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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 2006 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 Connie Smith, which she submitted to this site on Monday 30 January 2006.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Connie Smith who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Monday 30 January 2006.
'Gene Watson is one of the greatest singers of all time'.
Thank you, Connie Smith, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Connie Smith...
Connie Smith was born Constance June Meador in Elkhart, Indiana but was raised in West Virginia and Ohio. She remembered from an early age of wanting to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
In the early 1960s, Connie married and became a housewife in Marietta, Ohio but continued to sing. While performing near Columbus, Ohio in 1963, Bill Anderson first heard her and offered his help in gaining Connie Smith a recording contract.
Shortly after discovering her, Bill Anderson had her perform on Ernest Tubb's Record Shop Live Show in 1964. Two months later, Connie Smith made demo recordings written by Bill Anderson, which included his song 'Once A Day'.
After hearing the demos, producer Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 - Saturday 30 June 2001) signed Connie Smith to RCA Victor in Nashville; because Atkins was working with too many artists during Smith's first years at RCA, Bob Ferguson served as her producer.
Under the guidance of RCA producer Bob Ferguson, Connie Smith enjoyed a string of hit songs.
Connie Smith's first hit, Bill Anderson's 'Once A Day', was at No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for eight weeks, commencing Saturday 28 November 1964; the track remained on the charts for twenty-seven weeks and took Connie Smith into the record books as the first female country singer to hit No.1 on Billboard with her first country music release.
Connie Smith's debut album, 'Connie Smith' (RCA Victor, 1965), remained on the charts for thirty weeks, seven of those weeks were spent at the No.1 position. By the end of 1964, 'Once A Day' became one of the biggest country songs of the year.
The success of 'Once A Day' led to a string of Top 10 hits over the next five years on the Billboard country music singles chart; Connie Smith's follow-up single to 'Once A Day', was titled 'Then And Only Then' and reached No.4, while its flip-side 'Tiny Blue Transistor Radio' reached No.25 in 1965.
Connie Smith enjoyed a string of Billboard Top 10 country music hits for four years, starting with 'I Can't Remember' (No.9, 1965) and 'If I Talk To Him' (1965), followed by 'Nobody But A Fool Would Love You' (No.4, 1966), 'Ain't Had No Lovin' and 'The Hurtin's All Over' in 1966. In 1967, Connie Smith had hits with 'Baby's Back Again' and 'Cincinnati, Ohio' (No.4, 1967).
It was also at this time that Connie Smith released a number of albums which spawned her major hit singles during this period, beginning with 'Cute 'n' Country' (RCA Victor, 1965), 'Miss Smith Goes to Nashville' (RCA Victor, 1966), 'Born to Sing' (RCA Victor, 1966) and 'Downtown Country' (RCA Victor, 1967).
Nat Stuckey (Sunday 17 December 1933 - Wednesday 24 August 1988) and Connie Smith recorded 'Sunday Morning' (RCA Records, 1970), an album of gospel material; one of the tracks, 'If God Is Dead (Who's That Living In My Soul)', made an appearance on the Billboard country music singles chart.
Connie Smith became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1971 and was a fixture on the Billboard country music singles chart through the 1970s; Connie Smith's hits during this period included 'I Never Once Stopped Loving You' (No.5, 1970), 'Just One Time' (1971), 'Just For What I Am' (1972), 'If It Ain't Love (Let's Leave It Alone)' (1972) and 'Love Is The Look You're Looking For' (1972).
Having nearly served ten years at RCA Records, Connie Smith signed with Columbia Records in 1973. She began to add more gospel music into her act and Columbia Records permitted her to record more gospel material.
Connie Smith's hit songs during the mid-to-late 1970s included George Richey's 'You've Got Me (Right Where You Want Me)' and Dallas Frazier's 'Ain't Love A Good Thing', both of which were hits in 1973.
Connie Smith had further hits with '(Til) I Kissed You' and 'So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)' in 1976, both of which were written by Don Everly of The Everly Brothers.
Moe Bandy recorded Connie Smith's 'Ring Around Rosie's finger' (co-written with Cathy Manser) and included the track on 'Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life' (Columbia Records, 1976).
In 1977, Connie Smith signed with Monument Records where her material grew increasingly more pop-sounding, recording everything from Adult Contemporary ballads to upbeat disco numbers.
Connie Smith had a major hit in 1977 with a cover of Andy Gibb's 'I Just Want To Be Your Everything', which reached No.14 on the Billboard country music singles chart.
The follow-up, 'Lovin' You Baby', which was recorded in the style of a disco song, peaked within the Billboard country music Top 40. However, Connie Smith's next several singles, 'They'll Never Be Another For Me', 'Smooth Sailing' and 'Ten Thousand And One' all peaked outside of the Billboard country music Top 40, progressively going into lower positions on the country chart between 1978 and 1979.
In 1979, Connie Smith left Monument Records and neglected actively performing and touring between for six years, only appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. Over the next six years, she focused on spending time with her family and raising her children.
Reba McEntire recorded Connie Smith's 'You've Got Me (Right Where You Want Me)' (co-written with George Richey) and included the track on 'My Kind of Country' (MCA Records, 1984).
In 1985, Connie Smith made a brief comeback on Epic Records and saw the release of two singles; the first single, 'A Far Cry From You' charted at No.71, and was written by a then promising songwriter called Steve Earle, while the second single, 'Hold Me Back', failed to chart in 1986.
In 1990, Connie Smith made a trip to the United Kingdom to tour there for her British fans and in 1993 released a live album recorded in Branson, Missouri.
In 1995, Connie Smith saw the release of 'Clinging To A Saving Hand' (Connie Smith Fan Club Records, 1995), a set of gospel songs.
In 1996, RCA Records released 'The Essential Connie Smith', a two-disc collection of Connie Smith's singles between 1964 and 1972.
In 1998, Connie Smith returned to recording after a twenty-year gap with the release of her self-titled album 'Connie Smith' (Warner Bros. Records, 1998); the album was released on Tuesday 6 October 1998.
'Connie Smith' was given a positive review but, although it was her first album in many years, it attracted little attention.
In 1999, Connie Smith contributed guest vocals to two tracks, 'So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)' and 'Loose talk', both of which were included on John Prine's 'In Spite of Ourselves' (Oh Boy Records, 1999).
In 2003, Connie Smith saw the release of 'Love Never Fails', a gospel album with country singers, Barbara Fairchild and Sharon White, which again attracted little attention.
Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives recorded Connie Smith's 'Farmer's blues' (co-written with Marty Stuart) and included the track on 'Country Music' (Columbia Records, 2003); the track was a duet with Merle Haggard.
In 2007, Connie Smith provided harmony vocals on 'A Good Place To Turn Around', a track included on Gene Watson's 'In a Perfect World' (Shanachie Records, 2007).
Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives recorded Connie Smith's 'A World Without You' (co-written with Marty Stuart) and included the track on 'Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)' (Superlatone Records, 2008).
Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives recorded Connie Smith's 'I Run To You' (co-written with Marty Stuart) and included the track on 'Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)' (Superlatone Records, 2008); the track was a duet with Connie Smith.
Connie Smith and Gene Watson backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Friday 25 July 2008
Hargus 'Pig' Robbins, Connie Smith and Garth Brooks at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Wednesday 7 March 2012, following the announcement of their induction, on Tuesday 6 March 2012, by the Country Music Association Association (CMA)
On Tuesday 6 March 2012, the Country Music Association (CMA) announced that Connie Smith, Hargus 'Pig' Robbins and Garth Brooks were the latest inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Connie Smith was inducted in the 'Veterans Era Artist' category, Hargus 'Pig' Robbins was inducted in the 'Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980' category (which was awarded every third year in a rotation with the 'Non-Performer' and 'Songwriter' categories), while Garth Brooks was inducted in the 'Modern Era Artist' category.
The addition of Connie Smith, Hargus 'Pig' Robbins and Garth Brooks increased membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 115 to 118 inductees.
Connie Smith at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Wednesday 7 March 2012, following the announcement of her induction, on Tuesday 6 March 2012, by the Country Music Association Association (CMA)
Connie Smith was quoted as saying, 'I've had the privilege of participating in several Hall of Fame inductions. They were all very special. But now to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame myself is an honor for me and my family. So touching, it's difficult to find the words to express my gratitude'.
Induction ceremonies for Connie Smith, Hargus 'Pig' Robbins and Garth Brooks took place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on Sunday 21 October 2012.
Since 2007, the Museum's Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.
CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with Country Music's highest honor.