Gene Watson Peer’s Quote from Robert Joe Vandygriff: August 2006

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 2006, 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 Robert Joe Vandygriff, which he submitted to this site on Tuesday 29 August 2006.

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

Robert Joe Vandygriff

Robert Joe Vandygriff
This quote was submitted on Tuesday 29 August 2006.

‘I was first introduced to Gene back in 1967 by my fiddler at the time, Red Watson.

I’ve been a Gene Watson fan ever since.

In Lamar County, Texas we knew someday Nashville would come calling and the rest of the world would be introduced to a great vocalist.

Gene has his own style and nobody wraps their heart around a country song any better than Gene Watson.

A perfect Texas night is a cold beer, a VFW in Reno, Texas and Gene Watson on stage singing his heart out.

It doesn’t get any better’

Thank you, Robert Joe Vandygriff, for your support of Gene Watson.

About Robert Joe Vandygriff…

Robert Joe Vandygriff grew up riding horses and strumming his guitar in Roxton, Texas.  Robert Joe Vandygriff competed in saddle-bronco and bareback in the sport of rodeo, as well as working as a rodeo clown and bullfighter.

As a country music recording artist, Robert Joe Vandygriff’s recordings of ‘Big Blue Diamond’ and ‘Say Lady’ topped the charts in the early 1970s.

Robert Joe Vandygriff’s ‘Dedicated’ (Music Park Talent, 1986) reached No.3 on the European country music albums chart in 1986 and led to eight successful tours of England and the European continent.

Robert Joe Vandygriff’s album, ‘Dedicated’ (Music Park Talent, 1986), which was produced by Harold Bradley (Saturday 2 January 1926 – Thursday 31 January 2019), included the following tracks:

‘Big Blue Diamond’ (written by E. Carson)
‘Too Long’ (written by E. Carson)
‘Since You’re Gone’ (written by E. Carson, J. Catoe and C. Streit)
‘The Way to Your Heart’ (written by E. Carson and C. Streit)
‘No So Long Ago’ (written by E. Carson and C. Streit)
‘Valley of My Mind’ (written by E. Carson and C. Streit)
‘Being A Fool’ (written by E. Carson, K. Hayes and C. Streit)
‘The Arms of My Lover’ (written by E. Carson and C. Streit)
‘Those Thoughts of You’ (written by E. Carson and C. Streit)
‘A Love That Doesn’t Wanna Die’ (written by E. Carson and C. Streit)

Personnel involved in the recording of Robert Joe Vandygriff’s ‘Dedicated’ (Music Park Talent, 1986), which was recorded at Reflections Studio in Nashville, included the following:

Harold Bradley (Saturday 2 January 1926 – Thursday 31 January 2019) (producer, tic tac bass, guitar, uke)
Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins (Tuesday 18 January 1938 – Sunday 30 January 2022) and David Briggs (piano)
Buddy Spicher (fiddle)
Buddy Harman (Sunday 23 December 1928 – Thursday 21 August 2008) (drums)
Henry Strzelecki (Tuesday 8 August 1939 – Monday 29 December 2014) (bass)
Pete Wade (lead guitar)
Sonny Garrish, Weldon Myrick (Monday 10 April 1939 – Monday 2 June 2014) and Harald ‘Hal’ Rugg (Tuesday 21 July 1936 – Tuesday 9 August 2005) (steel guitar)
The Jordanaires and Jim Glaser (Wednesday 16 December 1936 – Saturday 6 April 2019) (backup vocals)
Ronny Light (engineer)

Robert Joe Vandygriff and his band, ‘The Shades of Country’, toured the United States, Canada and Europe, playing to sold-out audiences.

Robert Joe Vandygriff has appeared on stage with a number of country music artists, including George Strait, Moe Bandy, Garth Brooks, The Judds, George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013), Alabama, Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016), Jerry Lee Lewis (Sunday 29 September 1935 – Friday 28 October 2022), Sons of The Pioneers, Red Steagall and Michael Martin Murphy.

Nashville then came calling and Robert Joe Vandygriff made the move there in order to pursue a song-writing career.

Robert Joe Vandygriff then ended up a booking agent, and represented a number of country music artists, including John Anderson, Lee Greenwood, Hank Snow (Saturday 9 May 1914 – Monday 20 December 1999), The Wilburn Brothers – Doyle Wilburn (Monday 7 July 1930 – Saturday 16 October 1982) and Teddy Wilburn (Monday 30 November 1931 – Monday 24 November 2003) – and Archie Campbell (Saturday 7 November 1914 – Saturday 29 August 1987).

Nashville afforded Robert Joe Vandygriff the opportunity to work in various capacities, from representing to producing shows with many of the biggest names in country music, bluegrass music and rock ‘n’ roll.

Nowadays, Robert Joe Vandygriff feels that Nashville is a great place, but Texas is home.  While working on a ranch in Grayson County, Robert Joe Vandygriff received a call from a casting agent who needed a band for an episode of a new CBS series, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’, starring Chuck Norris.

One thing lead to another and Robert Joe Vandygriff made several appearances on the show as the character ‘Ranger Mike’.

In 2004, Robert Joe Vandygriff became the honoured recipient of ‘The Will Rogers Award’ from the Academy of Western Artists.

Robert Joe Vandygriff: 'The Cowboy Ain't Dead Yet: Volume III' (CSp Records, ‎2011)

In 2011, Robert Joe Vandygriff saw the release of ‘The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet: Volume III’ (CSp Records, ‎2011), which was produced by Ronny Light, and included the following tracks:

‘Keep The Campfire A Burnin’
‘Say Goodbye To Montana’
‘Since John Wayne Died’
‘Roundup Time’
‘We Were Cowboys’
‘Sweet Maddie Cates’
‘He Was A Hero To Me’
‘My Window Faces The South’
‘Long Love The Texas Ranger’
‘Glory Ride’
‘An Old Puncher’s Prayer’

Personnel involved in the recording of Robert Joe Vandygriff’s ‘The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet: Volume III’ (CSp Records, ‎2011) included the following:

Jeff Taylor (accordian)
Billy Linneman (bass)
Michael Douchette (Saturday 7 May 1955 – Friday 4 December 2020) (Dobro, harmonica)
Aubrey Haynie (fiddle)
Bruce Watkins and Gregg Galbraith (guitar)
George Tidwell (trumpet)

• Visit Robert Joe Vandygriff’s profile at