Gene Watson Peers Quote from Hugh Prestwood: September 2004

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 2004, were most gracious with their time & words.

It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Hugh Prestwood, which he submitted to this site on Tuesday 21 September 2004.

Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Hugh Prestwood who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.

Hugh Prestwood
This quote was submitted on Tuesday 21 September 2004

‘Not living in Nashville, I have not had the pleasure of meeting Gene, but I’ve been an admirer of his for many years.

He is the ‘real thing’ and has, it seems to me, managed to hold on to his authenticity and integrity in an age where ‘selling out’ has become pretty routine.



Gene has recorded two songs of mine, ‘You Can’t Get Arrested in Nashville‘ and ‘This Country’s Bigger Than Texas‘, for which I am very proud.

And, what’s even better, I love the cuts’

Thank you, Hugh Prestwood, for your support of Gene Watson.



About Hugh Prestwood…



Hugh Prestwood waited until he was thirty years old before he left El Paso, Texas for a musical future in New York.  A teacher by day & club performer by night, Hugh Prestwood was discovered in 1978 by Judy Collins, who gave him his first hit, ‘Hard Times For Lovers’, and subsequently recorded five more of his songs.

A staff songwriter for BMG Music, Hugh Prestwood has penned Billboard No.1 country music hits for a large number of award-winning country music artists.

Hugh Prestwood has had his compositions recorded by an impressive number of artists, including Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 – Saturday 5 June 1993), Lee Greenwood, Don Williams (Saturday 27 May 1939 – Friday 8 September 2017), Jackie De Shannon, Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009), Maura O’Connell, Tanya Tucker, The Judds – Wynonna Judd & Naomi Judd (Friday 11 January 1946 – Saturday 30 April 2022) – and Collin Raye.

Jackie DeShannon: 'You're The Dancer' (Amherst Records, 1977)

Jackie DeShannon recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Dorothy’ and included the track on ‘You’re The Only Dancer’ (Amherst Records, 1977).

Crystal Gayle recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Sound of Goodbye’ and included the track on ‘Cage The Songbird’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1983); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in January / February 1984.

Holly Dunn (Thursday 22 August 1957 – Tuesday 15 November 2016) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘My Heart Holds On’ and included the track on ‘Holly Dunn’ (MTM Records, 1986); the track reached No.64 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1985.

Michael Johnson (Tuesday 8 August 1944 – Tuesday 25 July 2017) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder’ and included the track on ‘Wings’ (RCA Records, 1986); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in May 1987.

Michael Martin Murphey recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Almost Free’ and included the track on ‘Americana’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1987).

Michael Johnson (Tuesday 8 August 1944 – Tuesday 25 July 2017) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Roller Coaster Run’ and included the track on ‘That’s That’ (RCA Records, 1988).

Michael Johnson (Tuesday 8 August 1944 – Tuesday 25 July 2017) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘It Must Be You’ and included the track on ‘That’s That’ (RCA Records, 1988).

Michael Johnson (Tuesday 8 August 1944 – Tuesday 25 July 2017) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘That’s That’ and included the track on ‘That’s That’ (RCA Records, 1988).

Michael Johnson recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder’ and included the track on ‘That’s That’ (RCA Records, 1988); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in May 1987.

Crystal Gayle recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Heat’ (co-written with Tom Campbell) and included the track on ‘Nobody’s Angel’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1988).

Highway 101: '101²' (Warner Bros. Records, 1988)

Highway 101 recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Feed This Time’ and included the track on ‘101²’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1988).

John Conlee recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Where Are The Pieces of My Heart’ and included the track on ‘Fellow Travelers’ (16th Avenue Records, 1989).

John Conlee recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘I Had The Time & Money Too’ and included the track on ‘Fellow Travelers’ (16th Avenue Records, 1989).

John Conlee recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Don’t Get Me Started’ and included the track on ‘Fellow Travelers’ (16th Avenue Records, 1989).

John Conlee recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Almost Free’ and included the track on ‘Fellow Travelers’ (16th Avenue Records, 1989).

Randy Travis recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart’ and included the track on ‘No Holdin’ Back’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1989); the track was No.1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart for four weeks in March / April 1990.

Suzy Bogguss recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Under The Gun’ and included the track on ‘Moment of Truth’ (Liberty Records, 1990); the track reached No.72 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1990.

Shenandoah, featuring lead vocalist Marty Raybon, recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Ghost In This House’ and included the track on ‘Extra Mile’ (Columbia Records, 1990); the tracked reached No.5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1990.

Anne Murray recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Feed This Fire’ and included the track on ‘You Will’ (Capitol Records, 1990); the track reached No.5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1990.

Don Williams: 'True Love' (RCA Records, 1990)

Don Williams (Saturday 27 May 1939 – Friday 8 September 2017) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Darling, That’s What Your Love Does’ and included the track on ‘True Love’ (RCA Records, 1990).

Baillie & The Boys (Kathy Baillie & Michael Bonagura Jr.) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Can’t Stand To Be Unhappy’ and included the track on ‘The Lights of Home’ (RCA Records, 1990).

Barbara Mandrell recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Where Are The Pieces of My Heart’ and included the track on ‘No Nonsense’ (Capitol Records, 1990); the track was released as a single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1990, but it did not chart.

Barbara Mandrell recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘More Fun Than The Law Allows’ and included the track on ‘No Nonsense’ (Capitol Records, 1990).

Maura O'Connell: 'A Real Life Story' (Warner Bros. Records, 1990)

Maura O’Connell recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘A Family Tie’ and included the track on ‘A Real Life Story’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1990).

In 1991, Hugh Prestwood was honoured at the annual BMI Awards with the 23rd ‘Robert J. Burton Song of The Year’ Award for ‘Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart’, which was recorded by Randy Travis, who included it on ‘No Holdin’ Back’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1989).

In 1991, Hugh Prestwood was selected by Billboard Magazine as the ‘No.2 Country Songwriter of The Year’.

Billboard Magazine also listed Randy Travis‘s recording of Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart’ as the fifth biggest country music hit single of the 1990s.



Gene Watson recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘You Can’t Get Arrested In Nashville’ and included the track on ‘At Last‘ (Warner Bros. Records, 1991).



Gene Watson recorded High Prestwood’s ‘This Country’s Bigger Than Texas’ and included the track on ‘At Last‘ (Warner Bros. Records, 1991).

Highway 101 recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Bing Bang Boom’ and included the track on ‘Bing Bang Boom’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1991); the track reached No.14 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in June 1991.

Kathy Mattea recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Asking Us To Dance’ and included the track on ‘Time Passes By’ (Mercury Records, 1991); the track reached No.27 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1991.

Shelby Lynne recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘It Must Be You’ and included the track on ‘Soft Talk’ (Epic Records, 1991).

Collin Raye recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Latter Day Cowboy’ and included the track on ‘In This Life’ (Epic Records, 1992).

Tanya Tucker recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Half The Moon’ and included the track on ‘Can’t Run From Yourself’ (Liberty Records, 1992).

Don Williams (Saturday 27 May 1939 – Friday 8 September 2017) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Only Water (Shining In The Air)’ and included the track on ‘Currents’ (RCA Records, 1992).

In 1992, Hugh Prestwood made his recording debut on RCA Records with the album ‘Signatures III’ (RCA Records, 1992), which featured five of Nashville’s top writers performing their own songs.

‘Signatures III’ (RCA Records, 1992) included the following tracks:

1 ‘Darlin’ That’s What Your Love Does’ / this track was performed by Hugh Prestwood
2 ‘Three Verses’ / this track was performed by J. Fred Knobloch
3 ‘Welcome To The Golden Years’ / this track was performed by Angela Kaset
4 ‘A Little of You’ / this track was performed by Walt Aldridge
5 ‘Southern Pine’ / this track was performed by Richard Leigh
6 ‘Feels Like Mississippi’ / this track was performed by J. Fred Knobloch
7 ‘Kite For A Heart’ / this track was performed by Walt Aldridge
8 ‘A Step In The Right Direction’ / this track was performed by Hugh Prestwood
9 ‘From Our House To Yours’ / this track was performed by Angela Kaset
10 ‘The Night They Made The First Cub Scout’ / this track was performed by Richard Leigh

Trisha Yearwood recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Song Remembers When’ and included the track on ‘The Song Remembers When’ (MCA Records, 1993); the track reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in early 1993.

In 1994, Hugh Prestwood won a Prime Time Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Individual Achievement In Music & Lyrics’ for his composition ‘The Song Remembers When’, which was featured in the Disney special ‘Trisha Yearwood – The Song Remembers When’.

Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Song Remembers When’ was also nominated for a Cable ACE Award for ‘Best Original Song’ and was voted ‘Song of The Year’ by members of The Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI).

Charlie Sizemore recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Roller Coaster Run’ and included the track on ‘Back Home’ (Rebel Records, 1994).

Cleve Francis recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Here You Are’ and included the track on ‘You’ve Got Me Now’ (Liberty Records, 1994).

Linda Davis recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘A Family Tie’ and included the track on ‘Shoot For The Moon’ (Arista Records, 1994).

Collin Raye recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘On The Verge’ and included the track on ‘I Think About You’ (Epic Records, 1995); the track reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1995.

Collin Raye recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Heart Full of Rain’ and included the track on ‘I Think About You’ (Epic Records, 1995).

Ty England recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Smoke In Her Eyes’ and included the track on ‘Ty England’ (RCA Records, 1995).

Ty England recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Is That You’ and included the track on ‘Ty England’ (RCA Records, 1995).

Marty Raybon recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘That’s That’ and included the track on ‘Marty Raybon’ (Chordant Music, 1995).

Marty Raybon recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Deep Summer (In The Deep South)’ and included the track on ‘Marty Raybon’ (Chordant Music, 1995).

Ty England: 'Two Ways To Fall' (RCA Records Nashville, 1996)

Ty England recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Sure’ and included the track on ‘Two Ways To Fall’ (RCA Records Nashville, 1996).

Bobbie Cryner recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘I Just Can’t Stand To Be Unhappy’ and included the track on ‘Girl of Your Dreams’ (MCA Records, 1996); the track entered the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart on Saturday 14 October 1995, peaking at No.63 in late 1995.

Bobbie Cryner with Hugh Prestwood’s ‘I Just Can’t Stand To Be Unhappy’ / this track reached No.63 the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in late 1995

Stephanie Bentley recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Once I Was The Light of Your Life’ and included the track on ‘Hopechest’ (Epic Records, 1996); the track reached No.60 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1996.

Stephanie Bentley recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Half The Moon’ and included the track on ‘Hopechest’ (Epic Records, 1996).

Charlie Sizemore recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Bristlecone Pine’ and included the track on ‘In My View’ (Rebel Records, 1996).

M.C. Potts: 'Straight To You' (Avex Critique, 1996)

M.C. Potts recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Back When’ and included the track on ‘Straight To You’ (Avex Critique, 1996).

In 1997, Hugh Prestwood’s ‘On The Verge’, which was recorded by Collin Raye, was listed by Billboard Magazine as the fourth biggest country music hit single of the year.

Three of Hugh Prestwood’s songs have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the ‘Best Performance’ Category:

• ‘Sound of Goodbye’ (recorded by Crystal Gayle)
• ‘Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart’ (recorded by Randy Travis)
• ‘Ghost In This House’ (recorded by Shenandoah, featuring lead vocalist Marty Raybon)

Collin Raye recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Corner of The Heart’ and included the track on ‘The Walls Came Down’ (Epic Records, 1998).

Collin Raye recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘April Fool’ and included the track on ‘The Walls Came Down’ (Epic Records, 1998).

Jerry Jeff Walker: 'Cowboy Boots & Bathin' Suits' (TNT Records, 1998)
Jerry Jeff Walker (Monday 16 March 1942 – Friday 24 October 2020) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder’ and included the track on ‘Cowboy Boots & Bathin’ Suits’ (TNT Records, 1998).

Alison Krauss & Union Station recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Ghost In This House’ and included the track on ‘Forget About It’ (Rounder Records, 1999).

Trisha Yearwood recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Love Let Go’ and included the track on ‘Inside Out’ (MCA Records, 2001).

Jimmy Buffett: 'Far Side of The World' (Mailboat Records, 2002)

Jimmy Buffett (Wednesday 25 December 1946 – Friday 1 September 2023) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Savannah Fare You Well’ and included the track on ‘Far Side of The World’ (Mailboat Records, 2002); Jimmy Buffett also recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Asking Us To Dance’ for the album, but it was not included.

Sammy Kershaw recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Gone For Good Goodbye’ and included the track on ‘I Want My Money Back’ (Audium Records / Koch Records, 2003).

Kristin Chenoweth recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Song Remembers When’ and included the track on ‘As I Am’ (Sony Records, 2005).

Randy Travis recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Love Is A Gamble’ and included the track on ‘Around The Bend’ (Warner Bros. Records, 2008).

Luke Olson: 'Red River Blue' (Sustain Records, 2008)

Luke Olson recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Labor of Love’ and included the track on ‘Red River Blue’ (Sustain Records, 2008).

Sammy Kershaw recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Snow White Rows of Arlington’ and included the track on ‘Better Than I Used To Be’ (Big Hit Records, 2010); the track was released as a single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart in 2010, but it did not chart.

Charlie Sizemore recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart’ and included the track on ‘Heartache Looking For A Home’ (Rounder Records, 2011).

John Conlee: 'Classics 2' (Rose Colored Records, 2015)

John Conlee recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Sure’ and included the track on ‘Classics 2’ (Rose Colored Records, 2015).

Hugh Prestwood and Rumer in Nashville on Saturday 18 May 2019

Hugh Prestwood and Rumer in Nashville on Saturday 18 May 2019
(photo credit: Alan Messer)

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Fate of Fireflies’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘June It’s Gonna Happen’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Oklahoma Stray’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Bristlecone Pine’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020); this track featured guest vocals from Lost Hollow.

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Ghost In This House’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Deep Summer In The Deep South’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Heart Full of Rain’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Hard Times For Lovers’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Starcrossed Hanger of The Moon’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Song Remembers When’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘That’s That’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Here You Are’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Learning How To Love’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘The Snow White Rows of Arlington’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Rumer: 'Nashville Tears' (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020)

Rumer (Sarah Joyce) recorded Hugh Prestwood’s ‘Half The Moon’ and included the track on ‘Nashville Tears: The Songs of Hugh Prestwood’ (Cooking Vinyl Records, 2020).

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas and a graduate of University of Texas in El Paso, Hugh Prestwood was, at the time of the acquisition of this Gene Watson Peer’s Quote, in September 2004, residing on Long Island, New York.

Since 1982, Hugh Prestwood has taught advanced song-writing at The New School in Manhattan.  Additionally, each year, Hugh Prestwood teaches song-writing workshops for the NSAI in various locations throughout the United States.

• Visit Hugh Prestwood’s official site at hughprestwood.com