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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 during 2010 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 Con Hunley, which he submitted to this site on Saturday 27 November 2010.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Con Hunley who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Saturday 27 November 2010.
'Gene Watson is the best true country singer I've ever heard in my life.
You can quote me on it!'
Thank you, Con Hunley, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Con Hunley...
Con Hunley was born Conard Logan 'Con' Hunley in Knoxville, Tennessee on Monday 9 April 1945.
One of six children, Con had music in his life from birth. His first entrance into the music world was singing gospel songs at church with his family. Con was overjoyed when his parents bought him a used 'Stella' guitar for Christmas when he was nine years old; his parents taught him basic chords (G,C,D and A) and some simple songs.
Con Hunley's first professional gig came in 1964 at The Eagles Club in downtown Knoxville. He played in a band that was headed up by Gene Hammock who was a well-known local singer who sang in the style of Jim Reeves (Monday 20 August 1923 – Friday 31 July 1964) and Eddie Arnold.
After high school, Con Hunley began playing with local bands, maturing musically and gaining his first fans. Con Hunley joined the Air Force in May 1965 and spent most of his service on a military base in Illinois, teaching aircraft mechanics; he also played music in area clubs whenever possible.
After his tour of duty had finished in 1968, Con Hunley returned to Knoxville and began performing weekly at a local nightclub called The Corner Lounge on Central Avenue, where he met businessman Sam Kirkpatrick, who formed the independent label Prairie Dust Records to showcase Con Hunley's talents. Con Hunley travelled to Nashville for the first time in 1975.
After some minor success on the Billboard country music singles chart, Con Hunley caught the attention of Warner Bros. Records, who signed him to a recording contract in 1978.
Con Hunley's first album for Warner Bros. Records was 'No Limit' (Warner Bros. Records, 1979); no singles were released from this album.
Con Hunley's second album for Warner Bros. Records was 'I Don't Want To Lose You' (Warner Bros. Records, 1980), from which two singles were released; 'You Lay A Whole Lot Of Love On Me' (No.19, 1980) and 'I Don't Want To Lose You' (No.20, 1980).
Con Hunley's third album for Warner Bros. Records was 'Don't It Break Your Heart' (Warner Bros. Records, 1980), from which two singles were released; 'What's New With You' (No.11, 1980) and 'They Never Lost You' (No.19, 1980).
Subsequent albums released by Con Hunley on Warner Bros. Records included 'Ask Any Woman' (Warner Bros. Records, 1981) and 'Oh Girl' (Warner Bros. Records, 1982).
It was during his tenure at Warner Bros. Records that Con Hunley was nominated for 'Male Vocalist Of The Year' and 'Newcomer Of The Year' by both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA).
Con Hunley's passionate vocals won him a devoted and enthusiastic fan base; he moved to MCA Records, where he issued a 1983 version of Porter Wagoner's classic 'Satisfied Mind', which featured the Grand Ole Opry legend as a guest vocalist on the track.
After a major shakeup at MCA Records, Jim Fogelsong, who signed Con Hunley to MCA Records, moved to Capitol Records. Con followed Fogelsong to Capitol and began recording a new album, resulting in a new string of singles, including the much-aired 'What Am I Gonna Do About You'.
Con Hunley also toured throughout the United States, playing large venues around the country with artists such as Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin, George Jones and Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998).
Although he continued to perform in a variety of venues, including a 1996 performance at the White House and a performance at the World Heavyweight Championship fight in South Africa, Con Hunley recorded no new music for over a decade after his last release for Capitol Records.
Con Hunley's comeback album, 'Sweet Memories' (IMMI Records, 2003), was embraced by thousands of people who'd never forgotten the blue-eyed country singer. Major national retailers such as KMart and Wal-Mart opened rack space to stock the new album.
Billboard, Country Weekly and other periodicals published ecstatic reviews; Music Row magazine not only raved about the album, it featured Con Hunley on its cover.
Country Music Television (CMT) considered 'Sweet Memories' (IMMI Records, 2003) to be one of the Top 10 country albums of the year. Praise poured in from celebrities such as Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, Ralph Emery and Bill Anderson; Con Hunley's official website attracted nearly a million hits at this time.
Con Hunley's triumphant return was featured at the 2005 Country Music Association Music Festival in Nashville and he performed in concert at the Country Music Hall of Fame and at The Ryman Auditorium.
Con Hunley's new music received airplay at radio stations from coast to coast (in America), as well as on both national satellite country outlets, XM and Sirius.
Following the success of 'Sweet Memories' (IMMI Records, 2003), Con Hunley saw the release of 'The First Time From Studio B' (IMMI Records, 2006), a compilation of the singer's earliest recordings made between 1975 and 1977.
Con Hunley recorded Hank Cochran's 'That's All That Matters To Me' and included the track on 'No Limit' (Warner Bros. Records, 1979).