Gene Watson Remembers C.W. McCall’s ‘Convoy’: January 2020

Gene Watson in an autobody repair shop in Houston, Texas in 1961

C.W. McCall: 'Black Bear Road' (MGM Records, 1975)


‘Back on this day (6 January) in 1976, the great C.W. McCall was at No.1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart with ‘Black Bear Road’ (MGM Records, 1975), which included the huge hit, ‘Convoy’ (written by Bill Fries and Chip Davis) (No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for six weeks in December 1975 / January 1976).

That song started the CB radio craze.  My handle was ‘Hail Ball’ because my touring car on the road was a 1972 Ford Crown Victoria – emerald green with a white vinyl top – just beat all up with hail dents.  I got the bottom dents out and you couldn’t really see the dents in the vinyl top, so that was good.  It was a beautiful car.

This was before I signed to Capitol Records and I traveled all over Texas and Louisiana doing clubs with a house band’

Gene Watson: 'Beautiful Country' (Capitol Records, 1977)

On Wednesday 28 June 1978, ‘Convoy’, a movie based on C.W. McCall’s No.1 Billboard country music hit, opened with Kris Kristofferson starring.  The soundtrack included music from Crystal Gayle, Billie Jo Spears (Friday 14 January 1938 – Wednesday 14 December 2011), Doc Watson (Saturday 3 March 1923 – Tuesday 29 May 2012), Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016), Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell (Wednesday 22 April 1936 – Tuesday 8 August 2017), Anne Murray, Gene Watson and Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock.

Gene Watson’s recording of ‘Cowboys Don’t Get Lucky All The Time’, which was written by Dallas Harms (Thursday 18 July 1935 – Saturday 12 October 2019) was included on the soundtrack of the movie, ‘Convoy’, which was directed by Sam Peckinpah (Saturday 21 February 1925 – Friday 28 December 1984) and starred Kris Kristofferson in a leading role.  It was due to the encouragement of Kris Kristofferson that the song was included on the soundtrack album in the first place.

On Tuesday 26 September 2005, England’s Hux Records released Gene Watson’s ‘Beautiful Country‘ (Capitol Records, 1977), along with Gene Watson’s ‘Because You Believed in Me‘ (Capitol Records, 1976), as a special 2-for-1 CD set.