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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 2005 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 Kathy Mattea, which she submitted to this site on Sunday 13 November 2005.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Kathy Mattea who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Sunday 13 November 2005.
'Gene Watson has one of the most pure country voices of anyone out there.
And, he's also one of the nicest guys in the business'.
Thank you, Kathy Mattea, for your support of Gene Watson.
Kathy Mattea, who hails from Cross Lanes, West Virginia, has an instantly recognisable style, her music encompassing country and folk. Kathy, who was born Kathleen Alice Mattea on Sunday 21 June 1959, began playing playing guitar in her early teens, first performing publicly in church.
Kathy Mattea moved to Nashville in 1978, initially securing a job at the Country Music Hall of Fame as a tour guide before she gained employment singing commercials, demos and jingles.
In 1982, Combine Music began using Kathy Mattea's vocals regularly to record its song demos. She also sang backup in Bobby Goldsboro's road show.
In 1983, Kathy Mattea put some of her best demos together and, assisted by producer Byron Hill, sent the tape to Frank Jones.
When Kathy Mattea secured a recording contract with Mercury Records/Polygram in 1983, she was signed to the label by Frank Jones (President and Head of the Country Music division), the same gentleman who signed Gene Watson to Capitol Records back in 1975.
Kathy Mattea's first single, 'Street Talk', was released in October 1983 and was produced by Byron Hill; the track reached No.25 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1983.
Kathy Mattea saw the release of her self-titled debut album, 'Kathy Mattea' (Mercury Records, 1984), on Mercury Records in 1984.
Kathy Mattea's first hit single was 'Love At The Five And Dime' (with Don Williams providing harmony vocals), a song that peaked at No.3 on the Billboard country music singles chart and remained on the charts for twenty-two weeks.
'Love At The Five And Dime' was written by Nanci Griffith and was originally included on Nanci Griffith's 'Last Of The True Believers' (Rounder Records, 1986); Kathy Mattea's recording of the song brought Nanci Griffith wider recognition as a songwriter.
Kathy's second album, 'From The Heart' (Mercury Records, 1985), was released in 1985, but commercial success took a little longer - Kathy achieved this feat with the release of her third album 'Walk The Way The Wind Blows' (Mercury Records, 1986), which proved to be a resounding critical and commercial breakthrough in 1986, peaking at No.13 on Billboard's country music album chart.
'Walk The Way The Wind Blows' (Mercury Records, 1986) produced three other Billboard Top 10 country music hit singles; 'Walk The Way The Wind Blows' (No.10, 1986), 'You're The Power' (No.5, 1986) and 'Train Of Memories' (No.6, 1986).
Subsequently, Kathy Mattea was nominated for the Country Music Association (CMA) 'Horizon Award' and won Billboard's 'Top New Country Artist' honour.
With the release of 'Untasted Honey' (Mercury Records, 1987), Kathy Mattea savoured her first No.1 country single on Billboard; 'Goin' Gone' was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in January/February 1988.
Once again, Kathy returned to Nanci Griffith's back catalogue; 'Goin' Gone', which was co-written by Pat Alger, B. Dale and Fred Koller, was originally included on Nanci Griffith's 'Last Of The True Believers' (Rounder Records, 1986).
Kathy Mattea's 'Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses', which was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for two weeks in May/June 1988, earned 'Single Record of the Year' honours from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM); the ACM also named 'Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses' as the 'Song of the Year'.
'Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses' was also included in the dialogue of the Dustin Hoffman/Tom Cruise movie 'Rain Man'. Kathy's next two singles, 'Untold Stories' and 'Life As We Knew It', both peaked at No.4 on Billboard's country music singles chart in 1988.
Kathy Mattea's 'Willow In The Wind' (Mercury Records, 1989) provided her with two No.1 country singles on the Billboard country music singles chart; 'Come From The Heart' (No.1 for one week in July 1989) and 'Burnin' Old Memories' (No.1 for one week in November 1989).
Kathy Mattea's 'Willow In The Wind' (Mercury Records, 1989) also included an exquisite version of Claire Lynch's 'Hills Of Alabam'.
In the years that followed, Kathy Mattea enjoyed a number of hit country singles on the Billboard country music singles chart; 'She Came From Fort Worth' (1990), Larry Cordle's 'Lonesome Standard Time' (1992), 'Walking Away A Winner' (1994), 'Nobody's Gonna Rain On Our Parade' (1994), 'Maybe She's Human' (1994) and '455 Rocket' (1997).
The heartrending 'Where've You Been', which was co-written by Jon Vezner (Kathy Mattea's husband) and Don Henry, reached No.10 on the Billboard country music singles chart and earned Kathy a 1990 Grammy for 'Best Female Country Vocal'.
Kathy Mattea's 'Time Passes By' (Mercury Records, 1991) included the Billboard country music singles 'Time Passes By' (No.7, 1991), 'Whole Lotta Holes' (No.18, 1991) and 'Asking Us To Dance' (No.27, 1991).
Kathy Mattea's 'Lonesome Standard Time' (Mercury Records, 1992) included the Billboard country music singles 'Lonesome Standard Time' (written by Jim Rushing and Larry Cordle) (No.11, December 1992), 'Standing Knee Deep In A River (Dying Of Thirst)' (a Top 20 hit in 1992, which was also recorded by Don Williams), 'Seeds' (Kathy's first single since 1985 to miss the Billboard Top 40) and 'Listen To The Radio'.
Kathy Mattea's 'Walking Away A Winner' (Mercury Records, 1993) included the title track, which peaked at No.3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks Chart in late 1993 and which was also Kathy's final Billboard Top Ten country hit. Following this single, Kathy Mattea saw the release of 'Nobody's Gonna Rain On Our Parade' (No.13, 1994), 'Maybe She's Human' (No.34, 1994) and 'Clown In Your Rodeo' (No.20, 1994).
Katy Mattea won another Grammy in 1993 for her gospel-flavoured Christmas album 'Good News'. Her first single from the album, 'Mary, Did You Know?', went on to be recorded by Kenny Rogers with Wynonna Judd, as well as by Reba McEntire.
Kathy Mattea's 'Love Travels' (Mercury Records, 1997) was released by Mercury Records in 1997 and was her final album for Mercury Records, the label to which she had been signed since 1984.
Three singles were released from 'Love Travels' (Mercury Records, 1997): '455 Rocket', 'I'm On Your Side' and 'Love Travels'. '455 Rocket' was the highest charting, reaching a peak position of No.21 on the Billboard country music singles chart, while 'Love Travels' was her final Billboard Top 40 country entry, peaking at No.39. Suzy Bogguss sang background vocals on the track 'Further And Further Away'.
Kathy Mattea subsequently moved to MCA Nashville and saw the release of 'The Innocent Years' (MCA Nashville, 2000), an album which was a tribute to her then ailing father; the album includes 'Trust Me', a track written by Steve Wariner.
Kathy Mattea always had a deep interest in Celtic music, so she switched labels to Narada Records, for whom she recorded 'Roses' (Narada Records, 2002) in 2002.
Kathy Mattea’s album 'Right Out Of Nowhere' (Narada Records, 2005), which was released to high critical acclaim in 2005, is also highly recommended.
Gene Watson and Kathy Mattea at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Tuesday 25 March 2008