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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 quotes from Neal McCoy, which he submitted to this site on Thursday 1 July 2010.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Neal McCoy who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Thursday 1 July 2010.
'I have always been in love with Gene Watson's voice, and recently being on the show with him at the Ryman, I am amazed at how really great he still sings.
Not to mention what a class guy he is.
Gene always has been and still is one of the best in the business!'
Thank you, Neal McCoy, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Neal McCoy...
Neal McCoy was born Hubert Neal McGaughey Junior on Wednesday 30 July 1958 in Jacksonville, Texas to a Filipina American mother and Irish American father. Inspired by the variety of music that his parents listened to, which included country music, rock music, disco music and rhythm and blues, Neal first sang in his church choir before founding a rhythm and blues band.
Neal later switched his focus to country music, performing in various bars and clubs in Texas. After attending junior college near his hometown, he found work selling shoes at a shopping mall. In the early 1980s, Neal met his wife, Melinda, at the store.
After winning a 1981 talent contest which was hosted by Janie Fricke, Neal secured a spot as an opening act for Charley Pride. It was also at this point that he assumed the stage name Neal McGoy, a phonetic spelling of his last name.
Still crediting himself as Neal McGoy, he signed to the independent 16th Avenue Records in 1988 and saw the release of the singles 'That's How Much I Love You' and 'That's American'. Although 'That's How Much I Love You' reached No.85 on the Billboard country music singles chart, Neal did not release an album for the 16th Avenue Records. He continued, however, to tour with Charley Pride until 1990.
Neal then signed to Atlantic Records in 1990, changing his surname to McCoy, per the label's request, as fans had already begun to refer to him as McCoy. Neal's debut album, 'At This Moment' (Atlantic Records, 1990), was released that year, with its title track being a cover of the Billy Vera song.
The lead-off single. 'If I Built You A Fire', was a Top 20 country hit in Canada, although none of the three singles (which also included the title track and 'This Time I Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me') made the Billboard Top 40 country music singles chart. Neal continued touring and developed a 'reputation for exciting, freewheeling live shows'.
A second album for Atlantic Records, 'Where Forever Begins' (Atlantic Records, 1992), was released in 1992 and produced Neal's first Billboard Top 40 country music hit with the title track, which reached No.40.
'Where Forever Begins' (Atlantic Records, 1992) also included the Billboard country music hits 'There Ain't Nothin' I Don't Like About You' (No.57, 1992) and 'Now I Pray For Rain' (No.26, 1992).
'Where Forever Begins' (Atlantic Records, 1992) was Neal McCoy's first album to enter the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, peaking at No.58.
Working with producer Barry Beckett for the first time, Neal McCoy saw the release of 'No Doubt About It' (Atlantic Records, 1994). The album proved to be a breakout for him, producing two straight No.1 country hits on the Billboard country music singles chart, the title track and 'Wink', both of which also made minor entries on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
'Wink' also held the No.1 position for four weeks, longer than any other No.1 Billboard country hit that year.
'No Doubt About It' (Atlantic Records, 1994) also earned a platinum certification from the RIAA and gold certification from the CRIA. Although 'Wink' was also Neal's final No.1 Billboard hit, 'The City Put The Country Back In Me' did reach No.5.
In 1995, Neal McCoy saw the release of his fourth studio album for Atlantic Records; 'You Gotta Love That' (Atlantic Records, 1995) continued his success, earning him a platinum certification and producing four Billboard country music hit singles: 'For A Change' (No.3, 1995), 'They're Playin' Our Song' (No.3, 1995), 'You Gotta Love That' (No.3, 1995) and 'If I Was A Drinkin' Man' (No.16, 1995).
Neal McCoy's self-titled fifth studio album, 'Neal McCoy' (Atlantic Records, 1996) began a decline in his chart momentum. Although the album was certified gold, Neal accounted for only one Billboard Top Ten country music hit with 'Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye', which reached No.4, with follow-up singles 'Going, Going, Gone' and 'That Woman Of Mine' reaching No.35.
It was also in 1996 that Neal McCoy sang guest vocals on the multi-artist charity single 'Hope'.
After 'That Woman Of Mine', Neal McCoy reached No.5 on the Billboard country music singles chart with 'The Shake', the only new song included on his first 'Greatest Hits' (Atlantic Records, 1997) package, which reprised nine of his greatest hits up to that point in his career and also earned platinum certification.
'Be Good At It' (Atlantic Records, 1998), Neal's sixth studio release, followed in 1998 and was his first album since 'Where Forever Begins' (Atlantic Records, 1992) not to include a Billboard Top Ten hit.
The title track, 'If You Can't Be Good, Be Good At It', was the highest peaking single release from the album, reaching No.22; it was followed by 'Party On', which became Neal's first single since 1992 to miss the Billboard Top 40 entirely. After it came 'Love Happens Like That' which reached No.29.
Neal McCoy made a second appearance on a multi-artist charity single in 1998, as one of several collaborators on 'One Heart At A Time'.
In 1999, Neal McCoy saw the release of his final album for Atlantic Records; 'The Life Of The Party' (Atlantic Records, 1999) only accounted for two singles, the Phil Vassar co-write 'I Was' (No.37, 1999) and 'The Girls Of Summer' (No.42, 1999).
Neal, along with Tracy Byrd and T. Graham Brown, also sang guest vocals on 'Now That's Awesome', a musical track set to a Bill Engvall comedy sketch; this single peaked at No.59.
Due to the closure of Atlantic Records' Nashville division in mid-2000, Neal McCoy's next album, '24-7-365' (Warner Bros. Records, 2000), was issued via Warner Bros. Records.
'24-7-365' (Warner Bros. Records, 2000) included the singles 'Forever Works For Me' (No.38, 2000), 'Every Man For Himself' (No.37, 2000) and 'Beatin' It In' (No.41, 2000).
In 2003, Neal McCoy saw the release of 'The Luckiest Man In The World' (Warner Bros. Records, 2003); the title track peaked at No.46 resulting in Neal exiting the label shortly afterwards.
In 2005, Neal McCoy founded his own label, 903 Music Records, along with his manager, Karen Kane. Neal's first single for his own label was 'Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On', which reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2005.
'Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On' served as the lead-off single from Neal's 'That's Life' (903 Music Records, 2005); Neal's next single release, 'The Last Of A Dying Breed', reached No.36, while 'Tail On The Tailgate' failed to chart at all.
Darryl Worley and The Drew Davis Band signed to 903 Music Records. Darryl Worley saw the release of 'Here And Now' (903 Music Records, 2006); the album produced two Billboard country music chart singles for Worley: 'Nothin' But A Love Thang' (No.36, 2006) and 'I Just Came Back From A War' (No.18, 2006).
Darryl Worley's third single, 'Living In The Here And Now', reached No.54 on the Billboard country charts before Neal McCoy announced the closure of 903 Music Records in May 2007.
In 2008, Rhino Records issued a compilation album; 'The Very Best Of Neal McCoy' (Rhino Records, 2008) reprised most of Neal's biggest Billboard country music chart hits up to that point in his career and also included a new recording 'Rednecktified', which was released as a single but did not chart. In late 2008, Neal McCoy issued another single, 'For The Troops', but this track too also failed to chart.
In 2010, Neal McCoy signed to the Oklahoma City-based Tate Music Group.
At the time of the acquisition of this Gene Watson 'Peer's Quote' from Neal McCoy, in July 2010, Neal McCoy was in the recording studio working on new material.
Lorianne Crook, Gene Watson, Rhonda Vincent, Neal McCoy and Charlie Chase on the set of 'Crook & Chase', with hosts Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, in Nashville on Wednesday 6 February 2008