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 2010, 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 Doug Bruce, which he submitted to this site on Thursday 4 November 2010.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Doug Bruce who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Thursday 4 November 2010.
‘Thanks for the opportunity to say a few words about one of my heroes.
Gene is one of those great singers who, when you listen to him, you want to try harder or give up singing all together!
Certainly one of my greatest influences’
Thank you, Doug Bruce, for your support of Gene Watson.
Doug Bruce grew up in Aubrey, Texas; a typical American small town, a tight knit rural community where everyone knew everyone and neighbours looked after each other.
Throughout his childhood, music was part of being a Bruce, a very talented family of singers, songwriters and musicians.
Doug Bruce’s father, Dale Bruce, was a bass player who toured with Texas legend Red Steagall for many years, including a stint in Australia in the late 1970’s, and briefly with another Texas icon, Johnny Duncan (Wednesday 5 October 1938 – Monday 14 August 2006).
Doug Bruce’s uncle, Buddy Bruce, penned songs for Red Sovine (Wednesday 17 July 1918 – Friday 4 April 1980) and Minnie Pearl (Friday 25 October 1912 – Monday 4 March 1996) in the glory days of country music and continued his writing until his untimely passing a few years ago. Buddy Bruce will always remain one of Doug’s greatest musical influences.
Doug Bruce’s cousin, Kelli Workman, is a singer / songwriter in Nashville, who has worked with some of the greatest talents, including Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 – Saturday 30 June 2001).
In the mid 1980s, Doug Bruce began his career in country music as a drummer and backing vocalist with a handful of bands in the north Texas area. Later, Doug Bruce was recruited to the successful Dallas / Fort Worth band Cheyenne, performing in popular live venues, including Billy Bob’s Texas, and opening for national acts including Travis Tritt, Jerry Jeff Walker (Monday 16 March 1942 – Friday 24 October 2020) and Rascal Flatts.
Cheyenne was awarded ‘Vocal Group of The Year’ Award in 1999 and ‘The People’s Choice’ Award in 2000, at the prestigious Terry Awards in Dallas.
Doug Bruce was nominated ‘Drummer of The Year’ in both 2000 and 2001.
At the end of 2001, Cheyenne disbanded. Doug Bruce moved to Nashville along with the band’s front man, singer / songwriter, Brit Stokes. Together they performed several showcases at Douglas Corner, The French Quarter and other industry venues in and around the Nashville area.
Working primarily as a drummer for various bands, Doug Bruce also kept busy recording drum tracks in numerous demo sessions. Nashville was also where the writing bug bit harder for Doug Bruce and he became more serious about his passion for song-writing.
In 2003, friend and singer / songwriter Billy Yates asked Doug Bruce to join his band for a number of shows, including live broadcast performances on The Grand Ole Opry and on ‘Midnight Jamboree’ at Texas Troubadour Theatre; Doug Bruce also opened shows for George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) in Joplin, Missouri.
Doug Bruce met his Australian wife, Jodie, in Nashville; she was visiting the United States when their paths crossed.
After nearly a year of expensive, late night calls and a few trips back and forth from Nashville to Australia, they made it official in a small ceremony with Doug Bruce’s family in Texas.
They later flew to Australia for a renewal ceremony with Jodie’s family and friends. With each visit, Doug Bruce fell more in love with the country and the Australian people. When their first baby came along, the proud parents decided to relocate and now happily reside in Bendigo, Victoria.
Since moving to Australia, Doug Bruce has devoted himself full-time to the business of making music, delighting many an unsuspecting audience with his vocal talents front of stage, as well as behind the drums. Doug has been enjoying the country music festival and club scene and has attracted a loyal and appreciative fan base since hitting the circuit as a singer.
In October 2006, Doug Bruce saw the release of his debut extended play (EP) disc as a singer / songwriter, ‘Brand New Memory’ (Doug Bruce Music, 2006), which included Doug’s own songs, as well as selected tracks written by Billy Yates, Buddy Bruce and Brit Stokes. Despite the lack of a full promotional campaign, many of the songs enjoyed steady radio play.
Doug Bruce’s debut extended play (EP) disc, ‘Brand New Memory’ (Doug Bruce Music, 2006), included the following tracks:
‘Brand New Memory’
‘A Hero Like You’
‘There Goes The Farm’
‘Would You Believe Me If I Lied’
‘I’ve Got Her’
‘Down In Texas’
In October 2008, Doug Bruce saw the release of his first full album of material, ‘All I Need’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2008).
With a more contemporary feel, ‘All I Need’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2008) still held true to tradition. Every track was self penned, two songs co-written with Harry Jon Nanos. There was something for everyone in this new album described by some in the country music industry as ‘stone cold country’.
Doug Bruce’s first full album of material, ‘All I Need’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2008), included the following tracks:
‘What I’m Drinkin’ About’
‘All I Need’
‘Holding My Baby’
‘I Know About Lonesome’
‘Farther To Fall’
‘I Just Fixed My Heart’
‘My Wish Upon A Star’
‘That’s All It Takes’
‘Punch Drunk Love’
‘Just Three Minutes’
‘Dollar Store Romance’
Doug Bruce was subsequently awarded ‘2009 Best Male Vocalist’ Award in the highly regarded Tamworth Independent Artists Recognition Awards (TIARAs). Doug Bruce also took the award for ‘Best Contemporary Song’, for ‘I Know About Lonesome’, in the ‘Professional’ section of the Tamworth Songwriters’ Association (TSA) National Song-writing Competition; he was also a top five finalist in the ‘Traditional’ section, for his song ‘Just Three Minutes’.
Doug Bruce was also a finalist in all six of his nominated categories of the prestigious Victorian and National Country Music Awards in 2009, taking ‘Victorian Male Vocalist’, ‘Victorian Album of the Year’ and ‘Smoky Dawson Best Independent Release’ in the ‘National’ section.
The first single and title track, released from the album, ‘All I Need’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2008), was in the Australian Hot Country Top 50 for fifteen weeks and subsequently reached No.20; the track also saw Doug Bruce placed as a finalist in the ‘Americana’ section of the 12th Annual Unisong International Song Contest.
Doug Bruce was also inducted into South Australia Country Music Hall of Fame, alongside the likes of Slim Dusty (Monday 13 June 1927 – Friday 19 September 2003) and Casey Chambers.
Doug Bruce recorded and produced ‘All I Need’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2008) from his own purpose-built Shoo Fly Studios; the album reaped significant praise in the country music and mainstream press.
A music video for his second single, ‘What I’m Drinking About’, was released in May 2009 to Australian Country Music Channel and was made available worldwide on YouTube. The song spent eight weeks in the Top 10 of the Kix Country Countdown in Australia. ‘Just Three Minutes’, the third single released to radio, made it to No.4 on the European Country Music Association Chart.
In September 2010, Doug Bruce saw the release of his third album, ‘A Good Place’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2010), which included the following tracks, six of which were Doug Bruce compositions:
‘Good Place For Love’
‘The Bed You Lied In’
‘Museum of Love’
‘Don’t Let Me Stay Too Long’
‘Having What You Want’
‘Honky Tonk Shoes’
‘Man In the Mirror’
‘The Gang’s All Here’
In 2012, Doug Bruce saw the release of his fourth album, ‘Made That Way’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2012), which included the following tracks:
‘That’s Country To Me’
‘5-Star Honky Tonk’
‘Born To Roam’
‘Thank God, I’m A Cowboy’
‘Made That Way’
‘Clock Out At Five’
‘Hold On To My Heart’
‘Here Comes The Fall’
‘Runnin’ Me Down’
‘I Wish I was a Beer’
In 2014, Doug Bruce saw the release of his fifth album, ‘Somewhere Better To Be’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2014), which included the following tracks:
‘Broke Down Heart’
‘In The Backyard’
‘Things I Can’t Put Down’
‘Somewhere Better To Be’
‘Another Winding Road’
‘I Can’t Dance’
‘Mama Was A Saint’
‘She Drives Me Crazy’
‘The Other Side of A Heartache’
‘A Little Bit of Love’
‘Message In The Bottle’
In 2016, Doug Bruce saw the release of his sixth album, ‘Unsung: A Tribute To The Songs of Buddy Bruce’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2016), which included the following tracks:
‘Help The New Family Move In’
‘Lie To Me’
‘Change Your Tune’
‘I Get Worried’
‘My Baby’s Coming Home’
‘If Heartaches Were Contagious’
‘Whistle Up Some Happiness’
‘Night Before The Morning After Game’
Doug Bruce’s sixth album, ‘Unsung: A Tribute To The Songs of Buddy Bruce’ (Doug Bruce Records, 2016), is a selection of songs written by his Uncle, Buddy Bruce. Cancer claimed Buddy in the late 1990’s, but his songs remained on in the fading reel-to-reel tapes which he left behind.
• Like Doug Bruce on Facebook