When we think about what “true” country music is we think most especially of Gene Watson. Gene Watson is one of the industries most loyal and dedicated true country music artists and his voice is one of a kind. When you here him once you’ll know his voice forever. His personality is warm and inviting and his laughter is contagious. You’ll become great friends from the moment you meet.
Singing was and always will be an important part of his life. As a young man growing up in Palestine Texas he sang in church with his brothers, sisters, and his mom and dad. It was something that just came naturally.
At the early age of 19 he recorded his first song and said that even though it wasn’t really all that good he was determined to give the music industry his best shot and the first step, with that first song, would be the platform that would help him build a career expanding 50 years. With his commitment to the industry and staying true to the values of his music he solidified what real and true country music is really all about.
His full time trade was working as a paint and body man. To this day he still has his tools in the garage at home and said he would have them to the end. When he started out in the music industry he was set on giving it his all but not putting all his eggs in one basket, so he continued to work on cars and trucks even after he had recorded some of his biggest hits. It’s just who he is and always will be. Gene Watson is genuine and he is truly one of country musics greatest singers and entertainers in the history of the business.
As the years have flown by Gene has not only held true to his devotion and commitment to the country music industry but his love and respect as well has continued to be presented in his admiration of those who helped to pave the way along side him. Don’t be surprised to see him visiting and collaborating with old friends such as Merle Haggard, Mel Tillis, Bobby Bear, and many others.
When asked about today’s country music and what advice he might give to the young artists coming in to the industry Gene said, “Well I would advise them to find their niche, find their place. If they want to play country music, make it country, if it’s pop then do pop. It’s important to find your fan base and go all out knowing your trying your best. Don’t let the industry get you down. Be determined and be true to the genre of music you choose and record the best material you can for the fans. Realize it takes determination, extreme determination, and hold true to who you are.”
As we reminisced on his career and his hobbies he talked about some of his most memorable times and a few cherished possessions. One of the most memorable moments on stage was the first time he played the Opry while touring with the Wilburn Brothers. He said he would never forget it. Gene collects guitars and one of his favorites is a 1906 Gibson given to him by Joe Allen and his favorite leisure ride, a 1983 Monte Carlo SS with 20,000 miles on it, sitting in his shop right now.
We also talked about charity work and some personal things that are very special to Gene. He said one of the most important charities that he supports strongly is the Cancer Society. After loosing several family members to the disease and then himself battling colon cancer, he felt it was the right thing. He said, “It might get me but I’m gonna fight” and he did. After enduring six months of chemotherapy he’s still going strong.
He never dreamed that the last note of his icon hit “Farewell Party” would sky rocket him to such a huge success nor that it would turn out to be a signature song. Not only that but “Love in a Hot Afternoon” and “Paper Rosie” also stood out to the music fans.
Gene Watson is “true” country. I am proud to have talked with him and look forward to future updates on all the new and exciting things happening with him. Check out his tour dates, his new music, and other news at www.genewatsonmusic.com