News And Notes

All posts tagged "Gene Watson"

Mar 18

Celebrity Emcees Added to George Jones’ Final Nashville Show

George Jones

George Jones photo courtesy of Webster PR.

Radio and television personalities Lorianne Crook & Charlie Chase, Ralph Emery, Bill Cody, Larry Black, Rick Marino & Lisa Manning, Bill Mack and Keith Bilbrey are all set to serve as emcees for George Jones’ final Nashville concert. The sold-out show, featuring an all-star lineup of some of the biggest names in country music, is scheduled for Friday, November 22 at the Bridgestone Arena.

“Throughout my career I have made lots of friends,” George said. “I would not have had a career that lasted 50 years without all of these great radio personalities. They always were so good to me and always made me feel like I was somebody whether I had a song on the radio or not. I am forever grateful to them.” Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 1:35 pm | Permalink
Mar 13

Billy Ray Cyrus & Cyndi Lauper Added to George Jones’ Final Nashville Show

George Jones

George Jones photo courtesy of Webster PR.

George Jones final Nashville concert, set for November 22 at Bridgestone Arena, has expanded once again. Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean and Billy Ray Cyrus have been added to the lineup of the sold-out show. Last week, George announced the additions of Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Tracy Lawrence, Patty Loveless, Joe Diffie, Mark Chesnutt and T. Graham Brown.

“Now, people may not know this, but I have been a fan of Cyndi’s since I first saw her years ago at the Grammy awards, what a thrill it was to hear she will be part of this final celebration,” George said. “Don McLean and I first met in the ‘70s, here in Nashville, and I love his singing, his songwriting, and I know his performance will be just as special as when I first saw him sing. Billy Ray is an old friend and someone I have spent many times together, bless his heart for wanting to be with me on this show. I love and respect all these singers.” Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 10:04 am | Permalink
Mar 10

Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt & More Added to George Jones’ Final Nashville Show

George Jones

George Jones photo courtesy of Webster PR.

George Jones final Nashville concert, set for November 22 at Bridgestone Arena, is officially sold out and the lineup keeps getting bigger. Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Tracy Lawrence, Patty Loveless, Joe Diffie, Mark Chesnutt and T. Graham Brown are the latest additions to concert lineup.

Additionally, Brenda Lee, John Conlee, Lee Greenwood, Eddy Raven, The Roys, Janie Fricke, T.G. Sheppard, Dailey & Vincent, Gary Morris, Jessi Colter, Bobby Bare, Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, Stonewall Jackson and more will all take the stage during the finale performance. Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 12:18 pm | Permalink
Feb 27

Garth Brooks, Kid Rock & More Added To George Jones’ Final Nashville Show

George Jones

George Jones photo courtesy of Webster PR.

Even more stars have been added to the lineup for George Jones’ final Nashville concert on November 22 at Bridgestone Arena. Garth Brooks, Kid Rock, Shelby Lynne, The Oak Ridge Boys and Sam Moore will all join George as well previously announced artists Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Rogers, Josh TurnerDierks Bentley, Charlie DanielsLorrie MorganRandy Travis, Jamey Johnson, Tanya Tucker and Gene Watson. 

“Being joined by so many incredible singers while doing what I love will be truly heartwarming,” George said. “It’s shaping up to be more than I expected or could have ever imagined.” Even more artists are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 11:12 am | Permalink
Feb 20

Kenny Rogers, Josh Turner & More Added to George Jones’ Final Concert in Nashville

George Jones

George Jones photo courtesy of Webster PR.

Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Rogers, Josh Turner and Dierks Bentley are the latest artists to be added to the lineup set to take the stage during George Jones’ final Nashville concert on November 22 at Bridgestone Arena. Previously announced artists include Charlie DanielsLorrie MorganRandy Travis, Jamey Johnson and Gene Watson. 

“I am excited that my friends all want to be with me on this show,” George said. “This is sure going to be a fun and emotional night with lots of memories, friends, and great country music.” Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 3:13 pm | Permalink
Feb 5

Charlie Daniels, Lorrie Morgan & More to Join George Jones at Final Nashville Concert

George Jones

George Jones photo courtesy of Webster PR.

Charlie Daniels, Lorrie Morgan, Randy Travis, Jamey Johnson and Gene Watson will join George Jones at his Nashville show on Friday, November 22. Scheduled to be the final stop on The Grand Tour, Tanya Tucker will also be a special guest (as previously announced). George will announce still more performers at a later date.

George will mark the end of an era with his final tour. The Grand Tour is scheduled to make approximately 60 stops across the country as George salutes his fans for their years of loyalty. Each night will include his biggest hits like “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”, “White Lightning” and of course, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 12:30 pm | Permalink
Jun 27

Gene Watson Recreates His Classics Note-for-Note on The Best of the Best

Gene Watson's 2012 CD, Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits.

By Robert K. Oermann

© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Honky-tonk legend Gene Watson is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a recording artist with a flurry of activity that has made him gladly busy.

“He’s extremely happy right now,” reported his manager, John Lytle, President, Lytle Management Group. “He is so dedicated to what he’s doing. This seemed like the perfect time to remind the industry what this guy has accomplished and all the great songs he’s sung. We’d been talking about re-recording his greatest hits for several years. And it occurred to us that doing that and celebrating the 50th anniversary at the same time would be a good idea.”

Two hurdles on the path toward this goal stood right at the start. One of the curiosities of the record business is that artists who record for a major label pay for their own recording sessions, yet the label owns the finished recordings. In addition, Watson’s big hits of 1975 through 1990 were recorded for several different corporations.

To address both situations, Watson re-recorded his classics for his own label on a 25-song collection called The Best of the Best.

Read our review >>

Session players recreated the original arrangements, almost note for note. Watson’s voice has not aged. As a result, these performances sound precisely like the originals — and Watson finally “owns” his hits himself.

“I wanted these to sound as close to the originals as could be done,” he said. “I just thank the good Lord above that he’s let me keep my voice intact. In fact, I probably hit the notes better now than I could back then.”

The album’s producer, Dirk Johnson, went out of his way to hire players who had participated in the original sessions or, if they weren’t available, those who understood and loved those recordings. Their familiarity with the music made everyone’s job easier, especially since Johnson had isolated key parts on the older recordings on Avid Pro Tools, so they could be immediately cued and played back for quick reference.

He also worked to update sound quality while retaining the feel of each tune. “Everyone played through amps in the studio back then,” Johnson said. “Because more people record direct now, I’d take those parts and run them back into amps that were used in that period of time. There was an entire week where it sounded like there was one player in my room, doing the same part over and over again, but those were the new parts for this album, blowing through that amp into a mic.”

Among the more than 50 charted singles and 21 Top 10 blockbusters on the new collection are “Farewell Party” (written by Lawton Williams), “Got No Reason Now for Goin’ Home” (Johnny Russell), “Fourteen Carat Mind” (Dallas Frazier and Larry Lee), “Love in the Hot Afternoon” (Vince Matthews and Kent Westberry), “Memories to Burn” (Dave Kirby and Warren Robb), “Paper Rosie” (Dallas Harms), “Sometimes I Get Lucky and Forget” (Bobby Lee House and Ernie Rowell) and “Speak Softly (You’re Talking to My Heart)” (Jessie Mendenhall and Steve Spurgin).

In April, Watson celebrated his new album with a concert at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and performed twice on the Grand Ole Opry, where he presented each member of the show’s cast with a copy of The Best of the Best. RFD-TV dedicated an edition of “Larry’s Country Diner” to Watson. Just prior to the album’s release in February, Sirius/XM satellite radio recorded a concert and three-hour interview with him. And he performed several times live at the CMA Music Festival in early June.

“It was so great listening to him,” said Lytle. “Gene doesn’t even know how interesting his stories are or how fascinating his life has been. It’s fascinating to work with somebody who has his kind of history.”

Watson accepts his remarkable vocal talent as a matter of course. All seven Watson children sang, as did his parents. “I can remember singing before I can remember talking,” he said. “Even when I was a kid, if I heard a song twice, I knew it.”

Born in Palestine, Texas, in 1943, Gary Gene Watson was singing in holiness churches with his family at an early age. His father played blues harmonica and guitar alongside African-American field laborers. Both parents were church singers and guitarists. Watson grew up loving blues, classic gospel and the Country stars of the 1950s.

Even amid the toughest hard-luck stories of Country Music, Watson’s stood out. His family drifted from shack to shack as his itinerant father took logging and crop-picking jobs. He worked with his parents and siblings in the fields. There was no place to call “home” until his father customized an old school bus for living quarters and transportation.

“Yeah, we were poor,” the singer remembered. “Today, people live in motor homes. Ours was yellow. We traveled to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas until one day my dad decided we were going to Phoenix, Ariz. We didn’t have any money to go to Phoenix, so we worked our way out there. We would cut spinach. We would pull radishes. We would pick potatoes. We would pick cotton. Whatever it took, we did it. That’s the only life I knew.” Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 11:14 am | Permalink
May 8

CMA Music Festival Announces Two Stage Lineups

Frankie Ballard photo courtesy of Warner Music Nashville.

The lineup for the 2012 CMA Music Festival’s Bud Light Stage at the Bridgestone Plaza and the new BIC Soleil Bella Beach Stage have been announced. The two concerts will provide fans with over 40 hours of concerts for free. The CMA Music Festival takes place June 7-10. “Live music is a hallmark of CMA Music Festival and we are excited to be able to add a new stage and even more performances this year,” Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer, said.

The BIC Soleil Bella Beach Stage is a new addition to this year’s CMA Music Festival with concerts and activities starting at 11:00 AM/CT each day during the Festival. The Bud Light Stage at Bridgestone Arena Plaza, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, is a fan favorite and a great place to catch up and coming country artists.

Artists currently scheduled to perform at the Bud Light Stage at Bridgestone Arena Plaza include:

Thursday, June 7
11:00 AM – 11:25 AM            Jeff Bates
11:45 AM – 12:10 PM             Greg Bates
12:30 PM – 12:55 PM             Julie Roberts
1:15 PM – 1:40 PM                  Tyler Farr
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM                “Classic Country Show” featuring Moe Bandy, T. Graham Brown, Jane Fricke and Gene Watson, hosted by Moore  & Moore
3:20 PM – 3:45 PM                  Trent Tomlinson
4:05 PM – 4:30 PM                  Miss Willie Brown
4:50 PM – 5:15 PM                  Cledus T. Judd

Friday, June 8
11:00 AM – 11:25 AM             Eric Paslay
11:45 AM – 12:10 PM              Rose Falcon
12:30 PM – 12:55 PM              Katie Armiger
1:15 PM – 1:40 PM                   Exile
2:00 PM – 2:25 PM                  The McClymonts
2:45 PM – 3:10 PM                  Frankie Ballard
3:30 PM – 3:55 PM                  Big Smo
4:15 PM – 4:40 PM                  Drake White
5:00 PM – 5:25 PM                  Blackberry Smoke Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 3:34 pm | Permalink
Apr 24

Music Community Comes Together to Help Kevin Sharp

Kevin Sharp

Kevin Sharp photo courtesy of artist.

The country music community is coming together to help fellow artist and motivational speaker Kevin Sharp, reports MusicRow. For the last 22 years, Kevin has worked with Make A Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the Jason’s Dreams for Kids Foundation and more. But in 2011, an infection in his leg left him with an artificial hip, a titanium femur and an artificial knee, as well as large hospital bills.

To help offset some of Kevin’s medical expenses, An Evening with the Stars Benefit will be held Wednesday, April 25 at the Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville. All money raised at the event will go directly toward Kevin’s hospital bills.

Bryan White, Larry Stewart, John Berry, Blackhawk, Marty Raybon, Jeannie Seely, Leona Williams, Michelle Cupit, Ben Gregg, Lainey Wilson, Jan Howard, Jerry Foster, Jim McBride, Dallas Frazier and Kevin himself are some of the more than 38 singer/songwriters scheduled to appear during the event. Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 10:21 am | Permalink
Feb 14

GAC Album Review: Gene Watson’s Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits

Gene Watson

Gene Watson's 2012 CD, Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits.

There’s no doubt that the music business is tough. Maintaining a career as a singer and entertainer for 50 years is a feat that only a handful of artists accomplish. To celebrate a career that started with a regional Texas single in 1962, Gene Watson re-recorded 25 of his best-known songs for the new project, Best of the Best: 25 Greatest Hits, due in stores today.

Gene re-recorded these songs as close to the originals as possible, right down to the same keys and tempos. By doing it on his own Fourteen Carat Music record label this time around, he retains ownership of the production masters, a benefit that was held by his major label partners throughout his career. Songs like 1981’s No. 1 classic “Fourteen Carat Mind” and 1985’s “Memories To Burn” are included, as well as the song that kick-started Gene’s career, 1975’s steamy “Love In The Hot Afternoon.”

The first thing that jumps out about this collection is Gene’s voice. It is in fine shape and sounds as smooth as ever as the 68-year old runs through songs like “Paper Rosie” and “Nothing Sure Looked Good On You,” the latter showing off his great vocal strength in a powerful chorus. On the slow “Bedroom Ballad,” Gene’s control is tight as he navigates tricky notes with lines like, She’s got a way of saying things just when I need a thought to make it rhyme, building on a sensual theme while using songwriting metaphors. On “Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy),” Gene sounds fresh and soulful as he belts out hillbilly melodies in the chorus.

Building his band for this project, Gene reached out to Continue Reading

ShareThis

Posted at 10:52 am | Permalink