Weatherford Democrat

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July 3, 2013

Hall of fame singer Watson returns to Texas Opry Theater

Some tickets remain, but show expected to sell out by Saturday showtime

Celebrating 50 years as a country music singer and songwriter, Gene Watson returns to the Texas Opry Theater this Saturday.

In 1962, Watson began his professional career by recording his first single.

This is not Watson’s first time to step onto the Texas Opry Theater stage. He played the downtown Weatherford venue several times between 2002 and 2006 – each show a sell out. Since his last time to play here, Watson has been inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.

Opening Saturday’s show for Watson and The Farewell Party Band is The Amazing Made in Texas Showtime Band, formerly the Granbury Live Band. The show is 3-6 p.m. at the theater, located at 319 York Ave. Tickets can be purchased online at texasoprytheater.com (look for the “Buy Now” button) or by calling 817-341-1000.

About three-fourths of the theater’s 475-seats had been sold as of early Tuesday afternoon and promoters expect the show to sell out before Saturday’s showtime.

Watson shared some of his memories from 50 years in the country music business, which began when he was 19 years old.

“I didn’t know what I was doing,” he chuckled. “I think maybe I was dreaming a little bit. Who knows what’s going through your mind back then? I was playing nightclubs here and there and decided it might be good if I could record a song.

“My first recording ever was on a little ole independent label that was started up just for this recording session, Sun Valley Records. Maybe I thought I could sell them at my shows or something. I wrote the record, “If It Was That Easy.” It was not any good, but, boy, I thought that was something. I had my own record.”

He might not have known what he was doing in 1962, but he does now. Gene Watson has re-recorded his classic hits on an extraordinary, 25-song collection titled, “The Best of the Best.” His ageless voice sounds exactly as it did when he first recorded these songs in the 1970s and 1980s. The legendary Sonny Garrish reprises the steel-guitar playing he performed during the original recording sessions, and the rest of the players recreate the original arrangements.

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