Gene Watson Peer’s Quote from Melonie Cannon: February 2010

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 during 2010, 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 Melonie Cannon, which she submitted to this site on Saturday 6 February 2010.

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



Melonie Cannon
This quote was submitted on Saturday 6 February 2010.

‘Gene Watson represents my youth…I do believe my baby bottle was filled with The Hag (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016), George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013), Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009) and Gene Watson!’

Thank you, Melonie Cannon, for your support of Gene Watson.

About Melonie Cannon…

Melonie Cannon was was born in Jackson, Tennessee, but her family moved to Nashville when she was three years old.

Daughter of record producer Buddy Cannon, Melonie Cannon was just fourteen years old when she sang on her first recording session with Dean Dillon.  And, by the time Melonie Cannon reached high school, studio dates filled her calendar.

Melonie Cannon sang on the track ‘Cry, Cry, Darling’, which was included on Sammy Kershaw’s ‘Haunted Heart’ (Mercury Records, 1993), sessions for George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013), Kenny Chesney’s ‘I Will Stand’ (BNA Records, 1997) and John Michael Montgomery’s ‘Brand New Me’ (Atlantic Records, 2000).

However, rather than pursue her own career in music, Melonnie Cannon joined the Army.  She enlisted at Fort McClellan in Alabama, building her weapons and martial arts skills in basic training.  She found a kind of focus that had been lost through her wild escapades in high school.  But after taking a fall and fracturing her hip during a morning run, she was given a medical discharge.

Back in Nashville, Melonie Cannon began visiting the legendary bluegrass venue, Station Inn, in Nashville.  Her new musical circle of friends widened to include some of bluegrass music’s top musicians.  Eventually she brought these friends over to play together, just as her father had done with his colleagues years before.

One of these new friends was Ronnie Bowman, the former lead singer for one of bluegrass music’s most popular bands, Lonesome River Band.

Ronnie Bowman offered to produce some sessions with an A-list group of musicians, including Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas, Rob McCoury, Barry Bales, Stuart Duncan and Rob Ickes.

Everyone performed live.  Melonie Cannon cut the scratch vocals with the band and they sounded so good on playback that she didn’t bother to do a separate overdub.

The three songs from that first session impressed her father enough to arrange two more studio visits, again with Melonie Cannon cutting her vocals live with the band.  After just three of these dates, they had the ten tracks for Melonie Cannon’s debut album.

Buddy Cannon burned these tracks onto a CD and gave it to disc jockey Hairl Hensley to play during his bluegrass show on Nashville’s Country Legend WSM-650AM.  Ricky Skaggs caught one broadcast and asked Buddy Cannon for a copy.  What he heard posed a challenge: it wasn’t quite bluegrass and it wasn’t quite commercial country, but it was breathtaking just the same.

With his musician hat on, Ricky Skaggs had no trouble connecting to Melonie Cannon’s performance and, as head of Skaggs Family Music, he decided no matter what genre or classification the album, or Melonie Cannon as an artist, was going to fall under, it was exactly the kind of music he wanted for his record label.

Melonie Cannon further established her musical validity to Ricky Skaggs at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, where he had invited her to do an opening performance.  Aside from the soundman, the place was empty when she and her band showed up.  Though she had known the room so well throughout the years, this was her first time on centre stage.  They were just warming up on their second song when she noticed that someone else was there after all.

Ricky Skaggs emerged from the back of the building and started yelling and clapping for her.

On Tuesday 31 August 2004, Melonie Cannon saw the release of her self-titled debut album, ‘Melonie Cannon’ (Skaggs Family Records, 2004), which included the following tracks:

‘Nothing To Lose’ (written by Kim Fox)
‘Tennessee Roads’ (written by Matraca Berg and Jim Photoglo)
‘I Feel You Everywhere’ (written by Ronnie Bowman and Buddy Cannon)
‘What Took You So Long?’ (written by Ronnie Bowman, Buddy Cannon and John Scott Sherrill)
‘Westbound Train’ (written by Buddy Cannon)
‘Sweeter Than Sugarcane’ (written by John Scott Sherrill)
‘Whiskey Lullabye’ (written by Jon Randall)
‘Separate Ways’ (written by Ronnie Bowman, Jody King and Wyatt Rice)
‘I’ll Be Back’ (written by Ronnie Bowman, Marla Cannon-Goodman and Buddy Cannon)
‘Nobody Hops A Train Anymore’, which was written by Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 – Wednesday 30 March 2011) and Leslie Satcher

Melonie Cannon: 'And The Wheels Turn' (Rural Rhythm Records, 2008)

On Tuesday 7 October 2008, Melonie Cannon saw the release of ‘And The Wheels Turn’ (Rural Rhythm Records, 2008), which included the following tracks:

‘Cactus In A Coffee Can’ (written by Allen Shamblin)
‘Dark Shadows’ (written by Stephen Mougin)
‘Send A Little Love’ (written by Ronnie Bowman and John Scott Sherrill)
‘I Call It Gone’ (written by Marla Cannon-Goodman and Michael Patrick Heeney)
‘The Day Before You’ (written by Lisa Brokop and Liz Rose)
‘It’s All Right There’ (written by Marla Cannon-Goodman and Melonie Cannon)

‘Back To Earth’ (written by Willie Nelson)
 / this track featured guest vocals from Willie Nelson

‘Mary Magdalene (Why You Cryin)’ (written by Ronnie Bowman, Marla Cannon-Goodman, Buddy Cannon and Melonie Cannon)


‘Set ‘Em Up, Joe’, which was written by Buddy Cannon, Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 – Thursday 15 July 2010), Dean Dillon and Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009)


‘I’ve Seen Enough of What’s Behind Me’ (written by Ronnie Bowman)

‘I Just Don’t Have It In Me’ (written by Marla Cannon-Goodman and Melonie Cannon)
‘And the Wheels Turn’ (written by Larry Bastian)

Melonie Cannon: 'A Tribute To Vern Gosdin' (Bfd, 2023)

On Friday 26 May 2023, Melonie Cannon saw the release of ‘A Tribute To Vern Gosdin’ (Bfd, 2023), which was produced by Buddy Cannon, and included the following tracks:

‘Is It Rainin’ At Your House’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009)Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 – Thursday 15 July 2010) and Dean Dillon / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Chiseled In Stone’ (Columbia Records, 1987)

‘Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (& Loud, Loud Music)’, which was written by Joe Maphis (Thursday 12 May 1921 – Friday 27 June 1986) and Rose Lee Maphis (Friday 29 December 1922 – Tuesday 26 October 2021) / this track featured guest vocals from Jim Lauderdale / the original version of this track was included on Vern Gosdin‘s ‘Time Stood Still’ (Compleat Records, 1985), and reached No.20 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1985

‘Right In The Wrong Direction’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009)Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 – Thursday 15 July 2010) and Mack Vickery (Wednesday 8 June 1938 – Tuesday 21 December 2004) / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Alone’ (Columbia Records, 1989), reaching No.10 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1989

‘If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009) and Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 – Sunday 11 January 2004) / this track featured guest vocals from Vince Gill / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)’ (Compleat Records, 1983), reaching No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1983

‘Way Down Deep’, which was written by Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 – Sunday 11 January 2004) and Max T. Barnes / this track featured guest vocals from Doyle Lawson and Jamey Johnson / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)’ (Compleat Records, 1983), reaching No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1983

‘Do You Believe Me Now’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009) and Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 – Sunday 11 January 2004) / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Chiseled In Stone’ (Columbia Records, 1987), reaching No.4 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1987

‘Dream of Me’ (written by Buddy Cannon, Raleigh Squires and Jimmy Darrell) / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Dream Lady’ (Phonorama Records, 1982); the track, which was also included on Vern Gosdin‘s ‘Today My World Slipped Away’ (Ami Records, 1983), reached No.7 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1981

‘Til The End’ (written by Cathy Gosdin) / this track featured guest vocals from Willie Nelson / this track was also recorded by Gene Watson & Rhonda Vincent, who included it on ‘Your Money & My Good Looks‘ (Upper Management Music, 2011) / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on his debut album, ‘Till The End’ (Elektra Records, 1977); the track, which reached No.7 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1977, featured harmony vocals from Janie Fricke

‘I Know The Way To You By Heart’ (written by Tony Laiola) / this track featured guest vocals from Alison Krauss and Sidney Cox / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Time Stood Still’ (Compleat Records, 1985), reaching No.35 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1985

‘I’m Still Crazy’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009)Buddy Cannon and Steve Gosdin / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Alone’ (Columbia Records, 1989); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in September 1989

‘I Guess I Had Your Leavin’ Comin’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009)Buddy Cannon and Dean Dillon / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Chiseled In Stone’ (Columbia Records, 1987)

‘Set ‘Em Up, Joe’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009), Buddy CannonDean Dillon and Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 – Thursday 15 July 2010) / this track featured guest vocals from Cody Jinks / this track was previously recorded by Melonie Cannon, who included it on ‘And The Wheels Turn’ (Rural Rhythm Records, 2008) / this track was also recorded by Jamey Johnson, who included it on ‘The Guitar Song’ (Mercury Records, 2010) / the original version of this track was recorded by Vern Gosdin, who included it on ‘Chiseled In Stone’ (Columbia Records, 1987); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in July 1988

‘Is It That Time Again’, which was written by Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009)Buddy Cannon and Dean Dillon / this track was never recorded by Vern Gosdin for any of his album projects (thank you, Buddy Cannon, for the information) / this track was recorded by George Strait, who included it on ‘If You Ain’t Lovin’, You Ain’t Livin’ (MCA Records, 1988)

Vern Gosdin
Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009

Melonie Cannon’s ‘A Tribute To Vern Gosdin’ (Bfd, 2023), which was produced by Buddy Cannon, included 13 songs, either written or made popular by the country crooner known by many simply as ‘The Voice’, with guest appearances by Cody Jinks, Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Jim Lauderdale, Doyle Lawson, and Sidney Cox.

Vern Gosdin’s longtime electric guitar player, Mike Baker, also participated, as did Vern Gosdin‘s regular backup singer, Curtis Wright.

For Melonie Cannon, her roots with Vern Gosdin and his music run deep.  Melonie Cannon is the daughter of famous country music producer and songwriter, Buddy Cannon, who is known for working with a number of acclaimed country music artists, most especially Willie Nelson in recent years.  Melonie Cannon is regularly seen on stage, singing backup in Jamey Johnson’s band, and has appeared on scores of other recordings for George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013), Sammy Kershaw, and Reba McEntire, amongst others.

Melonie Cannon owes a special debut of gratitude to Vern Gosdin.  Melonie Cannon gives Vern Gosdin credit for believing in her as a singer, even before her own father did.  Vern Gosdin took Melonie Cannon under his wing when she was a teenager, and got her father to pay attention to her as a serious country vocalist.  Buddy Cannon produced ‘A Tribute To Vern Gosdin’ (Bfd, 2023) with co-producer Butch Carr.

‘These songs weren’t just playing on my radio, they were being sung at my kitchen table’, Melonie Cannon said.  ‘They are a part of my being; they are my childhood.  I lived through the thoughts and ideas that turned words and music into country treasures.

‘Is It Rainin’ At Your House’ has always been one of my favourite songs.  Way before I knew how sad it was, I was connected to songs like that – the ones that matter to your heart – when I was a kid.  I was immersed in Dean DillonHank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 – Thursday 15 July 2010) and Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 – Tuesday 28 April 2009) songs as long as I have memories.  This song is all three of those men in one magic melody’

Melonie Cannon with renowned and highly respected country music record producer and song-writer Buddy Cannon, and acclaimed country music artist, Willie Nelson

Gene Watson recorded Buddy Cannon‘s ‘Ain’t No Fun To Be Alone In San Antone’ (co-written with Luke Reed) and included the track on ‘Back in The Fire‘ (Warner Bros. Records, 1988).

Gene Watson recorded Buddy Cannon‘s ‘One & One & One’ (co-written with John Northrup) and included the track on ‘In Other Words‘ (Broadland International Records / Mercury Canada, 1992).



• Visit Melonie Cannon’s official site at meloniecannon.com