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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 2007 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 Janie Fricke, which she submitted to this site on Monday 27 August 2007.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Janie Fricke 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 27 August 2007.
'The unique purity of Gene Watson's voice is amazing. He is the best and one of my favourites.
I am proud to say I have shared the show stage with him many times!'
Thank you, Janie Fricke, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Janie Fricke...
Janie Fricke, a native of Whitley, Indiana was one of the most popular female country music artists of the 1980s.
After studying at the University of Indiana, Janie acquired a teaching degree in Memphis, where she started singing sessions. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles, back to Memphis, and finally to Nashville, in 1975, where she became one of the hottest session singers in Music City.
Janie Fricke sang jingles for Coors, Pizza Hut, American Airlines, 7-Up and Red Lobster, among others, but she also earned a reputation singing on records.
In 1986, Janie Fricke, along with Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers Band, recorded 'From Time To Time (It Feels Like Love Again)'; the track was included on Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers Band's 'Changin' Partners' and reached No.21 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1987.
After joining the Lea Jane Singers, Janie Fricke started to tour, backing artists such as Johnny Rodriguez, which drew her to the attention of producer Billy Sherrill; it was Billy Sherrill who produced Gene Watson's 'Honky Tonk Crazy' (Epic Records, 1987).
Janie Fricke received her first major exposure on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1976, when Billy Sherrill teamed her with Johnny Duncan (Wednesday 5 October 1938 - Monday 14 August 2006) for a series of duets, including 'Jo And The Cowboy' (No.26, 1976) and 'Stranger' (No.4, 1976).
Janie Fricke also provided a supporting vocal role on Johnny Duncan's Billboard country music hits 'Thinkin' Of A Rendezvous' (No.1 for two weeks in December 1976), Ray Griff's 'It Couldn't Have Been Any Better' (No.1 for one week in April 1977) and 'Come A Little Bit Closer' (Top 5 hit in late 1977).
Janie Fricke's vocal presence can also be hard on the track 'On My Knees', which was a Billboard country music hit for Charlie Rich (Wednesday 14 December 1932 - Tuesday 25 July 1995) in 1978; the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in December 1978.
It was also in 1978, under the guidance of Billy Sherrill, that Janie Fricke was signed to Columbia Records and enjoyed her first hit with a remake of Hank Locklin's classic 'Please Help Me, I'm Falling', which reached No.12 on the Billboard country music singles chart; the track was included on Janie's debut album 'Singer Of Songs' (Columbia Records, 1977).
The original version of 'Please Help Me, I'm Falling' was recorded by Hank Locklin (Friday 15 February 1918 - Sunday 8 March 2009) and reached No.1 on the country chart and No.8 on the pop chart in 1960 and was the title track of his second album 'Please Help Me, I'm Falling' (RCA Victor, 1960).
Janie Fricke was also heavily involved as a session singer on many country music album recordings throughout the course of the 1970s and the 1980s, including the following releases:
Janie Fricke provided harmony vocals on T.G. Sheppard's 'TG Sheppard' (Melodyland Records, 1975), which included 'Devil In The Bottle' (No.1 for one week in February 1975).
Janie Fricke provided harmony vocals on Crystal Gayle's 'We Must Believe In Magic' (United Artists Records, 1977).
Janie Fricke provided exquisite background vocals on the track 'I Don't Know How To Tell Her (She Don't Love Me Anymore)', which was included on Gene Watson's 'Reflections' (Capitol Records, 1978).
Janie Fricke provided harmony vocals on Elvis Presley's 'In Concert' (RCA Victor, 1977), an album which included 'My Way' (No.2, 1978).
Janie Fricke provided harmony vocals on Vern Gosdin's 'Til The End' (Elektra Records, 1977), the title track of which became a Billboard Top 5 country hit in 1978; Gene Watson and Rhonda Vincent recorded Cathy Gosdin's 'Till The End' and included the track on 'Your Money & My Good Looks' (Upper Management Music, 2011).
Janie Fricke provided harmony vocals on Moe Bandy's 'It's A Cheating Situation' (Columbia Records, 1979), the title track of which reached No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1979.
Janie Fricke provided harmony vocals on Conway Twitty's 'Heart And Soul' (MCA Records, 1980), which included 'I'd Love To Lay You Down' (No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in March/April 1980).
Janie Fricke teamed up with producer Jim Ed Norman and enjoyed a succession of Billboard country music hit singles, including 'Down To My Last Broken Heart' (No.2, 1980), 'I'll Need Someone To Hold Me (When I Cry)' (Top 5, 1981) and 'Do Me With Love' (Top 5, 1981).
Finally, 'Don't worry 'bout me baby', which was co-written by Bruce Channel, Kieran Kane and Deborah Allen and featured backing vocals from Ricky Skaggs, brought Janie Fricke to No.1 as a solo artist in 1982 (No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in July 1982).
In 1982 and 1983, Janie Fricke was named as the 'Female Vocalist Of The Year' by the Country Music Association (CMA).
Janie Fricke was a guest duet partner on the track 'Who Cares', which was included on Ray Charles' 'Friendship' (Columbia Records, 1984); the album was re-issued by Columbia/Legacy Records in 2005.
In the period between November 1982 and October 1986, Janie Fricke was a major force on the Billboard country music singles charts; her successful hit songs during this period included the following amazing list of singles:
'It Ain't Easy Bein' Easy' (No.1 for one week in November/December 1982)
'You Don't Know Love' (No.4 in early 1983)
'He's A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)' (No.1 for one week in August 1983)
'Tell Me A Lie' (No.1 for one week in December 1983)
'Let's Stop Talkin' About It' (No.1 for one week in March/April 1984)
'If The Fall Don't Get You' (No.8 in the summer of 1984)
'Your Heart's Not In It' (No.1 for one week in December 1984)
'A Place To Fall Apart' (writtem by Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers and Willie Nelson) (duet with Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in February 1985)
'Always Have, Always Will' (No.1 for one week in October 1986)
In June 1984, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'It's All In The Game' (Epic Records, 1984), which included three tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:
'Let's Chase Each Other Around The Room' (written by Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers and Sherill Rodgers) (No.1 for one week in September 1984)
'A Place To Fall Apart' (written by Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers and Willie Nelson) (No.1 for one week in February 1985) / featuring vocals from Janie Fricke
'Natural High' (written by Freddy Powers) (No.1 for one week in June 1985)
Merle Haggard's 'It's All In The Game' (Epic Records, 1984) also included the following tracks:
'It's All In The Game' (written by Carl Sigman and Charles Dawes)
'Little Hotel Room' (written by Freddy Powers)
'I Never Go Home Anymore' (written by Merle Haggard)
'All I Want To Do Is Sing My Song' (written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers)
'Thank Heaven For Little Girls' (written by Alan Lenner and Frederick Loewe)
'To All The Girls I've Loved Before', which was written by Hal David (Wednesday 25 May 1921 - Saturday 1 September 2012) and Albert Hammond
'You Really Lose Your Mind', which was written by Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984)
Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'It's All In The Game' (Epic Records, 1984) included the following:
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Grady Martin, Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 - Saturday 30 June 2001) and Freddy Powers (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Tiny Moore (mandolin)
Mike Leech (bass)
Kenny Malone (drums)
Jim Belkin (fiddle)
Bobby Wood (piano, keyboards)
Don Markham (sax)
Janie Fricke (vocals)
In March 1985, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:
'Kern River' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.10, 1985)
Merle Haggard's 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985) also included the following tracks:
'Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You' (written by Hugh Moffatt and Pebe Sebert)
'There I've Said It Again' (written by Redd Evans and Dave Mann)
'You Don't Love Me Anymore' (written by Freddy Powers)
'Natural High' (written by Freddy Powers)
'Big Butter And Egg Man', which was written by Percy Venable and Louis Armstrong (Sunday 4 August 1901 - Tuesday 6 July 1971)
'Ridin' High' (written by Freddy Powers and Dean Reynolds)
'There's Somebody Else On Your Mind' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Wonder Where I'll Find You At Tonight' (written by Merle Haggard)
'There Won't Be Another Now' (written by Red Lane)
'Old Watermill' (written by B.H. Harris)
Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985) included the following:
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Grady Martin (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Mark Yeary (piano, keyboards)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Jim Belkin (fiddle)
Don Markham (sax, trumpet, horns)
Janie Fricke (vocals)
In 2011, 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Amber Waves Of Grain' (Epic Records, 1985).
Janie Fricke's commercial momentum slowed down in the late 1980s and, following the release of two highly acclaimed albums, 'Saddle The Wind' (Columbia Records, 1988) and 'Labor Of Love' (Columbia Records, 1989), she and CBS Records parted company.
In 1992, Janie Fricke saw the release of 'Janie Fricke' (Intersound Records, 1992); it was followed the next year by the gospel album 'Crossroads' (Branson Records, 1993).
In 2000, Janie Fricke mounted a comeback tour with the issue of 'Bouncin' Back' (JMF Records, 2000). In 2002, the concert set 'Live At Billy Bob's Texas' (Smith Music, 2004) was released and featured many of Janie Fricke's old country music hits.
In 2004, Janie Fricke recorded and saw the release of 'The Bluegrass Sessions' (DM Records, 2004); as the title suggests, this album featured bluegrass versions of Janie Fricke's biggest hits from the 1980s.