On Thursday 7 September 2023, Vernell Hackett, acclaimed Nashville freelance journalist, reflected on Gene Watson‘s 80th birthday.
Vernell Hackett, acclaimed freelance Nashvlle journalist, with Gene Watson at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Friday 7 February 2020
‘Gene Watson is celebrating his 80th birthday on Wednesday 11 October 2023 by doing 80 concerts this year.
Gene Watson & The Farewell Party Band, with special guest, Nathan Stanley, at Troubadour Theatre, 2416 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37214 on Thursday 24 August 2023
Lucky me, I was at the one he did recently at Troubadour Theatre in Nashville.
The man has one of the greatest voices in music. And he has recorded some of my favourite songs – ‘Paper Rosie’, ‘Love In The Hot Afternoon’, ‘Fourteen Carat Mind’, ‘Farewell Party’; I could go on and on.
Had a chance to chat with Gene before the show and I asked him what was the greatest thing that happened to him in his 60-year career.
His answer, without hesitation, was becoming a member of The Grand Ole Opry.
Gene Watson at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Friday 7 February 2020
‘I really thought my time had passed me by to become a member’, Gene said. ‘They asked me to be a member earlier in my career, but I was so busy with shows and recording, I couldn’t meet their requirements of how much I would need to play there’, he explained. ‘I didn’t want to be a member if I couldn’t be there when I was supposed to. I would play the Opry when I could, of course. They always welcomed me to do that, but I wasn’t a member of the family’, he continued. ‘When they asked me a few years ago to be a member, I was honoured and thrilled to say yes’.
Gene is celebrating his 80th birthday and 60 years as an entertainer and recording artist.
T Graham Brown stopped by to say ‘Happy Birthday‘ and Nathan Stanley, who opened the show and who put the show together, presented Gene with a birthday cake and a trophy commenting his 60 years in music. Nathan Stanley is the grandson of Dr. Ralph Stanley (Friday 25 February 1927 – Thursday 23 June 2016).
If you see that Gene is coming to a venue near you, you owe it to yourself to go. He’s an amazing entertainer, just standing on that stage singing hit after hit. It was fun to share the evening of great music with Sarah Brosmer and Jesse Bellamy‘
• Gene Watson on Facebook