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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 Robert Joe Vandygriff, which he submitted to this site on Tuesday 29 August 2006.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Robert Joe Vandygriff who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
Robert Joe Vandygriff
This quote was submitted on Tuesday 29 August 2006.
'I was first introduced to Gene back in 1967 by my fiddler at the time, Red Watson. I've been a Gene Watson fan ever since. In Lamar County, Texas we knew someday Nashville would come calling and the rest of the world would be introduced to a great vocalist.
Gene has his own style and nobody wraps their heart around a country song any better than Gene Watson. A perfect Texas night is a cold beer, a VFW in Reno, Texas and Gene Watson on stage singing his heart out. It doesn't get any better'.
Thank you, Robert Joe Vandygriff, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Robert Joe Vandygriff...
Robert Joe Vandygriff grew up riding horses and strumming his guitar in Roxton, Texas. He competed in saddle-bronco and bareback in the sport of rodeo, as well as working as a rodeo clown and bullfighter.
As a country music recording artist, his records of 'Big Blue Diamond' and 'Say Lady' topped the charts in the early 1970s. Robert Joe's 'Dedicated' album climbed to No.3 on the European country music chart and led to eight successful tours of England and the European continent.
Robert Joe and his band, 'The Shades Of Country', toured the United States, Canada and Europe, playing to sold-out audiences. Robert Joe appeared on stage with artists such as Garth Brooks, The Judds, George Jones, Alabama and Merle Haggard.
Nashville then came calling and Robert Joe Vandygriff made the move there in order to pursue a song-writing career. He then ended up a booking agent and represented acts such as John Anderson, Lee Greenwood, Hank Snow (Saturday 9 May 1914 - Monday 20 December 1999), The Wilburn Brothers, Archie Campbell and many more.
Nashville afforded Robert Joe Vandygriff the opportunity to work in various capacities, from representing to producing shows with many of the biggest names in country music, bluegrass and rock 'n' roll.
Nowadays, Robert Joe Vandygriff feels that Nashville is a great place, but Texas is home. While working on a ranch in Grayson County, he received a call from a casting agent who needed a band for an episode of a new CBS series, 'Walker, Texas Ranger', starring Chuck Norris. One thing lead to another and Robert Joe made several appearances on the show as the character 'Ranger Mike'.
In 2004, Robert Joe Vandygriff became the honoured recipient of the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists.