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 2009, 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 Shawn Hammonds, which he submitted to this site on Friday 12 June 2009.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Shawn Hammonds who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Friday 12 June 2009.
‘Gene Watson has one of the smoothest and wide range voices I have ever heard and is one of the most influential country singers of our time’
Thank you, Shawn Hammonds, for your support of Gene Watson.
Shawn Hammonds was born to be a country singer.
Shawn Hammonds’ father was a drummer who performed at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and toured behind a number of country music artists, including Barbara Fairchild, Connie Smith and Jeannie Seely, before finding regional success as a singer.
Shawn Hammonds’ grandfather was a bluegrass musician, who played on package shows with the legendary Hawkshaw Hawkins (Wednesday 22 December 1921 – Tuesday 5 March 1963).
Shawn Hammonds was indoctrinated practically from birth with the sounds of Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016), George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013), Wynn Stewart (Thursday 7 June 1934 – Wednesday 17 July 1985) and Faron Young (Thursday 25 February 1932 – Tuesday 10 December 1996).
Shawn Hammonds is very much a hardcore country music artist.
Cincinnati-born Shawn Hammonds wasted no time in taking his musical obsession to the stage; by the time he was five years old, Shawn Hammonds was sitting atop a stack of phone books to play drums behind his dad Frank in nightclubs and by the time he was eight, he had won a talent show by singing the somewhat age-inappropriate James Pastell song ‘Hell Yes, I Cheated’.
When Shawn Hammonds was fifteen years old, he was writing songs and playing drums for his dad Frank on a regular basis and, by eighteen years of age, he had stepped out as a lead singer himself.
When Shawn Hammonds reached twenty-one, he moved to Nashville. Shawn Hammonds made his living there as a personal trainer and by teaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which he had studied for more than a decade.
In February 2007, Shawn Hammonds earned his black belt and won several major titles.
Shawn Hammonds eventually got a regular gig playing on Sunday nights at local songwriters’ mecca The Broken Spoke. As it happened, the house singer on Monday nights was the fellow who would become Shawn Hammonds’ roommate for two years, a young unknown named Daryle Bruce Singletary (Wednesday 10 March 1971 – Monday 12 February 2018).
Shawn Hammonds’ luck with roommates continued. After Daryle Bruce Singletary (Wednesday 10 March 1971 – Monday 12 February 2018) moved out, steel-guitarist Jay Andrews moved in and got Shawn Hammonds a job body-guarding, and occasionally singing with, his boss, the legendary Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 – Wednesday 19 February 2003).
In 1997, Shawn Hammonds found further approval from country music royalty when the great Gene Watson recorded one of his songs, ‘Just In Case’, which Shawn had co-written with Rick Tiger.
Gene Watson recorded Shawn Hammonds’ ‘Just In Case’ (co-written with Rick Tiger) and included the track on ‘A Way to Survive‘ (Step One Records, 1997).
As he began to find success as a songwriter, Shawn Hammonds continued pursuing his singing career – only to see one promising opportunity after another appear, then vanish.
Shawn Hammonds almost gave up hope of a country music career until he and a close friend, another young hopeful named Keith Burns, made a deal: whoever became a star first would give the other a hand-up.
When Keith Burns’ group Trick Pony became a national success, they introduced Shawn Hammonds to their music publisher who, in turn, recommended him to the upstart record label Country Thunder Records, home to the chart-topping group Heartland.
Shortly afterwards, Shawn Hammonds signed with the company and began work on his debut album, which was released in 2008; the album drew comparisons with Randy Travis’ landmark debut album, ‘Storms of Life’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1986), which was released on Warner Bros. Records in 1986.
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