Gene Watson Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Hit Single “Farewell Party”
With 15 minutes remaining in a studio session led by Country Music Hall of Famer Harold Bradley, Gene Watson decided to record “Farewell Party,” a song he’d been performing on the road for years. The track, recorded in one take and released as the second single off Watson’s album Reflections in 1979, soon became the country legend’s signature song. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, Watson is hitting the road performing his catalogue of hits which includes his new single “Build My Mansion (Next Door to Jesus)” featuring The Isaacs. The single is currently No. 4 on the gospel charts and climbing. Full list of dates available below.
“The band didn’t know the song, so they were making their chord charts on the fly while I was down on one knee in the middle of them singing and playing the guitar,” remembers Watson. “We hadn’t made the ending and when I decided to hit the last high note, the band just went with me. Even the background singers were singing their parts live and in one take. That moment, that’s what you hear on the record.”
“Farewell Party” spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart where it peaked at No. 5. Prior to Watson’s release, the song was recorded by the songwriter, Lawton Williams, as well as artists such as Little Jimmy Dickens, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Bush. Williams was so grateful for Watson’s version that he gifted the Texas native his 1980 BMI Award.
Alan Jackson covered “Farewell Party” on his 1999 tribute album Under the Influence. That same year, Watson and fellow country music legends gathered at the Mother Church of Country Music for the television special “Ryman Country Homecoming.” During the taping, Watson sang “Farewell Party” accompanied by artists such as Waylon Jennings, who released the song in 1969. To watch the video which has over 7 million views, click HERE.
GENE WATSON ON TOUR:
Feb. 09 Spencer Theater Performing Arts Center – Alto, N.M.
Feb. 15 Mainstreet Crossing – Tomball, Texas.
Feb. 16 The New Granbury Live! – Granbury, Texas.
Feb. 23 Star Pavilion At Ameristar Casino – Kansas City, Mo.
Mar. 01 Sumter Opera House – Sumter, S.C.
Mar. 02-03 Orange Blossom Opry – Weirsdale, Fla.
Mar. 06 Florida Strawberry Festival – Plant City, Fla.
Mar. 08 Walhalla Performing Arts Center – Walhalla, S.C.
Mar. 10 Siesta Bay RV Resort – Ft. Myers, Fla.
Mar. 15-16 Ross Country Jamboree – Scottsburg, Ind.
Mar. 29 Coleman Theatre – Miami, Okla.
Mar. 30 Windstone Entertainment Center – Jefferson City, Mo.
Apr. 12 Opry House – Nashville, Tenn.
Apr. 13 Renfro Valley Entertainment Center – Mt. Vernon, Ky.
Apr. 20 Paradise Theatre at Margaritaville Casino – Bossier City, La.
Apr. 27 The Concho Palace – San Angelo, Texas.
May 03 Elijah Clark State Park – Lincolnton, Ga.
May 04 Red Barn Convention Center – Winchester, Ohio.
May 09 Palace Theatre – Corsicana, Texas.
May 10 Waco Hippodrome – Waco, Texas.
May 11 Arlington Music Hall – Arlington, Texas.
May 25 Music City Texas Theatre – Linden, Texas.
Jun. 15 Sugar Creek Casino – Hinton, Okla.
Jun. 21 Golden Nugget Lake Charles Grand Events Center – Lake Charles, La.
Jun. 22 IP Casino & Resort – Biloxi, Miss.
Jun. 28 Mainstreet Crossing – Tomball, Texas.
Jul. 26 Great Texas Balloon Race – Longview, Texas.
Aug. 02 Carl Perkins Theatre Civic Center – Jackson, Tenn.
Aug. 15 Tom Johnson Campground – Marion, N.C.
Aug. 17 The Liberty Showcase – Liberty, N.C.
Aug. 24 Redneck Country Club – Stafford, Texas.
Sept. 20 Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center – Midland, Texas.
Sept. 26 Red River Valley Fair – Paris, Texas.
Sept. 27 Titus County Fair – Mt. Pleasant, Texas.
Oct. 12 Renfro Valley Entertainment Center – Mt. Vernon, Ky.
Oct. 18 The Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Oct. 25-26 Kentucky Opry – Benton, Ky.
Nov. 02 Lebanon High School Gym – Lebanon, Va.
Nov. 08 The Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Nov. 15 Mainstreet Crossing – Tomball, Texas.
ABOUT GENE WATSON:
This masterful country stylist from Houston, Texas has been thrilling audiences for more than 50 years. Gene Watson’s tally of 75 charted titles, 23 Top 10 hits, six No. 1 country records and three No. 1 gospel hits has led to membership in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Houston, TX Music Hall of Fame. Radio listeners are still transfixed whenever classics like “Farewell Party,” “Fourteen Carat Mind” or “Love in the Hot Afternoon” are played. Considered one of the finest pure-country singers of his generation and known as “The Singer’s Singer”, Watson offers up one of the best traditional country shows in the business. In 2017, Watson released My Gospel Roots, which featured the No. 1 Cashbox Country Christian and Christian Servant Chart single “Old Roman Soldier.”