Gene Watson Peer’s Quote from Steve Ripley (of The Tractors): August 2013

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 2013, 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 Steve Ripley (of The Tractors), which he submitted to this site on Monday 5 August 2013.

Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Steve Ripley (of The Tractors) who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.

Steve Ripley

Steve Ripley (of The Tractors)
This quote was submitted on Monday 5 August 2013.

‘Gene Watson, one of the greatest voices of all time.

Gene Watson: 'Reflections' (Capitol Records, 1978)

When ‘Farewell Party‘, which was written by Lawton Williams (Monday 24 July 1922 – Thursday 26 July 2007), comes on, I clear my otherwise cluttered mind, so I can focus.

I’m hardly a peer, but thanks for asking’

Thank you, Steve Ripley (of The Tractors), for your support of Gene Watson.

About Steve Ripley (of The Tractors)…

Steve Ripley

Steve Ripley (of The Tractors) was born Paul Steven Ripley on Sunday 1 January 1950 in Boise, Idaho.

Steve Ripley was a recording artist, songwriter, studio engineer, guitarist and inventor, and was active in the music industry since 1977.

Steve Ripley was also the leader/producer of country rock band, The Tractors.

Steve Ripley attended Glencoe High School in Glencoe, Oklahoma.

As a producer, recording engineer and studio musician, Steve Ripley worked with Bob Dylan (on ‘Shot of Love’) and on the ‘Shot of Love’ tour, and with JJ Cale (Monday 5 December 1938 – Friday 26 July 2013) (on ‘Shades, 8, and Roll On’).

Roy Linwood Clark & Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown: 'Makin' Music' MCA Records, 1979)

In 1979, Steve Ripley produced Roy Linwood Clark (Saturday 15 April 1933 – Thursday 15 November 2018) & Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown’s ‘Makin’ Music’ (MCA Records, 1979), and ‘Reunion’ (Flying Fish Records, 1978) from Johnnie Lee Wills (Monday 2 September 1912 – Thursday 25 October 1984).

In 1982, Steve Ripley started Ripley Guitars and created guitars for Steve Lukather, JJ Cale (Monday 5 December 1938 – Friday 26 July 2013), John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, Jimmy Buffett and Eddie Van Halen, before moving to Tulsa to buy Leon Russell’s former recording studio, which was named ‘The Church Studio’.

In 1994, Steve Ripley formed the country band, The Tractors.

Steve Ripley & The Tractors: 'The Tractors' (Arista Records, 1994)

On Tuesday 2 August 1994, Steve Ripley & The Tractors saw the release of their self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994), which was produced by Steve Ripley (The Tractors’ lead vocalist and guitarist) and keyboardist / bass vocalist Walt Richmond, at The Church Studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and included two tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart:

‘Baby Likes To Rock It’ (written by Steve Ripley and Walt Richmond) (No.11, 1994)

‘Tryin’ To Get To New Orleans’ (written by Steve Ripley, Walt Richmond and Tim DuBois)
(No.50, 1994)

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994), also included the following tracks:

‘The Tulsa Shuffle’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Fallin’ Apart’, which was written by Steve Ripley and Ron Getman (Monday 13 December 1948 – Tuesday 12 January 2021)
‘Thirty Days’, which was written by Chuck Berry (Monday 18 October 1926 – Saturday 18 March 2017)
‘I’ve Had Enough’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘The Little Man’ (written by Jim Pulte, Steve Ripley and Tim DuBois)
‘Badly Bent’ (written by Steve Ripley, Walt Richmond and Martha Ellis)
‘The Blue Collar Rock’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Doreen’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Settin’ The Woods On Fire’, which was written by Fred Rose (Floyd Jenkins) (24 August 1898 – Wednesday 1 December 1954) and Ed G. Nelson
‘The Tulsa Shuffle (Revisited)’ (written by Steve Ripley)

Personnel involved in the recording of Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994), included the following:

The Tractors
Ron Getman (Monday 13 December 1948 – Tuesday 12 January 2021) (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, steel guitar, Dobro, mandolin, high harmony vocals)
James Oldaker (Wednesday 5 September 1951 – Thursday 16 July 2020) (drums, ‘groove snares’, tambourine, percussion)
Walt Richmond (Steinway piano, Hammond B-3 organ, accordion, Wurlitzer, clavinet, drums, horns, bass vocals)
Steve Ripley (Sunday 1 January 1950 – Thursday 3 January 2019) (electric guitar, drums, lead vocals)
Casey Van Beek (bass guitar, low harmony vocals)

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994), reached No.2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1994, and No.19 on the Billboard Top Pop Music Albums Chart in 1994.

Steve Ripley & The Tractors: 'Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas' (Arista Records, 1995)

On Tuesday 10 October 1995, Steve Ripley & The Tractors saw the release of their first Christmas album, ‘Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas’ (Arista Records, 1995), which was produced by Steve Ripley (The Tractors’ lead vocalist and guitarist) and keyboardist / bass vocalist Walt Richmond, and included two tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart:

‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ (In A Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train)’ (written by Walt Richmond and Steve Ripley) (No.43, 1995)

‘Santa Claus Boogie’ (written by Steve Ripley)
(No.41, 1995) / the track also reached No.91 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1995

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ first Christmas album, ‘Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas’ (Arista Records, 1995), also included the following tracks:

‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town’, which was written by John Frederick Coots (2 May 1897 – Monday 8 April 1985) and James Lamont ‘Haven’ Gillespie (6 February 1888 – Friday 14 March 1975)
‘Jingle My Bells’ (written by Walt Richmond)
‘Shelter’ (written by Wiley Hunt)
‘Rockin’ This Christmas’ (written by Walt Richmond, Steve Ripley, Rick Robbins and Jim Sweeney)
‘Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy’, which was written by Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 – Saturday 25 March 2006)
‘Christmas Is Comin’ (written by Casey VanBeek)
‘Baby Wanna Be With You’ (written by Casey VanBeek)
‘Swingin’ Home For Christmas’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘White Christmas’, which was written by Irving Berlin (11 May 1888 – Friday 22 September 1989)
‘Silent Night, Christmas Blue’

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ ‘Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas’ (Arista Records, 1995), reached No.12 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1995, and No.68 on the Billboard Top Pop Music Albums Chart in 1995.

Steve Ripley & The Tractors: 'Farmers In A Changing World' (Arista Records, 1998)

On Tuesday 3 November 1998, Steve Ripley & The Tractors saw the release of ‘Farmers In A Changing World’ (Arista Records, 1998), which included two tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart:

‘I Wouldn’t Tell You A Lie’ (No.72, 1998)

‘Shortenin’ Bread’
(No.57, 1999)

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ ‘Farmers In A Changing World’ (Arista Records, 1998) also included the following tracks:

‘Linda Lou’
‘How Long Will It Take’
‘World’s Biggest Fool’
‘Poor Boy Shuffle’
‘With A Girl Like You’
‘Elvis Thing / Mystery Train’
‘Way Too Late’
‘Foot Stomp Stompin’
‘Psalm 22-23’

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ ‘Farmers In A Changing World’ (Arista Records, 1998) reached No.39 on the Billboardwi Top Country Albums Chart in 1998.

Steve Ripley & The Tractors: 'Fast Girl' (Audium Records, 2001)

On Tuesday 24 April 2001, Steve Ripley & The Tractors saw the release of ‘Fast Girl’ (Audium Records, 2001), which included four tracks, which were released as singles on the Billboard Hot Country Tracks Chart:

‘Can’t Get Nowhere’ / this track was released as a single in 2001, but it did not chart

‘The Big Night’
 / this track was released as a single in 2001, but it did not chart

‘Fast Girl’ 
/ this track was released as a single in 2001, but it did not chart

‘Ready To Cry’
 / this track was released as a single in 2002, but it did not chart

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ ‘Fast Girl’ (Audium Records, 2001) also included the following tracks:

‘Babalou’
‘Nine Eleven’
‘It’s A Beautiful Thing’
‘Computer Controlled’
‘Don’t Ever Take My Picture Down’
‘Higher Ground’
‘Little Place of Our Own’ / ‘On The Road Again’

Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ ‘Fast Girl’ (Audium Records, 2001) reached No.65 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 2001.

In 2002, Steve Ripley created his own record label, Boy Rocking Records, and produced albums for a number of artists, including The Tractors, Leon Russell (Thursday 2 April 1942 – Sunday 13 November 2016) and The Red Dirt Rangers.

Steve Ripley: 'Ripley' (Audium Records, 2002)

On Tuesday 10 September 2002, Steve Ripley saw the release of ‘Ripley’ (Audium Records, 2002), which included the following tracks:

‘Gone Away’ (written by Tim DuBois, Steve Ripley and John Wooley)
‘Night Time Lover’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Too Many Borderlines’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Mr. Jingle Jangle’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Sweetheart Town’ (written by John Herron and Jim Pulte)
‘Oklahoma Blues’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Down, Down (I Don’t Believe You)’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘The Round & Round’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘No Depression (In Heaven)’ (written by Steve Ripley)
‘Crossing Over’ (written by Steve Ripley)

Steve Ripley & The Tractors: 'The Big Night' (Boy Rocking Records / Audium Records, 2002)

On Tuesday 8 October 2002, Steve Ripley & The Tractors saw the release of their second Christmas album, ‘The Big Night’ (Boy Rocking Records / Audium Records, 2002), which included the following tracks:

‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus’
‘Big Night’
‘I Was A Bad Boy This Year’
‘Pretty Paper’ (written by Willie Nelson)
‘Run, Run, Rudolph’
‘Bells Are Ringing’
‘Santa Claus Is Back In Town’
‘Christmas Time’s A Comin’
‘Bo Diddley Santa Claus’
‘Little Drummer Boy’
‘Mary’s Baby’

Steve Ripley & The Tractors: 'All American Country' (BMG Records, 2003)

In October 2003, Steve Ripley & The Tractors saw the release of their first compilation album, ‘All American Country’ (BMG Records, 2003), which included the following tracks:

‘Baby Likes To Rock It’ (written by Steve Ripley and Walt Richmond) (No.11, 1994)

‘I Wouldn’t Tell You A Lie’
(No.72, 1998)

‘Thirty Days’, which was written by Chuck Berry (Monday 18 October 1926 – Saturday 18 March 2017) 
/ this track was an album track, which was originally included on Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994)

‘Settin’ The Woods On Fire’, which was written by Fred Rose (Floyd Jenkins) (24 August 1898 – Wednesday 1 December 1954) and Ed G. Nelson 
/ this track was an album track, which was originally included on Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994)

‘Tryin’ To Get To New Orleans’ (written by Steve Ripley, Walt Richmond and Tim DuBois)
(No.50, 1994)

‘Shortenin’ Bread’
(No.57, 1999) / this track was an album track, which was originally included on Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ ‘Farmers In A Changing World’ (Arista Records, 1998)

‘I’ve Had Enough’ (written by Steve Ripley) 
/ this track was an album track, which was originally included on Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994)

‘The Tulsa Shuffle’ (written by Steve Ripley) 
/ this track was an album track, which was originally included on Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ self-titled debut album, ‘The Tractors’ (Arista Records, 1994)

‘Elvis Thing’ / ‘Mystery Train’


‘Linda Lou’

Steve Ripley: 'The Kids Record' (Boy Rocking Records, 2005)

In 2005, Steve Ripley saw the release of ‘The Kids Record’ (Boy Rocking Records, 2005), which included the following tracks:

‘Old MacDonald Had A Farm’
‘Flyin’ Upside Down In My Plane’
‘Baby Blues’
‘Chicken Covers’
‘This Old Man’
‘Pig Latin’
‘Dressin’ Fancy’
‘Jimmy James John Leslie Elm Jack Jackson’
‘Watch Me Swing’
‘The Wheels On The Bus’
‘Jimmy’s Fishin’ Song’
‘Spin Around When They Dance’

Steve Ripley: 'Trade Union' (Boy Rocking Records, 2009)

On Tuesday 19 May 2009, Steve Ripley saw the release of ‘Trade Union’ (Boy Rocking Records, 2009), which included the following tracks:

‘Up Jumped The Boogie’, which was written by Steve Ripley and Leon Russell (Thursday 2 April 1942 – Sunday 13 November 2016)
‘Pick Me Up On Your Way Down’, which was written by Harlan Howard (Thursday 8 September 1927 – Sunday 3 March 2002)
‘Rhythm Bone’, which was written by J.J. Cale (Monday 5 December 1938 – Friday 26 July 2013)
‘Good Old Days’, which was written by Leon Russell (Thursday 2 April 1942 – Sunday 13 November 2016)
‘There’s Gonna Be Some Changes Made’ (written by Walt Richmond and Steve Ripley)
My Blue Heart’ (written by Steve Ripley)
What Makes Love Go Bad’ (written by Steve Ripley)
That’s Where It Hurts’ (written by Glen Mitchell and Steve Ripley)
Midnight Train’ (written by Glen Mitchell and Steve Ripley)
‘It’s Only Love’ (written by Walt Richmond and Steve Ripley)

It was also in 2009 when Steve Ripley produced a twenty-part radio series on the history of Oklahoma rock ‘n’ roll, which was broadcast on Oklahoma public radio stations and was entitled ‘Oklahoma Rock & Roll With Steve Ripley’.

The Red Dirt Rangers: 'Lone Chimney' (Range Records, 2013)

In 2013, The Red Dirt Rangers saw the release of ‘Lone Chimney’ (Range Records, 2013), which was produced, recorded and mixed by Steve Ripley, and included the following tracks:

‘Where The Arkansas River Leaves Oklahoma’
‘Heaven & Hell’
‘Without My Baby’
‘Oh, Angel’
‘Take Life As It Comes’
‘Main Street USA (Rt. 66)’
‘Strawberries & Watermelons’
‘Blindsided By Love’
‘I Dreamed That I Had Wings’
‘Honky Tonk History’
‘All I Need Is You’
‘Lone Chimney’
‘Work It Out’

Personnel involved in the recording of The Red Dirt Rangers’ ‘Lone Chimney’ (Range Records, 2013) included the following:

Don Morris and Monica Taylor (backing vocals)
Gary Linde (clarinet, saxophone)
Dave Kobel (cowbell)
Randy Crouch (fiddle, backing vocals)
Steve Ripley (guitar)
John Wooley (organ)
John Fullbright (piano, organ, clavinet, accordion, guitar, banjo, Dulcimer)
Lloyd Maines (steel guitar, Dobro, guitar)
Fats Kaplin (steel guitar, fiddle, Baglama)
Steve Ham (trombone, sousaphone)
Ben Han (vocals, lead guitar)
John Cooper (vocals, mandolin)

In 2016, Steve Ripley produced and curated a concert at Cain’s Ballroom to celebrate the music and legacy of Bob Dylan.

On Thursday 3 January 2019, Steve Ripley died from cancer, two days after his 69th birthday, at his home in Pawnee, Oklahoma.

Steve Ripley, famed guitarist, producer and band leader of The Tractors
Sunday 1 January 1950 – Thursday 3 January 2019

Steve Ripley

‚ÄĘ Visit Steve Ripley & The Tractors’ official site at thetractors.com