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 2006, 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 Ferlin Husky, which he submitted to this site on Friday 21 July 2006.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Ferlin Husky who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Friday 21 July 2006.
‘I have known Gene Watson since he first started in this business.
He has one of the finest voices that I have ever heard – and Simon likes him, too’
Thank you, Ferlin Husky, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Ferlin Husky…
Ferlin Husky was born Ferlin Eugene Husky on Thursday 3 December 1925 in Cantwell, Missouri, close to the communities of Flat River, Hickory Grove and Cantrell, some fifty miles south of St. Louis.
‘Little Tom’, which reached No.7 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1961, was included on Ferlin Husky’s ‘Memories of Home’ (Capitol Records, 1961), which was released in September 1961.
Ferlin Husky received his musical inspiration from his mother and from an uncle called Clyde Wilson; it was Clyde Wilson who taught Ferlin Husky how to play guitar when he was nine years old. In appreciation, Ferlin Husky gave Clyde Wilson a songwriter credit on a number of songs which he had written, most notably ‘Little Tom’.
Following stints in the Merchant Marines and as a disc jockey, Ferlin Husky began performing in the Bakersfield, California area as Terry Preston and he was eventually discovered by Cliffie Stone (Thursday 1 March 1917 – Saturday 17 January 1998), the then manager of Tennessee Ernie Ford (Thursday 13 February 1919 – Thursday 17 October 1991).
Ferlin Husky grew up during the Great Depression and came of age during World War II; it was during his early days in Bakersfield, California that he generously gave a helping hand to then struggling entertainers Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 – Tuesday 14 March 2000), William (Billy) Robert Mize (Monday 29 April 1929 – Wednesday 1 November 2017), Dallas Frazier (Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022), Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 – Saturday 25 March 2006) and Roy Drusky (Sunday 22 June 1930 – Thursday 23 September 2004).
It was also around this time when Ferlin Husky created a character called Simon Crum, a hick philosopher who became so popular in his own right that Capitol Records signed the singer in order to record tracks as his alter ego.
Ferlin Husky’s successful recordings for Capitol Records included ‘A Dear John Letter’, a duet with Jean Shepard (Tuesday 21 November 1933 – Sunday 25 September 2016), which reached No.1 in 1953, ‘Gone’ which reached No.1 in 1957, ‘Country Music Is Here To Stay’, which was performed as Simon Crum, reached No.2 in 1958, and ‘Forgive Me, John’, which was another duet with Jean Shepard (Tuesday 21 November 1933 – Sunday 25 September 2016), reached No.4 in 1963.
Ferlin Husky’s greatest success was ‘Wings of A Dove’, a song which was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for twelve weeks in late 1960. The song also peaked at No.12 on the Billboard pop music singles chart in 1960 and led the pace for a further twenty six hit songs for Capitol Records, a label which Ferlin Husky departed from in 1972.
Despite the massive success of ‘Wings of A Dove’, Ferlin Husky was not able to sustain a presence on the Billboard country music singles chart during the 1960s. Ferlin Husky did remain, however, a popular concert attraction, but he had no Top 10 hits between ‘Wings of A Dove’ and ‘Once’, which reached No.4 in 1966.
Ferlin Husky enjoyed his final Top 10 hit with ‘Just For You’ in 1967 and racked up minor hits until 1975.
In 1977, Ferlin Husky underwent heart surgery and briefly retired from performing.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Ferlin Husky performed regularly at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Ferlin Husky recorded ‘Champagne Ladies’, which was written by Dallas Frazier (Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022) and Arthur Leo ‘Doodle’ Owens (Friday 28 November 1930 – Monday 4 October 1999), and included the track on ‘The Way It Was’ (Heart of Texas Records, 2006).
Ferlin Husky’s ‘The Way It Was’ (Heart of Texas Records, 2006), which was produced by Leona Williams and Justin Trevino, included two tracks, ‘Dear John’ and ‘As Long As I Live’, which were duets with Leona Williams, along with ‘The Way It Was’, which was written by Leona Williams.
Ferlin Husky had suffered from heart problems for many years and had been hospitalised several times since the late 1970s, most recently for heart surgery in 2005 and blood clots in his legs in 2007.
On Sunday 19 April 2009, Ferlin Husky was admitted to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, with congestive heart failure and pneumonia.
On Wednesday 15 July 2009, Ferlin Husky’s spokesman said he was recuperating at home after being released from a Nashville hospital.
On Tuesday 23 February 2010, The Country Music Association (CMA) announced Ferlin Husky’s induction into The Country Music Hall of Fame.
On Sunday 16 January 2011, Ferlin Husky was honoured at West St. Francois County High School in Leadwood, MO where local singers and the high school choir sang some of his hits. Ferlin Husky also donated several items of memorabilia, including his Country Music Hall of Fame Award, to the city of Leadwood. These items are permanently stored at the High School.
On Thursday 17 March 2011, Ferlin Husky’s management released a statement stating that Ferlin Husky had passed away following cardiac problems.
• Visit Ferlin Husky’s official site at ferlinhusky.com