Gene Watson’s ‘Reflections & Should I Come Home’ (Hux Records, 2009)

Gene Watson: 'Reflections & Should I Come Home' (Hux Records, 2009)

‘Reflections & Should I Come Home’
Hux Records HUX 101 (2009)

Gene Watson’s ‘Reflections & Should I Come Home’ (Hux Records, 2009) was released on Hux Records on Tuesday 27 January 2009.

Gene Watson’s ‘Reflections & Should I Come Home’ (
Hux Records, 2009) discography information is presented on the Gene Watson Site for educational purposes only and no infringement of copyright is intended.

About Gene Watson’s ‘Reflections & Should I Come Home’…

Overview

 

‘In 2002, Hux Records issued a two album release (popularly known as ‘twofers’) of country singer Gene Watson’s Capitol releases from the 1970s, ‘Love in The Hot Afternoon‘ (Capitol Records, 1975), coupled with ‘Paper Rosie‘ (Capitol Records, 1977).

This proved so successful that the exercise was repeated in 2005 with ‘Because You Believed in Me‘ (Capitol Records, 1976) and ‘Beautiful Country‘ (Capitol Records, 1977).

These releases had a twofold effect; they made classic country albums finally available on CD for the first time and also introduced a new audience to one of the most exceptional country singers of the genre.

Gene Watson was once cited by George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) – almost certainly the greatest country artist that the world has known – as his favourite country ballad singer, while Grand Ole Opry veteran and country superstar, the late Porter Wagoner (Friday 12 August 1927 – Sunday 28 October 2007), once described Watson as ‘a singer’s singer’.

It is clear, when listening to Gene Watson, what Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) and Wagoner (Friday 12 August 1927 – Sunday 28 October 2007) heard in Watson.  Watson is particularly powerful on ballad material; his expressive and heartfelt delivery, with its slightly anxious vibrato, engages the listener from the moment he starts to sing, although he is equally at home whooping it up on any number of rocking honky tonk shuffles and sawdust kickers.

Gene Watson was born in Palestine, Texas on October 11 in 1943.  In the early sixties he moved to Houston where he performed in local clubs, most notably The Dynasty, with his brothers and cousins.  Cutting a few records for local labels did not yield any great success and it was not until 1975 that he first became known to the record buying public when he appeared on the Billboard country charts for the first time, albeit in a small way, peaking at 87, with ‘Bad Water’.

The song, first recorded by rock act, The Raelettes, was on the Resco Records label, which had been formed by Watson and local businessman Russ Reeder, as was its follow-up, the erotic and torrid ‘Love In The Hot Afternoon‘.

Capitol Records

Despite its then controversial lyric and sensuously charged atmosphere, it still managed to get airplay on country radio, at the time notorious for its conservatism, and was actually picked up by a major label, Capitol Records no less.

Commenting on the record years later in an article with Craig Baguley for Country Music People magazine, Watson remembered ‘…back then it was kinda racy to be played on the radio.  A lot of people that recorded it before I did – it was recorded I think seven times before – they would change it lyrically.  And I decided to record it exactly the way it was written, and I did, and the rest is history’.

It was with Capitol that Watson was to stay and enjoy the most fruitful period of his career, charting with the imprint no less than seventeen times until 1980, at which time he left the label due to business difficulties.

As Watson recalls, ‘they (Capitol) wanted me to alter the contract in various intricate ways…they flew me to Hollywood and tried to negotiate a contract with me.  It didn’t work’.

The next label for Watson was MCA Records, where he maintained his chart momentum and subsequently cut sides for Epic and latterly with Warner Brothers.

This took Watson into the 1990s although this decade was the last to see him charting, ending his chart appearances on independent labels, Broadland and Step One.

Although he ceased to be a chart contender, Gene Watson has been far from inactive in the 2000s, touring constantly both in the USA and abroad – he is particularly popular in Ireland – and continues to make albums of the highest calibre.



In 2007 he recorded ‘In a Perfect World‘, for Shanachie, a duet album that many considered one of the finest releases of the year, with singers Lee Ann Womack, Vince Gill, Connie Smith, Rhonda Vincent, Mark Chesnutt and Joe Nichols all lining up, eager to appear with the great man.

 

Following the success of its two re-issue packages, Hux Records has continued to mine the rich seam of Gene Watson’s back catalogue and have now chronologically released the next two albums, ‘Reflections‘ (Capitol Records, 1978) from 1978 and ‘Should I Come Home‘ (Capitol Records, 1979) from 1979 in one package.

These albums maintain the superlative standard set by their predecessors, arguably even surpassing them in terms of material and performances evidenced in the opening cut of the ‘Reflections‘ album, ‘One Sided Conversation’.  This dark, atmospheric ballad which peaked at No.8, brilliantly yet heartbreakingly documents a failing loveless relationship.  In a thrilling and emotional bridge the song reaches an awe inspiring climax in a passionate, almost abandoned vocal performance from Watson.

The follow-up, ‘Farewell Party’, was even more successful, reaching No.5 in early 1979.  An older song, this was one of Watson’s key singles even naming his touring band the Farewell Party Band after it.  Despite its length (‘it gave DJs time to go to the bathroom’, quips Watson these days) and its doom-laden themes of death and burial plus a bitterly ironic lyric: ‘…when my friends gather ’round at my farewell party/won’t you pretend you loved me’, it savagely runs, it continued Watson’s successful chart run.

Talking to Country Music People, Watson noted, ‘nobody else wanted me to record that song.  We had fifteen minutes left at the recording session.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I said, well we don’t have fifteen minutes to waste and I really want to record this song.  Harold Bradley (Saturday 2 January 1926 – Thursday 31 January 2019) was the leader on the recording session.  I got a guitar and went through the song and they copied down the chord charts.  We got on the headphones, rode it once to make sure the chords were right and then rolled the tape.  What you hear on the radio, that’s the first take.  We cut it in fifteen minutes’.

The subsequent single, ‘Pick The Wildwood Flower’, a top 5 entry, was much lighter in texture and feel and is a genial semi-biographical tale about an itinerant musician and a kind of precursor to the song ‘Guitar Man’.  Note fine rhythmic Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins (Tuesday 18 January 1938 – Sunday 30 January 2022) piano fills and sawing fiddles from Buddy Spicher and Tommy Williams.

This was one of an astonishing eight songs on this double collection of songs written by Joe Allen, a Nashville session bass player and consummate song-writer.  In fact it was a Joe Allen song, ‘Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy)’, that was Watson’s next single and the opening track of the next album, ‘Should I Come Home‘, in 1979.  Another huge hit, peaking at No.3 on the country charts, this is a deceptively relaxed swinger which has an edgy subtext dealing with a man’s failing grip on sanity implied in the title and brought home powerfully in the lyric: ‘lately I hear voices more and more’.

‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’ (written by Jim Rushing) gave Watson his first chart entry of the 80s, reaching No.4 on the charts.  This is a supremely cool mid-pacer with a theme much used in country songs (though seldom better than here), that of an ex-lover moving on to a better class of living with someone else but at the sake of true love and genuine feelings and emotions.

Watson returned to the writing of Joe Allen for the last of the three singles from the ‘Should I Come Home‘ album, ‘Bedroom Ballad’, a soft and tender love song with a sexy, nocturnal subject matter, beautifully and sympathetically delivered by Watson.

Although these two albums yielded six A-sides, there is much else to be enjoyed in this collection, such as the rousing and wittily written ‘The Beer At Dorsey’s Bar’, (the B-side of ‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’), ‘…our love is colder than the beer at Dorsey’s Bar’).

Also worth noting is a stunning rendition of Hank Williams’ classic ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’, a funky country rocker in ‘That Evil Child’, written by Wayne Carson (Monday 31 May 1943 – Monday 20 July 2015) (who also composed ‘The Letter’), and a wispy, folk-tinged ‘Circle Driveway’, another Joe Allen song.

It is hard to think of too many major country artists that have been as consistently good while still maintaining their country roots as Gene Watson.  This artist has been singing professionally since the late 1950s and making superb country records for nearly forty years.

Watson, who overcame colon cancer first diagnosed in 2000, is still active today and his current touring schedule is as heavy as it has always been.  These two albums together provide a historic snapshot of some of the greatest country music ever committed to disc’.



Jon Philibert
Country Music People

‘Reflections & Should I Come Home’
Hux Records HUX 101 (2009)

1 ‘One Sided Conversation’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Joe Allen Music Inc. / BMI



Gene Watson re-recorded ‘One Sided Conversation’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ (Fourteen Carat Music, 2012).

2
‘Take Off Them Shoes’
Writers: Joe Dougherty and Tom Ghent
Publishers: Treaty of Ghent Publishing / ASCAP



‘Take Off Them Shoes’ (written by Joe Dougherty and Tom Ghent) featured The Jordanaires
Louis Nunley (Thursday 15 October 1931 – Friday 26 October 2012)
Gordon Stoker (Sunday 3 August 1924 – Wednesday 27 March 2013)
Hoyt Hawkins (Thursday 31 March 1927 – 1982)
Neal Matthews (Saturday 26 October 1929 – Friday 21 April 2000)

3
‘Farewell Party’
Writer: Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007)
Publishers: Western Hills Music Inc. / BMI

Little Jimmy Dickens (Sunday 19 December 1920 – Friday 2 January 2015) recorded ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007).

The track, which was the ‘B’ side of Little Jimmy Dickens‘ ‘Talking To The Wall’ single on Columbia Records (catalogue number: 4-42013), with Walter Haynes on steel guitar, was recorded on Thursday 2 February 1961 at Bradley Film & Recording Studio in Nashville.

Little Jimmy Dickens‘ recording of ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), was subsequently included on ‘Out Behind The Barn’ (Bear Family Records, 1998).

Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 – Wednesday 13 February 2002) recorded ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), and included the track on ‘Just To Satisfy You’ (RCA Victor Records, 1969).

Alan Jackson recorded ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), and included the track on (his country ‘covers’ album) ‘Under The Influence’ (Arista Records, 1999).



Joe Nichols
 recorded ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), and included the track on ‘Revelation’ (Universal South Records, 2004).



Gene Watson re-recorded ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), and included the track on ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ (Fourteen Carat Music, 2012).

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out recorded ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), and included the track on ‘Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed’ (Cracker Barrel, 2012).

Ike Jonson & Roadhouse Rangers recorded Farewell Party, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), and included the track on ‘Same Old Town’ (Roadhouse Records, 2015).

Erin Enderlin: 'Chapter One: I Don't Give A Damn' (Black Crow Productions / Blaster Records, 2019)
Erin Enderlin: 'Faulkner County' (Black Crow Productions, 2019)

 

On Friday 26 April 2019, Erin Enderlin saw the release of ‘Chapter One: I Don’t Give A Damn’ (Black Crow Productions / Blaster Records, 2019), a 3-track extended play (EP) disc; one of the included tracks was ‘Tonight I Don’t Give A Damn’, which referenced Gene Watson’s ‘Farewell Party’, which was written by by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26  July 2007), and reached No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1979, and No.9 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks Chart in 1979.  Erin Enderlin‘s ‘Tonight I Don’t Give A Damn’ was subsequently included on Erin Enderlin‘s ‘Faulkner County’ (Black Crow Productions, 2019).

4
‘Let’s Give It Up Or Get It On’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Joe Allen Music Inc. / BMI

5
‘For The Memories’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Tree Publishing Company Inc. / BMI

6
‘I Wonder How It Is In Colorado’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Tree Publishing Company Inc. / BMI

 

‘I Wonder How It Is In Colorado’ (written by Joe Allen) featured The Jordanaires
Louis Nunley (Thursday 15 October 1931 – Friday 26 October 2012)
Gordon Stoker (Sunday 3 August 1924 – Wednesday 27 March 2013)
Hoyt Hawkins (Thursday 31 March 1927 – 1982)
Neal Matthews (Saturday 26 October 1929 – Friday 21 April 2000)



Gene Watson re-recorded ‘I Wonder How It Is In Colorado’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Gene Watson: Then & Now‘ (Koch Records Nashville, 2005).

7
‘Pick The Wildwood Flower’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Tree Publishing Company Inc. / BMI



Gene Watson re-recorded ‘Pick The Wildwood Flower’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ (Fourteen Carat Music, 2012).

8
‘I Know What It’s Like In Her Arms’
Writer: Lola Jean Dillon
Publishers: Coal Miners Music Inc. / BMI

Lola Jean Dillon: 'Lola Jean Dillon Sings Songs She Wrote' (Cabin Records, 1974)

Lola Jean Dillon recorded ‘I Know What It’s Like In Her Arms’ (as ‘I Know What It’s Like In His Arms’) (written by Lola Jean Dillon) and included the track on ‘Lola Jean Dillon Sings Songs She Wrote’ (Cabin Records, 1974).

9
‘Mama Sold Roses’
Writer: Dallas Harms (Thursday 18 July 1935 – Saturday 12 October 2019)
Publishers: Double Play Music / BMI

 

‘Mama Sold Roses’, which was written by Dallas Harms (Thursday 18 July 1935 – Saturday 12 October 2019), featured The Jordanaires
Louis Nunley (Thursday 15 October 1931 – Friday 26 October 2012)
Gordon Stoker (Sunday 3 August 1924 – Wednesday 27 March 2013)
Hoyt Hawkins (Thursday 31 March 1927 – 1982)
Neal Matthews (Saturday 26 October 1929 – Friday 21 April 2000)

10
‘I Don’t Know How To Tell Her (She Don’t Love Me Anymore)’
Writers: Bobby Fischer and Sonny Throckmorton
Publishers: Starburst Music / Tree Publishing Company Inc. / ASCAP / BMI



‘I Don’t Know How To Tell Her (She Don’t Love Me Anymore)’ (written by Bobby Fischer and Sonny Throckmorton) featured Nashville Edition, with Janie Fricke on background vocals.

Faron Young: 'Free & Easy' (MCA Records, 1980)

Faron Young (Thursday 25 February 1932 – Tuesday 10 December 1996) recorded ‘I Don’t Know How To Tell Her (She Don’t Love Me Anymore)’ (written by Bobby Fischer and Sonny Throckmorton) and included the track on ‘Free & Easy’ (MCA Records, 1980).

Tony Booth recorded ‘I Don’t Know How To Tell Her (She Don’t Love Me Anymore)’ (written by Bobby Fischer and Sonny Throckmorton) and included the track on ‘The Other Side of Love’ (Heart of Texas Records, 2010).

11
‘Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy)’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Tree Publishing Company Inc. / BMI
This track featured background vocals from Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Jeanine Walker and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017)



Joe Nichols
 recorded ‘Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy)’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Joe Nichols III’ (Universal South Records, 2005).



Gene Watson re-recorded ‘Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy)’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ (Fourteen Carat Music, 2012).

12
‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’
Writer: Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 – Thursdays 1 January 1953)
Publishers: Fred Rose Music Inc. / BMI
This track featured background vocals from ‘The Nashville Edition’, which included Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Wendellyn Suits and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017)

Various Artists: 'A Tribute to Hank Williams' (EMI Records, 1992)

Gene Watson’s version of Hank Williams’ ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’ was also included on ‘A Tribute to Hank Williams‘ (EMI Records, 1992); the album was reviewed by Craig Baguley in the March 1993 issue of Country Music People.

Hank Williams: 'Ramblin' Man' (MGM Records, 1955)

Hank Williams’ version of ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)’, which reached No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1951, was subsequently included on Hank Williams’ ‘Ramblin’ Man’ (MGM Records, 1955).

13
‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’
Writer: Jim Rushing
Publishers: Coal Miners Music, Inc. / BMI
This track featured background vocals from Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Jeanine Walker and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017)



Doug Supernaw
 (Monday 26 September 1960 – Friday 13 November 2020) recorded ‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’ (written by Jim Rushing) and included the track on ‘Fadin’ Renegade’ (Tack Records, 1999).



Gene Watson re-recorded ‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’ (written by Jim Rushing) and included the track on ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ (Fourteen Carat Music, 2012).

14
‘That Evil Child’
Writer: Wayne Carson (Monday 31 May 1943 – Monday 20 July 2015)
Publishers: Screen Gems – EMI Music Inc. / BMI
This track featured background vocals from The Sound 70 Singers, which included Ronald Drake, Beckie Foster, Allen Henson and Laverna Moore (Wednesday 9 February 1938 – Thursday 28 March 2013)

15
‘Circle Driveway’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Joe Allen Music / BMI
This track featured background vocals from ‘The Nashville Edition’, which included Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Wendellyn Suits and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017)



Don Williams
(Saturday 27 May 1939 – Friday 8 September 2017) recorded ‘Circle Driveway’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Portrait’ (MCA Records, 1979).

Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 – Monday 16 December 2013) recorded ‘Circle Driveway’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Town & Country’ (Dimension Records, 1981).

16
‘The Heart of A Clown’
Writers: Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Francis Kane
Publishers: Rightsong Music, Inc. / BMI
This track featured background vocals from ‘The Nashville Edition’, which included Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Wendellyn Suits and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017)

Wade Ray (Thursday 6 April 1916 – Wednesday 11 November 1998) & The Ozark Mountain Boys recorded ‘The Heart of A Clown’ (written by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Francis Kane) and included the track on ‘Walk Softly…& Other Country Songs’ (RCA Camden Records, 1966); the track was also included on Wade Ray’s ‘A Ray of Country Sun’ (RCA Camden Records, 1966).

Sammi Smith (Thursday 5 August 1943 – Saturday 12 February 2005) recorded ‘The Heart of A Clown’ (written by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Francis Kane) and included the track on ‘Today I Started Loving You Again’ (Mega Records, 1975).

Curtis Potter: 'Down in Texas Today' (Step One Records, 1984 / Heart of Texas Records, 2006)

Curtis Potter (Thursday 18 April 1940 – Saturday 23 January 2016) recorded ‘The Heart of A Clown’ (written by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Francis Kane) and included the track on ‘Down In Texas Today’ (Step One Records, 1984); this album was re-issued by Heart of Texas Records in 2006.

Willie Nelson recorded ‘The Heart of A Clown’ (written by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Francis Kane) and included the track on ‘Moonlight Becomes You’ (Justice Records, 1993).

The Cornell Hurd Band: 'Song of South Austin' (Behemoth Records, 2002)

The Cornell Hurd Band recorded ‘The Heart of A Clown’ (written by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Francis Kane) and included the track on ‘Song of South Austin’ (Behemoth Records, 2002).

Ernie Sykes: 'Ernie Sykes Sings! Brand New World' (Ampersand Records, 2012)

Ernie Sykes recorded ‘The Heart of A Clown’ (written by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins and Francis Kane) and included the track on ‘Ernie Sykes Sings! Brand New World’ (Ampersand Records, 2012).

17
‘After The Party’
Writer: Joe Eddie Gough (Friday 27 January 1939 – Friday 14 August 2009)
Publishers: Little Ann Music / BMI
This track featured background vocals from ‘The Nashville Edition’, which included Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Wendellyn Suits and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017)

18
‘The Beer At Dorsey’s Bar’
Writers: Danny Morrison (Sunday 22 April 1945 – Tuesday 14 February 2012) and Red Lane (Thursday 2 February 1939 – Wednesday 1 July 2015)
Publishers: Tree Publishing Company Inc. / BMI
This track featured background vocals from The Sound 70 Singers, which included Ronald Drake, Beckie Foster, Allen Henson and Laverna Moore (Wednesday 9 February 1938 – Thursday 28 March 2013)

19
‘Bedroom Ballad’
Writer: Joe Allen
Publishers: Tree Publishing Company Inc. / BMI
This track featured background vocals from Joseph Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Jeanine Walker and Hurshel Wayne Wiginton (Saturday 29 January 1938 – Monday 6 March 2017)



Gene Watson re-recorded ‘Bedroom Ballad’ (written by Joe Allen) and included the track on ‘Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits‘ (Fourteen Carat Music, 2012).

20
‘Beautiful You’
Writer: Joe Eddie Gough (Friday 27 January 1939 – Friday 14 August 2009)
Publishers: Little Ann Music / BMI



• Read a Country Music People review of Gene Watson’s ‘Reflections and Should I Come Home‘ (Hux Records, 2009)

The review, which was written by Duncan Warwick, was published in the March 2009 issue of the United Kingdom monthly publication Country Music People.

Reflections & Should I Come Home
Hux Records HUX 101 (2009)



On Tuesday 3 September 2002, England’s Hux Records released Gene Watson’s ‘Love in The Hot Afternoon‘, along with Gene Watson’s ‘Paper Rosie‘, as a special 2-for-1 CD set.



On Monday 26 September 2005, England’s Hux Records released Gene Watson’s ‘Because You Believed in Me‘, along with Gene Watson’s ‘Beautiful Country‘, as a special 2-for-1 CD set.



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‘, along with Gene Watson’s ‘Starting New Memories‘, as a special 2-for-1 CD set.