 1 December 1940 – Saturday 10 December 2005).
From the silver screen, Barry Corbin moved into regular work on the small screen as well. On the hit television series, ‘Dallas’, Barry Corbin played a recurring character, Sheriff Fenton Washburn, between 1979 and 1984. The producers needed to find someone that was tough enough to stand up to J.R. Ewing.
‘Honkytonk Man’ (Warner Bros. Pictures, 1982)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Director of photography: Bruce Surtees (Friday 23 July 1937 – Thursday 23 February 2012)
Barry Corbin established himself as one of the busiest character actors in Hollywood. Having roles in films such as ‘The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas’ with Burt Reynolds (Tuesday 11 February 1936 – Thursday 6 September 2018) and Dolly Parton, ‘Honkytonk Man’ (Warner Bros. Pictures, 1982) with Clint Eastwood, and ‘The Man Who Loved Women’ with Burt Reynolds and Kim Bassinger.
In 1986, Barry Corbin played a Lyndon Johnson adviser, Judge Wirtz, in ‘LBJ: The Early Years’, a mini-series with Randy Quaid. Barry Corbin enjoyed that role because his father, Kilmer Blaine Corbin (1919 – 1993), knew the man he portrayed.
Barry Corbin also appeared in a number of other mini-series, including ‘Murder In Texas”, ‘The Thorn Birds’, ‘Fatal Vision’, ‘A Death In California’, and ‘I Know My First Name Is Steven’.
Barry Corbin guest-starred in several television series, most of them screened in prime time, including ‘M*A*S*H’, ‘Hart To Hart’, ‘Hill Street Blues’, ‘The A-Team’, ‘The Twilight Zone’, ‘Matlock’, ‘Murder, She Wrote’, and ‘Designing Women’.
By the end of the 1980s, Barry Corbin had worked with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason (Saturday 26 February 1916 – Wednesday 24 June 1987) in ‘Nothing In Common’, with Keanu Reeves in ‘Permanent Record’, with Tommy Lee Jones in ‘Stranger On My Land’, with John Candy (Tuesday 31 October 1950 – Friday 4 March 1994) in ‘Who’s Harry Crumb?’, and with Tom Skerritt and Max von Sydow (Wednesday 10 April 1929 – Sunday 8 March 2020) in ‘Red King, White Knight’.
In 1989, Barry Corbin starred in ‘Lonesome Dove’, a western, which was hailed as a masterpiece by critics and audiences alike. Barry Corbin played the role of Roscoe Brown, July Johnson’s loyal but bumbling deputy.
If, during the 1980s, Barry Corbin was noted for his work on many hit mini-series, the 1990s showed Barry Corbin in almost every prime-time television show.
In 1990, Barry Corbin starred in ‘Northern Exposure’ as the character, Maurice Minnifield; the show premiered on Thursday 12 July 1990, and delighted critics, as well as a small, but loyal audience during its eight-week summer run.
Those eight episodes were all Barry Corbin expected to do, but then CBS decided to shoot seven more. The new episodes, plus repeats of the original shows, were aired in spring and summer 1991. ‘Northern Exposure’, with its blend of urbane humour and deadpan whimsy, suddenly became the hip show to watch. In the 1991 – 1992 fall/autumn season, the show regularly was placed in the Top 20, and the network ordered nine more episodes.
‘Northern Exposure’ aired for six seasons, between 1990 and 1995, and won several American Television Awards (Emmys) and The Golden Globe Award.
‘Northern Exposure’ continues to attract more loyal followers as it continues on in syndication around the world, and is seen at least twice a day in North America.
Barry Corbin was nominated for an Emmy in the category of ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his interpretation of proud former astronaut, Maurice Minnifield, in the series.
Barry Corbin is also best known for his starring roles in ‘One Tree Hill’ (2003 – 2009), ‘The Closer’ (2007 – 2012), ‘The Ranch’ (2016 – 2020) and ‘Yellowstone’ (2021).
In the 1990s, Barry Corbin lost most of his hair due to alopecia areata. Since then, Barry Corbin has played various roles with a shaved head, wearing a cowboy hat, or occasionally wearing a full toupee.
Barry Corbin is the signature voice of radio station KPLX 99.5 FM The Wolf in Fort Worth, Texas, and has also voiced trailers and promotions for Country Music Television (CMT) and various other country radio stations.
KPLX 99.5 The Wolf is a commercial FM radio station broadcasting a gold-based mainstream country radio format. KPLX 99.5 The Wolf is licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, and serves the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. KPLX 99.5 The Wolf is owned by Cumulus Media, with studios and offices in the Victory Park district in Dallas, just north of downtown.
KPLX 99.5 The Wolf has an effective radiated power (erp) of 100,000 watts. The transmitter is off West Belt Line Road in Cedar Hill, Texas, amid the towers for other FM and TV stations.
KPLX 99.5 The Wolf broadcasts using HD Radio technology.
KPLX 99.5 The Wolf has won ‘Radio Station of The Year’ awards from the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), as well as NAB Marconi Radio Awards, Billboard and Radio & Records awards.
On Tuesday 15 March 2022, KPLX 99.5 The Wolf shifted its format towards classic country. However, the station still plays country currents/recurrents overnight as part of the syndicated ‘Later…With Lia’ show.
In 2009, Barry Corbin was inducted into The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. A recent painting of Barry Corbin has been placed at the museum exhibit. Barry Corbin has appeared at gatherings of the American Cowboy Culture Association, which holds the annual National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration each September in Lubbock, Texas.
On Thursday 17 September 2011, at 7:15pm, Barry Corbin was given a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award at the 6th Annual Estes Park Film Festival, which was held at The Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park, Colorado. The award ceremony also include a film retrospective of Barry Corbin’s work and a lively question & answer session with the audience
On Thursday 8 March 2012, Barry Corbin was inducted into The Texas Film Hall of Fame.
In 2014, Barry Corbin became the spokesman for the Texas Veterans Land Board.
Barry Corbin has won many cutting-horse competitions. Much of his spare time is spent riding horses and tending to cattle on his small ranch near Fort Worth, Texas.
Barry Corbin has volunteered his time to charity for many years, including rodeos and being spokesman for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.