Gene Watson Peer’s Quote from Mike Ragogna: April 2005

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 2005, 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 Mike Ragogna, which he submitted to this site on Sunday 10 April 2005.

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

Mike Ragogna
This quote was submitted on Sunday 10 April 2005.

‘Gene Watson’s body of work is not only smart and sensitive, but the recordings themselves almost always sound like instant classics’

Thank you, Mike Ragogna, for your support of Gene Watson.

About Mike Ragogna…

Mike Ragogna has been in the music business since his teens and has worn quite a few hats.  Mike always works from the heart, whether it be as a singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, producer, arranger or even song-plugger.

New York-born Mike Ragogna was signed at the age of fifteen as a songwriter by producers Terry Cashman and Tommy West (Jim Croce, Dion, Mary Travers), who spent years developing him as a recording artist for their label, Lifesong Records (Gail Davies).

With their guidance, Mike Ragogna blossomed as a songwriter and his first cover was on the classic college-promoted album ‘Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of A Superhero’.

After writing and recording songs for Tippi Hedren’s international hit movie, ‘Roar’, Mike Ragogna teamed up with producer Terrence P. Minogue to record his debut album; released in 1982 and titled ‘Safari in America’, it was greeted positively.

Mike Ragogna’s first major label release appeared in 1985, when Tommy West (Monday 17 August 1942 – Sunday 2 May 2021) signed him to MTM Records, a Nashville-based record company, which was owned by Mary Tyler Moore (Tuesday 29 December 1936 – Wednesday 25 January 2017).

Mike Ragogna’s album ‘The Almost Brothers’ (recorded Everly Brothers-style with vocalist Steve Mosto) was released and was critically acclaimed by all of the major country publications of the time – Everly Brothers (Don Everly: Monday 1 February 1937 – Saturday 21 August 2021 and Phil Everly: Thursday 19 January 1939 – Friday 3 January 2014).

Mike Ragogna’s first big hit as a songwriter came when his ‘Slow Boat To China’ was recorded by label-mates Girls Next Door; the song climbed into the Billboard country music Top 10 singles chart and was one of the top-selling country singles in 1986.  It was also the first major hit for MTM’s publishing division (Uncle Artie Music) and received an ASCAP Award honoring it as one of the most frequently-played country music singles in 1986.

Mike Ragogna’s next album, ‘Minefield Diaries’, was independently released in 1999.

Mike Ragogna’s 2003 effort, ‘Invisible World’, recast Mike as a maturing recording artist and songwriter.

In 2004, Mike Ragogna recorded what many consider to be his finest project, ‘Writer’s Block’, an album of songs which were actually inspired by the affliction.

In addition to writing and recording, Mike Ragogna has also served as A&R Director for various record labels, including Razor & Tie, where he produced and oversaw catalogue compilations and re-issues throughout the 1990s.

Mike Ragogna also handled the A&R aspects for the launch of BMG’s re-issue label, Buddha Records, which later became BMG Heritage.

Mike Ragogna has been an integral member of the Universal Music Group’s catalogue division, where he has compiled and produced high-profile anthologies by a number of acclaimed artists, including John Hiatt, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 – Wednesday 13 February 2002), Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016), Don Williams (Saturday 27 May 1939 – Friday 8 September 2017) and Rita Coolidge.

Mike Ragogna was the compilation producer of Gene Watson’s ‘Ultimate Collection‘ (Universal / Hip-O Records, 2001), a compilation of hit tracks from Gene Watson’s tenure with Capitol Records, MCA Records, Epic Records and Warner Bros. Records.

On Monday 17 July 2006, Billy Ray Cyrus saw the release of ‘Wanna Be Your Joe’ (New Door Records, 2006), which was produced by Billy Ray Cyrus and Mike Ragogna.

Billy Ray Cyrus’ ‘Wanna Be Your Joe’ (New Door Records, 2006) included ‘Country Music Has The Blues’, which featured special guests George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) and Loretta Lynn (Thursday 14 April 1932 – Tuesday 4 October 2022).

• Visit Mike Ragogna’s Traffic Beat at