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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 Steve Spurgin, which he submitted to this site on Wednesday 10 February 2010.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Steve Spurgin who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Wednesday 10 February 2010.
'Hi Sean - How nice to hear from you.
I will be happy to add something for your use. Hopefully it will be something that is of value. Everyone who knows Gene has probably already said the same thing I would say, but here goes...
In a musical world that most times seems to have lost its way, it is a comfort to know that someone like Gene Watson is still singing and performing the type of country music that has lasting value.
Not only does he possess one of the finest voices in the real country music genre, he is also one of the nicest and most sincerely likeable people I know'.
Thank you, Steve Spurgin, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Steve Spurgin...
Steve Spurgin's life of music began early, starting with lessons in classical piano at the age of five, moving on to French horn and choral training in school. The performing bug bit in the early 1960s when Steve picked up a folk guitar and started entertaining his school mates with the songs of his heroes such as Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot.
In the summer of 1965, fresh out of high school, the first paying job in music came along and Steve Spurgin launched a professional career that has touched on five decades and entered a new century.
After playing folk music in and around Dallas, Texas for a few years, Steve Spurgin moved to the Los Angeles area in the late 1960s, bought a set of drums and spent the next fifteen years providing the backbeat for various rock bands, an electric bluegrass band (way ahead of its time!), Freddy Fender (Friday 4 June 1937 - Saturday 14 October 2006), Mason Williams, The Limeliters and Byron Berline’s cutting-edge country/bluegrass band Sundance, which also included Vince Gill.
During his time in California, Steve Spurgin also did studio session work on the drums, as well as voice-over work on local and national television and radio commercials.
In 1983, Steve Spurgin moved back to Texas and got into the straight honky tonk scene for a while before grabbing an electric bass and once again joining Bryon Berline, along with Dan Crary and John Hickman, in a band that became California, after adding John Moore on mandolin.
In 1989, Bryon Berline, Dan Crary, John Hickman and Steve Spurgin, known collectively as California, saw the release, on Sugarhill Records, of their album, 'Now They Are Four' (Sugarhill Records, 1989).
In 1992, Bryon Berline, Dan Crary, John Hickman and Steve Spurgin, known collectively as California, saw the release, on Sugarhill Records, of their album 'Traveler' (Sugarhill Records, 1992).
California went on to earn three consecutive IBMA 'Instrumental Group Of The Year' Awards and travelled over much of the world performing its brand of power bluegrass music before disbanding after a multi-year run.
During all this, Steve Spurgin pursued his true passion - song-writing. He spent three years as a Nashville staff writer for The Welk Music Group, assigned to Gene Watson and Reba McEntire.
This association saw many of Steve Spurgin’s songs recorded as well as producing two major country-market hits for Gene Watson; 'Speak Softly (You're Talking To My Heart)' (No.9, 1982) and 'Carmen' (No.32, 1986).
With a BMI Award in hand, Steve Spurgin then started his own publishing company and began writing songs from the heart, with emphasis on quality and personal style. Those of you familiar with his material will recognise some of the results; songs such as 'She Always Smelled Like Lilacs', 'Muley Was A Railroad Man', 'Band Of Angels' and 'A Walk In The Irish Rain' have been circulated far and wide. 'A Walk In The Irish Rain', in particular, has been recorded by dozens of different artists, both in the United States and Europe.
In 1994, after winning the prestigious 'New Folk' Award at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Steve Spurgin began concentrating on a solo approach to his career and became one of the most distinctive and enjoyable singer/songwriters that Texas could boast.
During his career, Steve Spurgin has seen the release of a number of highly acclaimed albums; 'Distant Faces' (Hollywood Records, 1996) and 'Tumbleweed Town' (Tricopolis Records, 2004), the latter including Steve's distinctive version of 'Carmen'.
Gene Watson recorded Steve Spurgin's 'Speak Softly (You're Talking To My Heart)' (co-written by J.D. Mendenhall) and included the track on 'Old Loves Never Die' (MCA Records, 1981); the track reached No.9 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1982.
Gene Watson recorded Steve Spurgin's 'Carmen' and included the track on 'Memories to Burn' (Epic Records, 1985); the track reached No.32 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1986.
Gene Watson recorded Steve Spurgin's 'I Saved Your Place' and included the track on 'Starting New Memories' (Epic Records, 1986).
Jann Browne recorded Steve Spurgin's 'Lovebird' (featuring harmony vocals from Iris Dement) and included the track on 'Tell Me Why' (Curb Records, 1989).
Gene Watson re-recorded Steve Spurgin's 'Speak Softly (You're Talking To My Heart)' (co-written by J.D. Mendenhall) and included the track on 'The Good Ole Days' (Step One Records, 1997).