In the mid-seventies, Gene Watson came to country music to carry on the tradition of “real country” pioneered by George Jones and Ray Price in the 1950s and 1960s. His music may have had certain changes, but country music’s true spirit and quality remained the same. He modernized the genre with lyrical and musical changes that enhanced the sound’s traditional influence.
Watson first made a name for himself on the charts in 1975 with his breakthrough tune “Love in the Hot Afternoon.” The song charted at number three on Billboard. Since then, he has risen to prominence on the charts. Until the 2010s, he performed songs with various themes. “Farewell Party” is one of his songs that charted and captured the hearts of music fans.
Lawton Williams wrote and first recorded the song in 1960, and Little Jimmy Dickens followed the song after a year. Watson’s version was released in February 1979 as the second single from his album Reflections. Aside from peaking at Number 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, country fanatics consider the track as Watson’s signature song. After the song’s success, Watson named his band Farewell Party Band.
Watson narrated that he sang the song in clubs for several years before he put it into a record. He believed that many would be delighted if he releases the song as a single off his album that year. The song’s theme may be sad but a lot would relate to the feeling of loneliness whenever someone is set to say goodbye. As you listen to the song, you can’t help but remember the people who parted ways with you.
Awards and Achievements
Gene Watson was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002. Also, he was honored at the Houston Music Hall of Fame in August 2013. He shared his music for over 4 decades. He notched five Number 1 songs, 23 on the top 10 and over 76 singles that landed on the chart.