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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 2011 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 Freddie Hart, which he submitted to this site on Wednesday 12 October 2011.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Freddie Hart who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Wednesday 12 October 2011.
'Over the years, I've done shows with Gene Watson and found he is a very down to earth person and is as real as pure water.
He loves to meet fans and treat them like he should. A great singer and wonderful entertainer who is under rated and should be given more credit.
Gene has really paid his dues and I'm proud to know him as a friend'.
Thank you, Freddie Hart, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Freddie Hart...
Freddie Hart was born, Frederick Segrest on Tuesday 21 December 1926), to a sharecropper family in Lochapoka, Alabama and spent his childhood in nearby Phoenix City, Alabama along with his fourteen siblings.
Freddie Hart learned to play guitar when he was five years old and quit school by the time he was twelve. When he was fifteen years old, Freddie lied about his age in order to join the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, seeing combat action on Guam and Iwo Jima.
Following the war, Freddie Hart lived in California where he taught classes in self-defence at the Los Angeles Police Academy.
Freddie Hart got an early career break when Carl Smith covered his song 'Loose Talk' (co-written with Ann Lucas) in 1955; the track, which was included on 'Carl Smith' (Columbia Records, 1955), was No.1 on the country music singles chart for seven weeks in January/February 1955.
Patsy Cline (Thursday 8 September 1932 - Tuesday 5 March 1963) recorded Freddie Hart's 'Lovin' In Vain' and included the track on 'That's How My Heartache Begins' (Decca Records, 1964); the track was the 'B' side of Patsy's hit single 'I Fall To Pieces' (No.1 on the country music singles chart in 1961).
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) recorded Freddie Hart's 'My Tears Are Overdue' and included the track on 'George Jones Sings More New Favourites' (United Artists Records, 1964); the track reached No.15 on the country music singles chart in 1964.
Porter Wagoner (Friday 12 August 1927 - Sunday 28 October 2007) recorded Freddie Hart's 'Skid Row Joe' and included the track on 'Confessions Of A Broken Man' (RCA Records, 1966); the track reached No.3 on the country music singles chart in 1966.
During the early 1950s, Freddie Hart and his family moved to California to further the growing country music scene there. In 1951, he joined Lefty Frizzell's band for a year.
It was through Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) that Freddie Hart obtained his first recording contract with Capitol Records in 1953; he released several singles including his version of 'Loose Talk', but none of these were successful.
In 1958, Freddie Hart signed with Columbia Records and scored his first chart hit with 'The Wall' in 1959 which made the Top 20; his biggest hit for the label was the 1960 Top 20 hit 'The Key's In The Mailbox'.
'Loose Talk', 'The Wall' and 'The Key's In The Mailbox' were subsequently included on 'The Spirited Freddie Hart' (Columbia Records, 1962).
Loretta Lynn recorded Freddie Hart's 'Loose Talk' (co-written with Ann Lucas) and included the track on 'Before I'm Over You' (Decca Records, 1964).
In 1965, Freddie Hart signed with Kapp Records where he scored several Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968; the biggest of these hits included 'Hank Williams' Guitar' (No.23, 1965), 'Born A Fool' (1968) and 'Togetherness' (1968)
In 1969, Freddie Hart re-signed with Capitol Records and soon became a part of the Bakersfield sound by signing up with Buck Owens' song-writing and management company.
In early 1970, Freddie Hart scored a Top 30 country music hit with 'The Whole World's Holdin' Hands'; the track was included on 'The New Sounds Of Freddie Hart' (Capitol Records, 1970).
Freddie Hart's song 'Togetherness', which was a hit for him in 1968, became a Top 15 country music hit for Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006) and Susan Raye in the summer of 1970. Freddie Hart also scored several minor country music hits during the year.
In 1971, Freddie Hart released a song that he wrote called 'Easy Loving' which was first recorded in the summer of 1969; the track was included on 'California Grapevine' (Capitol Records, 1970).
Released in the summer of 1971, 'Easy Loving' rapidly began climbing the charts; by September 1971, it was at the top of the Billboard country music singles chart (No.1 for three weeks in September/October 1971) and reached No.17 on the pop charts. It was also played on adult contemporary stations, earning a position on Billboard's Easy Listening survey.
'Easy Loving' ultimately won Freddie Hart numerous awards from both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA). The song sold over one million copies and was awarded a 'Gold' record by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in November 1971.
The album of the same name, 'Easy Loving' (Capitol Records, 1971), also achieved 'Gold' status and the song also won a Grammy Award for Freddie Hart.
Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Freddie Hart's 'Easy Loving' and included the track on 'Lead Me On' (MCA Records, 1971).
Ferlin Husky (Thursday 3 December 1925 - Thursday 17 March 2011) recorded Freddie Hart's 'Easy Loving' and included the track on 'Just Plain Lonely' (Capitol Records, 1972).
Following the success of 'Easy Loving', Freddie Hart and his backup band, The Heartbeats, enjoyed a string of Top 5 Billboard country music hits, including the following:
'My Hang-up Is You' (No.1 for six weeks in March/April 1972)
'Bless Your Heart' (No.1 for two weeks in August 1972)
'Got The All-overs For You' (No.1 for three weeks in December 1972)
'Super Kind Of Woman' (No.1 for one week in April 1973)
'Trip To Heaven' (No.1 for one week in August 1973)
'Hang In There Girl' (No.2, 1974)
'The Want-to's' (Top 5 hit, 1974)
'My Woman's Man' (1975)
'The First Time' (No.2, 1975)
'I'd Like To Sleep Till I Get Over You' (1975)
'The Warm Side Of You' (1975)
Freddie Hart has been referred to by many fans as 'The Heart And Soul Of Country Music'.
With the success of 'Easy Loving' and other songs that he has written, plus a popular concert attraction on the road, Freddie Hart became independently wealthy and owned a song-writing company, a school for the blind, a trucking company, along with a chain of martial arts studios - his hobby was as a master of karate.
By 1976, Freddie Hart continued to have major hits, although now his streak of Top 10 country music hits were replaced by a streak of Top 20 and Top 30 hits; these included 'You Are The Song Inside Of Me' (1976), 'That Look In Her Eyes' (1976), 'Thank God She's Mine' (1977), 'The Pleasure's Been All Mine' (1977), 'Toe To Toe' (1978) and 'Wasn't It Easy Baby' (1979).
Freddie Hart's last Top 10 Billboard country music hit was 'Why Lovers Turn To Strangers" in 1977, which peaked at No.8.
In 1980, Freddie Hart signed with Sunbird Records, where he immediately scored a Top 20 Billboard country music hit with 'Sure Thing' that year. He followed this up with three Top 40 country music hits in 1981. This ended Freddie Hart's days as a major country music artist.
In 1985 & 1987, Freddie Hart enjoyed a couple of minor hits on El Dorado Records and 5th Avenue Records, with his last hit being 'The Best Love I Ever Had' in 1987, which peaked at No.77.
In 2001, Freddie Hart was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Freddie Hart retains a large following in Europe and the United States, where he continues to perform at music festivals, universities, churches and industry events.