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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 2010 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 Melonie Cannon, which she submitted to this site on Saturday 6 February 2010.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Melonie Cannon who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Saturday 6 February 2010.
Thank you, Melonie Cannon, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Melonie Cannon...
Melonie Cannon was was born in Jackson, Tennessee, but her family moved to Nashville when she was three years old. The daughter of record producer Buddy Cannon, she was just fourteen when she sang on her first recording session with Dean Dillon.
And, by the time Melonie Cannon reached high school, studio dates filled her calendar. Melonie sang on the track 'Cry, Cry, Darling', which was included on Sammy Kershaw's 'Haunted Heart' (Mercury Records, 1993), sessions for George Jones, Kenny Chesney's 'I Will Stand' (BNA Records, 1997) and John Michael Montgomery's 'Brand New Me' (Atlantic Records, 2000).
However, rather than pursue her own career in music, Melonnie Cannon joined the Army. She enlisted at Fort McClellan in Alabama, building her weapons and martial arts skills in basic training. She found a kind of focus that had been lost through her wild escapades in high school. But after taking a fall and fracturing her hip during a morning run, she was given a medical discharge.
Back in Nashville, Melonie Cannon began visiting the legendary bluegrass venue, Station Inn, in Nashville. Her new musical circle of friends widened to include some of bluegrass' top musicians. Eventually she brought these friends over to play together, just as her father had done with his colleagues years before.
One of these new friends was Ronnie Bowman, the former lead singer for one of bluegrass music's most popular bands, Lonesome River Band. Ronnie offered to produce some sessions with an A-list group of musicians, including Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas, Rob McCoury, Barry Bales, Stuart Duncan and Rob Ickes. Everyone performed live. Melonie cut the scratch vocals with the band and they sounded so good on playback that she didn't bother to do a separate overdub.
The three songs from that first session impressed her father enough to arrange two more studio visits, again with Melonie cutting her vocals live with the band. After just three of these dates, they had the ten tracks for Melonie Cannon's debut album.
Buddy Cannon burned these tracks onto a CD and gave it to disc jockey Hairl Hensley to play during his bluegrass show on Nashville's WSM-650AM. Ricky Skaggs caught one broadcast and asked Buddy for a copy. What he heard posed a challenge: it wasn't quite bluegrass and it wasn't quite commercial country, but it was breathtaking just the same.
With his musician hat on, Ricky Skaggs had no trouble connecting to Melonie Cannon's performance and, as head of Skaggs Family Music, he decided no matter what genre or classification the album, or Melonie Cannon as an artist, was going to fall under, it was exactly the kind of music he wanted for his record label.
Melonie Cannon further established her musical validity to Ricky Skaggs at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, where he had invited her to do an opening performance. Aside from the soundman, the place was empty when she and her band showed up. Though she had known the room so well throughout the years, this was her first time on centre stage. They were just warming up on their second song when she noticed that someone else was there after all. Ricky Skaggs emerged from the back of the building and started yelling and clapping for her.
In 2004, Melonie Cannon saw the release of her self-titled debut album, 'Melonie Cannon' (Skaggs Family Records, 2004).
Melonie Cannon also saw the release of 'And The Wheels Turn' (Rural Rhythm Records, 2008), which included 'Back To Earth', a beautiful duet written by and performed with the legendary Willie Nelson.
Melonie Cannon with renowned and highly respected country music record producer and song-writer Buddy Cannon, and Willie Nelson