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 2008, 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 David Allan, which he submitted to this site on Monday 12 September 2008.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to David Allan who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Monday 12 September 2008.
‘It was my huge pleasure to work with Gene on a number of occasions in the 1970s and 1980s when I was presenting BBC Radio 2’s ‘Country Club’ and the BBC Television coverage of the Wembley Festivals.
The response was always tremendous – and no wonder! Here is a stone country singer with an incredible ability to connect with his audiences.
When Gene sings of love, heartache and happiness, you know it’s for real. He has, simply, one of the best voices in the business – on a par, I would suggest, with the likes of George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) and Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016).
Gene sounds even better today and it’s nothing short of a disgrace that many of the ‘powers that be’ who program our radio and television shows don’t appreciate his very special talent and the fact that he has so many fans.
Gene Watson is genuine, from the heart country music; a billion miles away from the plastic, modern Nashville sound.
Gene is the real McCoy!’
Thank you, David Allan, for your support of Gene Watson.
David Allan, who was born in Bury, Lancashire in England on Wednesday 7 August 1940, is a British television continuity announcer and country music radio presenter.
In 1957, David Allan attained his first job as an assistant stage manager at Manchester Library Theatre and, for the next nine years, he worked at various theatres around the United Kingdom.
In June 1966, David Allan began broadcasting on the middle-of-the-road music formatted offshore pirate radio station Radio 390.
Radio 390 was an offshore pirate radio station, which broadcast between 1965 and 1967, from Red Sands Fort, near Whitstable in Kent, in the Thames Estuary in south-east England, on 773kHz AM / 388 metres Medium Wave; the fort was a former Maunsell Fort on the Red Sands sandbar.
Previously, the fort had been used by Radio Invicta, between June 1964 and February 1965, and by KING Radio, between March 1965 and September 1965.
Neither Radio Invicta or KING Radio were well-financed or successful. KING Radio approached Ted Allbeury, who suggested a format based on women’s magazines, in order to appeal to housewives.
Radio 390 was named after the station’s wavelength, so listeners would know where to tune. The actual wavelength was 388 metres (773 kHz), but 390 was easier to remember.
Like its neighbour, Radio City, Radio 390 took advantage of the fort’s layout by erecting a 250-foot vertical mast on an inner tower, guyed to three of the outer towers. This, with additional elevation from the height of the towers, gave a stable and efficient antenna, better than ship-based stations, ensuring coverage of southern England with only a 10 kilowatt transmitter.
Radio 390’s easy listening format was innovative and highly popular with listeners.
Stephen West (seated) with David Allan in Radio 390 studio in 1966
On Radio 390, David Allan hosted a number of shows, including ‘The Jim Reeves Show’, ‘Country Style’ and ‘Music from The Shows’.
Following his days as a pirate radio broadcaster, David Allan specialised in country music shows for British Forces Broadcasting, the BBC and commercial radio in the United Kingdom.
David Allan also presented the annual Wembley Country Music Festival coverage on BBC Television between 1975 and 1990.
Throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and part of the 1980s, David Allan was the voice of BBC Radio 2’s country music coverage.
One of the great television voices of all time, with warmth and reassurance, David Allan was a BBC Television voice-only announcer for twenty-five years, between 1969 and 1972 (freelance), and between 1972 and 1994 (staff).
David Allan also provided voice-overs on BBC Television’s ‘Points of View’ in 1987, and was a BBC Radio 2 presenter from 1976, hosting ‘Country Club’ with Wallace Victor ‘Wally’ Whyton (Monday 23 September 1929 – Wednesday 22 January 1997).
David Allan was also a BBC World Service Television announcer in 1992.
From 1995, David Allan was heard on ITV as a relief announcer for Carlton Television, the ITV television franchise company for London, England; Carlton Television held the London ITV franchise between 1993 and 2002.
In October 2002, David Allan joined the ITV1 national announcing team as a freelance announcer and covered the overnight shifts.
In 1994, David Allan began presenting shows on London’s Country 1035AM, the United Kingdom’s first 24-hour-a-day terrestrial country music service.
London’s Country 1035AM began broadcasting to the London area on 1035kHz AM at 10:35am on the morning of Thursday 1 September 1994; the first song played was Garth Brooks’ ‘Friends In Low Places’, which was written by Dewayne L. Blackwell (Thursday 17 September 1936 – Sunday 23 May 2021) and Earl Bud Lee.
Garth Brooks’ recording of ‘Friends In Low Places’, which was written by Dewayne L. Blackwell (Thursday 17 September 1936 – Sunday 23 May 2021) and Earl Bud Lee, was included on ‘No Fences’ (Capitol Nashville Records, 1990), and was No.1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart for four weeks in October / November 1990.
Garth Brooks’ recording of ‘Friends In Low Places’, which was written by Dewayne L. Blackwell (Thursday 17 September 1936 – Sunday 23 May 2021) and Earl Bud Lee, also reached the following chart positions:
Canada (RPM Country Tracks Chart): No.1
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100 Chart): No.89
Ireland (Irish Singles Chart): No.3
Scotland (Scottish Singles Chart): No.31
United Kingdom (UK Singles Chart): No.36
London’s Country 1035AM was intended to be the ultimate country music service for the London area with latest releases and old favourites (British, Irish and American), together with star interviews, news and views, plus outside broadcasts, including a ‘live’ feed from Nashville of The Grand Ole Opry, along with a trucker’s show at night, requests and phone-ins.
David Allan was one of those responsible for developing the initial ‘sound’ for London’s Country 1035AM.
However, prior to the September 1994 launch of London’s Country 1035AM, the financial backers of the station had a change of heart and direction, and decided that the country music content of the service would be ‘watered down’ in order to appeal to a wider ‘mainstream’ audience.
It was this decision which forced David Allan to leave London’s Country 1035AM.
Following his time with London’s Country 1035AM, David Allan returned to national BBC radio.
From Thursday 5 January 1995, David Allan hosted the weekly ‘Country Club’ show on BBC Radio 2.
David Allan also hosted shows for Melody FM in London, which was an easy listening radio service, which was on-air between July 1990 and June 1998 on 104.9 MHz and 105.4 MHz.
Between 2002 and 2004, David Allan also presented weekend shows for Primetime Radio.
In November 2002, David Allan was presented with the Country Music Association’s prestigious ‘International Broadcaster Award’; the award recognised David Allan’s outstanding contribution to the world of country music broadcasting in the United Kingdom.
At the time of the acquisition of this Gene Watson ‘Peer’s Quote’ from David Allan, in September 2008, David Allan was an announcer on Military History Channel on Sky television.
It was also at this time when David Allan was a columnist for ‘The David Allan Page’ in the United Kingdom’s highly respected Country Music People.