On Monday 18 September 2023, Gene Watson reflected on Hank Williams’ Centennial Birthday Celebration, which he attended at Davis Theatre For The Performing Arts, 251 Montgomery Street in Montgomery, Alabama on Sunday 17 September 2023.
‘We had a super crowd at our Sunday (17 September 2023) matinee in Montgomery, Alabama for the Hank Williams Sr. Centennial, celebrating all things, Hank Williams Sr.
As a surprise for the Hank Williams Sr. celebration, we sang one of our favourites by Hank, ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’.
Some of you may remember that this is the very first song I ever played on The Grand Ole Opry. It was early 1960s, the night that The Wilburn Brothers – Doyle Wilburn (Monday 7 July 1930 – Saturday 16 October 1982) and Teddy Wilburn (Monday 30 November 1931 – Monday 24 November 2003) – invited me to take one of their spots on the show.
I know my knees were knocking when I walked onto that sacred stage at The Ryman in Nashville, but I guess I managed to sing the song OK, because the audience gave me a standing ovation. I was totally overwhelmed, and then I was asked to sing an encore!
I’m sure my voice was shaky, but I asked the band if they knew ‘It Is No Secret What God Can Do’, and that became my second song performed on the Opry stage.
Now that I’m an official Opry member, those memories are extra special to me.
Later on, I recorded this song’
• Gene Watson on Facebook
Gene Watson recorded ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’, which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 – Thursday 1 January 1953), and included the track on ‘Should I Come Home‘ (Capitol Records, 1979); the track featured background vocals from ‘The Nashville Edition’, which included Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Wendellyn Suits and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017).
On Tuesday 27 January 2009, England’s Hux Records released Gene Watson’s ‘Should I Come Home‘ (Capitol Records, 1979), along with Gene Watson’s ‘Reflections‘ (Capitol Records, 1978), as a special 2-for-1 CD set.
Gene Watson’s recording of Hank Williams’ ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’ was subsequently included on ‘A Tribute To Hank Williams’ (EMI Records, 1992), a various artists collection, which celebrated the music of Hank Williams.
• In the March 1993 issue of Country Music People, Craig Baguley reviewed ‘A Tribute to Hank Williams‘ (EMI Records, 1992).
Hank Williams’ version of ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’, which reached No.2 on the country music singles chart in 1951, was subsequently included on Hank Williams’ ‘Ramblin’ Man’ (MGM Records, 1955).