Gene Watson’s ‘Memories to Burn’ (Epic Records, 1985): Country Music People Review: October 1985

Gene Watson has been singing professionally since the late 1950s and has been a country music album recording artist since the late 1960s.

Gene Watson’s contribution to the country music genre is immeasurable.

It is here where you have an opportunity to read a review of Gene Watson’s ‘Memories to Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985), as published in the October 1985 issue of Country Music People.

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Country Music People have long ago nailed its colours to the mast where Gene Watson is concerned.

 has rigorously championed Gene Watson’s cause down through the years and have published a number of reviews of his album releases.

All reviews have been reproduced with the kind permission of Country Music People.

Memories to Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985)
Country Music People, October 1985

This review of ‘Memories to Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985) by Bob Powell was published in the October 1985 issue of Country Music People, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Album Review by Bob Powell
(***** out of 5)
‘Gene Watson once said to me that, if he was forced to record material he didn’t like, he would refuse, and go back to repairing cars in Texas.

Well, the body shops in Texas haven’t got a new worker yet, but I bet Gene is just a little bit nervous after his last single on MCA, reaching only No.43, and more importantly, his first for Epic, achieving a very poor high of No.24.

Sad, because this is a very fine album, and the song in question ‘Cold Summer Day In Georgia’ is a very good song.

Maybe it should have been truer to life and called ‘Cold Summer Day In Britain’.

Gene and his long-time band leader Larry Booth produced this album, and among the pickers, and another band member Larry Booth‘s brother Tony Booth, once a rising star on Capitol Records.

As so often seems to be the case lately, Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 – Saturday 17 April 2004) is here represented as a picker, and a writer with the title track no less, and ‘Stranger In Our House Tonight’, a nice if sad ballad.

Canadian Dallas Harms (Thursday 18 July 1935 – Saturday 12 October 2019) wrote Gene’s initial biggie, ‘Paper Rosie’, and he is represented here on ‘Get Along Little Doggie’, a rather clever song that incorporates the old cowboy ballad.

My two favourite songs though, are the ballad ‘The Note’ about a ‘Dear John’ letter, a sad song that is greatly complimented by another long-time member of the Farewell Party Band, Tiny Olson, on steel.

The other highlight to me is a much faster number composed by Obie McClinton (Thursday 25 April 1940 – Wednesday 25 September 1987) who I never rated as a vocalist, but he wrote a hell of a good song in ‘The New York Times’ about a recurring theme in Gene Watson songs, a departed lady.

Gene’s got an excellent voice, the production is good and country, and the songs are of a very high quality.  All we need now is a hit’.

Bob Powell
Country Music People
October 1985

On Monday 9 May 2011 (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and Tuesday 17 May 2011 (worldwide), England’s Hux Records released Gene Watson’s ‘Memories to Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985), along with Gene Watson’s ‘Starting New Memories‘ (Epic records, 1986), as a special ‘2-for-1‘ CD set.