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 2013, 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 Judy Bailey, which she submitted to this site on Friday 19 July 2013.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Judy Bailey who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Friday 19 July 2013.
‘Gene Watson is one of the greatest singers of all time!
When he sings, he has a style of his own that cannot be mistaken for anyone else.
I have always been a fan.
Keep up the great work, Gene!’
Thank you, Judy Bailey, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Judy Bailey…
Judy Bailey was born Julia Udella Ann Martin on Thursday 6 January 1955 in Winchester, Kentucky, the eleventh of twelve children born to Floyd and Nellie Martin.
Raised in a low-income housing project, which was known to the tenants as ‘Hungry Holler’, Judy Bailey grew up listening to her mother play the guitar and sing those old-time songs and hymns, as well as many of her own original compositions.
It was no surprise that Judy Bailey would, from an early age, dream of being a singing star.
Judy Bailey would often entertain the other neighbourhood children by performing songs on the front steps, using a spoon as a microphone. Judy Bailey would tell them that she was going to ‘sing on television someday’. When she was about seven years old, Judy Bailey found an old broken guitar in a trash heap and, although it only had five strings, she managed to learn to play.
Judy Bailey was sixteen years old when her father and mother packed up their few belongings and moved the family to Lacoochee, Florida which was a very small town near Brooksville, on the western side of the state. It was there, in 1971, that Judy Bailey got her first singing ‘gig’, performing at Lacootchie Fire Station.
By the mid-1970s, Judy Bailey was fronting ‘Mason Dixon’, the house band at the huge ‘Joyland’ Night Club in Tampa, Florida where she started making contact with many of the ‘name’ country music stars of the day, including Hank Williams Jr. and Narvel Felts.
In early 1978, Judy Bailey and her husband made the trip over to Central Sound Studio in Auburndale in the hope of recording a couple of original songs that she had written, ‘I Never Stopped Lovin’ You’ and ‘Life Is What You Make It’.
During that time period, it was still possible to make a 45rpm single and, with a little barn-storming, get some radio airplay.
In any event, it didn’t take long for audiences to realise how talented Judy Bailey was.
During 1977 and early 1978, Judy Bailey worked several special events, and shows, with Carl & Jesse Chambers’ Dizzy Rambler Band.
In 1979, David Bellamy produced a couple of demo recordings on Judy Bailey, using The Bellamy Brothers band, but it was Darrell Glenn who sent some of Judy Bailey’s recordings from Central Sound Studio to Nashville producer, Ray Baker, who was, at that time, looking for a female artist to record with Moe Bandy.
Ray Baker liked what he heard, flew Judy Bailey to Nashville (her first airplane ride) to sing the duet with Moe Bandy on ‘Following The Feeling’, which was written by Charlie Craig (Friday 30 September 1938 – Friday 1 July 2011), and which reached No.10 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1980.
In November 1980, Moe Bandy saw the release of his thirteenth album, ‘Following The Feeling’ (Columbia Records, 1980), which was produced by Ray Baker, and included two tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:
‘Following The Feeling’, which was written by Charlie Craig (Friday 30 September 1938 – Friday 1 July 2011) (No.10, 1980) / this track was a duet with Judy Bailey
‘My Woman Loves The Devil Out of Me’ (written by Bobby P. Barker) (No.15, late 1980)
Moe Bandy‘s ‘Following The Feeling’ (Columbia Records, 1980) also included the following tracks:
‘Today I Almost Stopped Loving You’, which was written by Dan Mitchell (passed away on Wednesday 22 May 2019)
‘Would You Mind If I Just Call You Julie’ (written by Warren D. Robb and Shirl Milete)
‘Mexico Winter’ (written by Buck Moore and Jim Mundy)
‘Liquor Emotion’ (written by Moe Bandy and R. Hill)
‘It’s You & Me Again’, which was written by Dan Mitchell (passed away on Wednesday 22 May 2019) and Johnny McCollum / this track was a duet with Judy Bailey
‘I’ve Got Your Love All Over Me’ (written by M. Lane)
‘If I Lay Down The Bottle, Would You Lay Back Down With Me’, which was written by Warren D. Robb and Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 – Saturday 17 April 2004)
‘It’s Better Than Being Alone’ (written by E. Penney)
Personnel involved in the recording of Moe Bandy‘s ‘Following The Feeling’ (Columbia Records, 1980) included the following:
Bob Moore (Wednesday 30 November 1932 – Wednesday 22 September 2021) and Henry Strzelecki (Tuesday 8 August 1939 – Monday 29 December 2014) (bass)
Kenny Malone (Thursday 4 August 1938 – Thursday 26 August 2021) and Buddy Harman (Sunday 23 December 1928 – Thursday 21 August 2008) (drums)
Leo Jackson, Jimmy Capps, Pete Wade, Tommy Allsup (Tuesday 24 November 1931 – Wednesday 11 January 2017) and Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 – Saturday 17 April 2004) (guitar)
Ray Edenton (Wednesday 3 November 1926 – Wednesday 21 September 2022) (rhythm guitar)
Chip Young and Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins (Tuesday 18 January 1938 – Sunday 30 January 2022) (piano)
Weldon Myrick (Monday 10 April 1939 – Monday 2 June 2014) (steel guitar)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Johnny Gimble (Sunday 30 May 1926 – Saturday 9 May 2015) (fiddle)
Leon Rhodes (Thursday 10 March 1932 – Saturday 9 December 2017) (lead guitar)
Bob Wray (bass guitar)
Ricky Skaggs (mandolin)
The Jordanaires with Laverna Moore (Wednesday 9 February 1938 – Thursday 28 March 2013), and The Nashville Edition (backing vocals)
Ron Reynolds, Billy Sherrill (Thursday 5 November 1936 – Tuesday 4 August 2015) and Lou Bradley (sound engineers)
Moe Bandy‘s ‘Following The Feeling’ (Columbia Records, 1980) reached No.44 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1980.
Following the success of ‘Following The Feeling’ (No.10, 1980) for Moe Bandy & Judy Bailey, Ray Baker and Darrell Glenn were in a position to persuade Columbia Records to sign Judy Bailey to a recording contract of her own, a contract which produced the following Billboard country music singles:
‘Slow Country Dancing’ (written by Len Green and Lorraine Waldon) (No.56, 1981)
‘Best Bedroom In Town’, which was written by Charlie Craig (Friday 30 September 1938 – Friday 1 July 2011) (No.54, 1981)
In the late part of 1980, Columbia Records dropped half of their so-called ‘new artist’ roster and Judy Bailey’s recording contract was subsequently picked up by Warner Bros. Records.
Still with producer Ray Baker, Judy Bailey saw the release, on Warner Bros. Records, of two singles, both of which were minor hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:
‘Tender Lovin’ Lies’ (written by Billy Lindsey and Dennis Adkins) (No.72, 1983)
‘There’s A Lot of Good About Goodbye’, which was written by Rory Bourke and Dan Mitchell (passed away on Wednesday 22 May 2019) (No.96, 1985)
In 1981, Judy Bailey was nominated as one of the Top 5 ‘New Female Vocalists of The Year’, by California’s Academy of Country Music (ACM).
Judy Bailey performed on the nationally televised ACM Awards show from Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California but, in the end, lost to another nominee, Juice Newton.
In 1982, Judy Bailey was signed by Welk Music Group in Nashville as a staff writer and became a frequent performer on Ralph Emery’s nightly ‘Nashville Now’ show on The Nashville Network (TNN) television channel.
Judy Bailey was also making quite a few personal appearances, usually as the opening act for some of the top country music performers in the 1980s.
Some of the artists Judy Bailey opened shows for included Don Williams (Saturday 27 May 1939 – Friday 8 September 2017), The Whites, Moe Bandy, Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009), Del Reeves (Thursday 14 July 1932 – Monday 1 January 2007), Johnny Carver, Freddy Weller, Dickey Lee, Johnny Russell (Tuesday 23 January 1940 – Tuesday 3 July 2001), David Frizzell & Shelly West, and The Bellamy Brothers.
As a songwriter, Judy Bailey has written with some of the biggest names in the country music songwriting community, including Larry Cordle, Jim Rushing (‘The Future of Love’), Johnny Russell (Tuesday 23 January 1940 – Tuesday 3 July 2001), Gary Lumpkin (‘Keep My Heart In Mind’), Freddy Weller, Dickey Lee, Mark Collie (‘The Truth’), Chely Wright and Lonnie Williams.
A promotional poster for a show Judy Bailey participated in at Orange Blossom Jamboree in Florida mentions Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 – Saturday 5 June 1993) as one of the performers, so it is assumed that the show was prior to June 1993.
In 1994, Judy Bailey saw the release of ‘I’ve Never Seen It Rain’ (Hawk Records, 1994), which was released on Hawk Records, a record label which was based in Belfast, Northern Ireland; the project, which was produced by Mike Headrick and Lonnie Williams, included the following tracks:
‘When I Run Into You’, which was written by Sanger D. ‘Whitey’ Shafer (Wednesday 24 October 1934 – Saturday 12 January 2019), Lonnie Williams and Damon Gray
‘Goodbye Rainbow’ (written by Lonnie Williams)
‘You Bring The Moon’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Roger Springer)
‘Half Empty Bottle of Rum’ (written by Lonnie Williams, Kerry Philips and Andy Spooner)
‘Billy & Grace’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Jerry Hawkins)
‘I’ve Never Seen It Rain’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Kerry Philips)
‘With All My Broken Heart’ (written by Lonnie Williams, Judy Bailey and Eva Foster)
‘Honky Tonk Woman’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Aaron Barker)
‘Things To Do Before I Die’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Donny Kees)
‘He’s In Texas Tonight’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Roger Spooner)
‘Crying Room Only’, which was written by Sanger D. ‘Whitey’ Shafer (Wednesday 24 October 1934 – Saturday 12 January 2019), Lonnie Williams and Chely Wright
‘In The Name of Loneliness’ (written by Lonnie Williams, Donny Kees and Chely Wright)
‘Almost Home’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Johnny Slate)
‘Longer Goodbye’ (written by Lonnie Williams and Howard Perdue)
Personnel involved in the recording of Judy Bailey’s ‘I’ve Never Seen It Rain’ (Hawk Records, 1994) included the following:
Jimmy Hyde (drums)
Don Barrett (bass)
Gene Sisk and Gary Farmer (piano, keyboards)
Don King (acoustic guitar)
Hank Singer (fiddle)
Tim Starnes and Mike Headrick (harmonica)
Mike Headrick (guitars, steel guitar, Dobro)
Judy Bailey, Jackie Harling and Benny Berry (background vocals)
The back of the album cover for Judy Bailey’s ‘I’ve Never Seen It Rain’ (Hawk Records, 1994) included the following words of praise and admiration for Judy Bailey:
‘Judy has one of the most pure voices I’ve ever heard. A great singer with great stage presence’
‘Judy is the greatest traditional singer to come along in a long time’
‘Judy is a great traditional singer with a fresh voice’
Sanger D. ‘Whitey’ Shafer (Wednesday 24 October 1934 – Saturday 12 January 2019)
‘It’s a joy to work with someone as talented as Judy, but an even greater honour to be able to call such a wonderful person a friend’
Mike Headrick and Lonnie Williams
In 1996, Razor & Tie Records released the highly acclaimed compilation album ‘Honky Tonk Amnesia: The Hard Country Sound of Moe Bandy’ (Razor & Tie Records, 1996), a release which included twenty of Moe Bandy‘s greatest recordings, including ‘Following The Feeling’ (a duet with Judy Bailey) (No.10, 1980), which was written by Charlie Craig (Friday 30 September 1938 – Friday 1 July 2011).
• Judy Bailey