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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 Helen Cornelius, which she submitted to this site on Saturday 21 October 2006.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Helen Cornelius who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Saturday 21 October 2006.
'As one of Gene's fellow country performers, I must say that he is without a doubt, one of the finest vocalists anyone could hope to hear.
His range, his soul, his distinctive styling; none better anywhere. Hats off to Gene Watson!'
Thank you, Helen Cornelius, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Helen Cornelius...
Helen Cornelius grew up on a farm in Missouri, where she listened to the Grand Ole Opry on radio and sang with her sisters, accompanied by her brothers who played in country bands. Helen made her musical debut at the age of five and won numerous talent contests, including three winning appearances on 'The Ted Mack Amateur Hour' in 1970.
Initially it was Helen Cornelius' song-writing that swung open the doors along the corridors of Nashville's Music Row. By the mid-1970s, Helen's songs were being recorded by a number of major artists, including Oak Ridge Boys, Reba McEntire, Jeannie C. Riley, Connie Smith, Charlie Louvin (Thursday 7 July 1927 - Wednesday 26 January 2011) & Melba Montgomery, and LaCosta.
Charlie Louvin (Thursday 7 July 1927 - Wednesday 26 January 2011) and Melba Montgomery recorded Helen Cornelius' 'Let Me Put It Another Way' and included the track on 'Baby, You've Got What It Takes' (Capitol Records, 1971).
Connie Smith recorded Helen Cornelius' 'Love Held Onto Me' and included the track on 'A Lady Named Smith' (Columbia Records, 1973).
Jeannie C. Riley recorded Helen Cornelius' 'Billy Joe The Seeker' and included the track on 'Just Jeannie' (MGM Records, 1973).
Helen Cornelius' song-writing first won her major credibility, but it was her voice that RCA Records executives heard that won Helen her first major recording contract in 1975. It was producer Bob Ferguson who suggested that Helen team up with fellow country performer Jim Ed Brown. They enjoyed a major hit with their first recording - 'I Don't Want To Have To Marry You' was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for two weeks in September 1976.
Dottsy recorded Helen Cornelius' 'We Still Sing Love Songs Here In Texas' (co-written with Jerry Crutchfield) and included the track on 'The Sweetest Thing' (RCA Records, 1976).
In 1977, Helen Cornelius and Jim Ed Norman earned a 'Vocal Duo Of The Year' Award from the Country Music Association (CMA). Together they earned a number of hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart, including 'Saying Hello, Saying I Love You, Saying Goodbye' (No.2, 1977), 'If It Ain't Love By Now' (No.12, 1977), 'Born Believer' (No.12, 1977), 'Lying In Love With You' (No.2, 1977), 'I'll Never Be Free' (No.11, 1978), 'You Don't Bring Me Flowers' (No.10, 1979), 'Fools' (No.3, 1980) and 'Lying In Love With You' (No.2, 1981).
Following four successful years together, Helen and Jim Ed went their separate ways in 1980. Helen went on to headline her own solo tours and co-starred with Dave Rowland, of Dave and Sugar, in a touring production of 'Annie Get Your Gun' in 1984.
Following the closure of the 'Annie Get Your Gun' touring schedule, Helen Cornelius went on tour with the Statler Brothers on their sell-out concert series for a period of two years, as well as continuing her individual concert dates.
In 1988, Helen Cornelius and Jim Ed Norman returned to touring as a duo. In 1991, Helen opened a dinner theatre in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and in 1997 joined forces with Jim Ed Brown and Con Hunley to perform at the Eagle Mountain Theatre in Pigeon Forge, also in Tennessee.
In May 2005, Helen Cornelius was honoured by the State of Missouri when she was inducted into the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Springfield.
Dottsy recorded Helen Cornelius' 'We Still Sing Love Songs Here In Texas' (co-written with Jerry Crutchfield) and included the track on 'Meet Me In Texas' (Heart of Texas Records, 2010).