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 2014, 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 Hoot Hester, which he submitted to this site on Wednesday 18 June 2014.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Hoot Hester who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Wednesday 18 June 2014.
‘I have known Gene Watson for many years and been in the studio and on stage with him more than a few times.
He is the perfect ‘singers’ singer’.
He never makes a mistake on stage or in the studio.
On top of that, he is a very gracious man’
Thank you, Hoot Hester, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Hoot Hester…
Hoot Hester was born Hubert Dwane Hester on a farm outside Louisville in Kentucky on Monday 13 August 1951.
When he was two years old, Hoot Hester acquired the name ‘Hoot’. The nickname is derived from Hoot Gibson (6 August 1892 – Thursday 23 August 1962), who was an American rodeo champion and a pioneer cowboy film actor, director and producer.
As a child, Hoot Hester developed a love of music from his guitar and fiddle playing father and four uncles, as well as from his mother’s piano playing. Hoot Hester learned first how to play the piano and, by the time he was nine years old, he had picked up the fiddle as well. It wasn’t long before Hoot Hester also developed skills on the guitar and mandolin.
Hoot Hester and a couple of cousins formed a band in order to play bluegrass music.
Hoot Hester attended Louisville’s Southern High School and began his fiddling career with The Bluegrass Alliance in Louisville.
Upon leaving high school, Hoot Hester found employment with the phone company while also performing with the Louisville group, The Bluegrass Alliance.
In 1973, Hoot Hester moved to Nashville, having received several job offers after winning fifth place in a fiddle contest at which Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 – Saturday 30 June 2001) and other prominent people in the music industry were judges. For the next year, Hoot Hester played with The Whites.
In 1975, Hoot Hester moved to Dickson, Tennessee.
Hoot Hester then moved on to gigs with a number of acclaimed country music artists, including Jerry Reed (Saturday 20 March 1937 – Monday 1 September 2008), Mel Tillis (Monday 8 August 1932 – Sunday 19 November 2017) and Donna Fargo.
By 1980, Hoot Hester decided to work as a studio musician and soon he was also playing with steel guitar player Buddy Emmons (Wednesday 27 January 1937 – Wednesday 29 July 2015) and session guitarist, Phil Baugh (Sunday 13 December 1936 – Sunday 4 November 1990), in Sound Factory.
They went on to become the staff band on the television shows, ‘That Nashville Music’ and ‘Nashville Alive’.
Hoot Hester, a fiddle player, multi-instrumentalist, and country music and bluegrass music artist, has played with a number of well-known bands, and later became a session musician and a longtime member of The Grand Old Opry’s staff band in Nashville.
Hoot Hester was a featured performer at NAMM Show during the time it was held in Nashville in 1993 and 2004.
Hoot Hester played backup for a number of acclaimed country music recording artists, including Alabama, Hank Williams Jr., Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 – Saturday 5 June 1993), Randy Travis, Bill Monroe (Wednesday 13 September 1911 – Monday 9 September 1996) and Ricky Van Shelton.
Hoot Hester also recorded with Manhattan Transfer, and Ray Charles (Tuesday 23 September 1930 – Thursday 10 June 2004).
During the 1980s, Hoot Hester began undertaking session recordings for various artists and producers, and continued this work up to 2012.
Hoot Hester also began appearing on television shows, one of which played for eleven years.
In 1997, Dennis Crouch and Hoot Hester put together a Western Swing band, The Time Jumpers; Hoot Hester was the former fiddler in the group and played on their debut album, ‘On The Air’.
Hoot Hester eventually left The Time Jumpers to produce and write with Rachael Hester, his youngest daughter, who leads a band named ‘Rachael Hester & The Tennessee Walkers’.
Hoot Hester played with The Grand Ole Opry staff band since the year 2000, and also worked with Earl Scruggs (Sunday 6 January 1924 – Wednesday 28 March 2012), until Earl Scruggs’ death in March 2012.
At the time of the acquisition of this Gene Watson ‘Peer’s Quote’, in June 2014, Hoot Hester, in addition to his duties at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, was writing and producing music with Rachael Hester, his youngest daughter, who also lived in Dickson, Tennessee.
Hoot Hester played fiddle on ‘Texas To Tennessee’ (Woodsmoke Records, 1980), an album from Weldon Myrick (Monday 10 April 1939 – Monday 2 June 2014), who was an acclaimed steel guitar player within the genre of country music.
Hoot Hester played fiddle on John Conlee‘s ‘Busted’ (MCA Records, 1982).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Gary Morris‘ ‘Why Lady Why’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1983).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on ‘San Antone’ (EMI America Records, 1984) from Dan Seals (Sunday 8 February 1948 – Wednesday 25 March 2009).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Randy Travis‘ ‘Storms of Life’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1986).
On Monday 9 May 2011 (in the United Kingdom & Ireland) and on Tuesday 17 May 2011 (in the rest of the world), Gene Watson‘s ‘Memories To Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985), along with Gene Watson‘s ‘Starting New Memories‘ (Epic Records, 1986) were released, as a special 2-on-1 CD set, by Hux Records.
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Ricky Van Shelton‘s ‘Wild Eyed Dream’ (Columbia Records, 1987).
Hoot Hester played fiddle and mandolin on Moe Bandy‘s ‘No Regrets’ (Curb Records, 1988).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on ‘Chiselled In Stone’ (Columbia Records, 1988) from Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Ricky Van Shelton‘s ‘Loving You’ (Columbia Records, 1988).
Hoot Hester played fiddle and mandolin on Moe Bandy‘s ‘Many Mansions’ (Curb Records, 1989).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on ‘House On Old Lonesome Road’ (MCA Records, 1989) from Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 – Saturday 5 June 1993).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on The Statler Brothers‘ ‘Music, Memories & You’ (Mercury Records, 1990).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Ricky Van Shelton‘s ‘RVS III’ (Columbia Records, 1990).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on ‘Always A Rose’ (Sony Records, 1991) from Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 – Monday 16 December 2013).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Larry Sasser & The Nashville Now Band’s ‘Sassy Country’ (Step One Records, 1991).
Hoot Hester played fiddle, mandola and mandolin on ‘Back Home Again’ (Reprise Records, 1991) from Kenny Rogers (Sunday 21 August 1938 – Friday 20 March 2020).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on The Statler Brothers‘ ‘Home’ (Mercury Records, 1993).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on George Strait’s ‘Strait Out of The Box’ on (MCA Records, 1995).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on ‘Highway To The Sky’ (Step One Records, 1995) from Jack Greene (Tuesday 7 January 1930 – Thursday 15 March 2013).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on The Whites’ ‘Give A Little Back’ (Step One Records, 1996).
Hoot Hester played fiddle and mandolin on Steve Wariner‘s ‘Burnin’ The Roadhouse Down’ (Capitol Nashville Records, 1998).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on The Bluegrass Alliance’s ‘Re-Alliance’ (Copper Creek Records, 2001); Hoot Hester was a member of The Bluegrass Alliance between 1967 and 1978, and again between 1998 and 2001.
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Gail Davies‘ ‘Gail Davies & Friends: Live & Unplugged At The Station Inn’ (Valley Records, 2001 / Little Chickadee Records, 2001); this was the first ‘live’ album ever recorded at J.T. Gray’s Station Inn in Nashville.
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Joni Harms‘ ‘After All’ (Real West Records, 2001).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on Randy Travis‘ ‘Trail of Memories: The Randy Travis Anthology’ (Rhino Records, 2002).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on ‘Comfort of Her Wings’ (Music City Records, 2003) from Charley Pride (Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020).
Hoot Hester played fiddle on John Conlee‘s ‘Classics’ (Rose Colored Records, 2003).
On Tuesday 30 August 2016, Hoot Hester passed away.
(Monday 13 August 1951 – Tuesday 30 August 2016)
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