Gene Watson Bids Farewell to Paisley Party

Brody Vercher | January 19th, 2009

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  1. [...] Gene was to release one further album on Warner Brothers, but he had no more hit singles. He has recorded for various indie labels since, and recently made the news when Brad Paisley invited him to open a show for him in Memphis. [...]
  1. Zach
    January 19, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I haven’t read the lyrics yet, but I hope you’re not trying to discredit Sligh’s writing ability simply because it’s his first cut. And I know you guys generally strongly dislike Rascal Flatts (I’m there with you), but I don’t think it’s right to take a shot at them for passing up the “A-list catalog” to pick up a song from a first-time writer. Hope that wasn’t the attempt.

  2. Jim Malec
    January 19, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I wrote that news blurb, and there’s no hidden motive. I just think it’s funny that being on American Idol, a show which requires no songwriting talent, allows you to leapfrog hundreds of extremely talented writers who (no doubt) have dozens of fantastic songs.

  3. Sam G.
    January 19, 2009 at 11:48 am

    To be fair about Chris Sligh, he is building a reputation for himself as a promising singer/songwriter in the Christian music category, so it’s not as much of an oddball pick as you’d first think.

  4. ccdixon
    January 19, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Many thanks for the mention. :)

    Re: the new RF single – Clint Lagerberg (the co-writer on “Here Comes Goodbye”) posted a blog about the story behind the song.

  5. PaulaW
    January 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    @ ccdixon — thanks for the link to that blog. That in itself leads me to believe that it wasnt so much the AI connection as it was the Craig Wiseman / Big Loud Shirt connection that actually got it to the “Flatts camp”. So although it might not be from the “A list” writers, it is still definitely strongly associated with said list. I’ll be listening for the song.

  6. Pierce
    January 19, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Hmmm, I heard the clip of the Flatts song – seems like they succeeded in writing specifically for Flatts.

    LeVox also sounds a little different on this track… doesn’t extend up into that upper register of his voice as much.

    I’ll be interested in hearing the full track.

  7. Matt B.
    January 19, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Jim,

    I doubt that Chris Sligh’s being on American Idol had anything to due with the song being picked up.

  8. Jim Malec
    January 19, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I am 100% positive that it did. Because I think if Chris Sligh were just a guy who happened to move to Nashville, it would take 5-7 years before he was able to develop the connections needed to land a top tier cut.

    Unless the song is absolutely incredible. Which it may be. But I doubt it. Not because he’s not talented (he may be) but because there aren’t a lot of absolutely incredible songs in the world.

    So no, I disagree, Matt–I am sure his being on AI had something to do with in. There’s nothing wrong with that, but let’s be realistic.

  9. Matt B.
    January 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    oops. Spelled that wrong. After reading the story behind the song it looks as if the co-writer is the one who made the song happen (along with Craig Wiseman’s “Big Loud Shirt” publishing company).

  10. Razor X
    January 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Every once in a while, even The New York Times gets something right. :)

  11. Peter
    January 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Yes they did Razor, except for her hometown (Pikeville, not Pineville) and the title of the Gretchen Peters song she performed. But other than that…. :)

  12. J.R. Journey
    January 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I think I agree with Jim – if Chris Sligh hadn’t had the immediate recognition a show like American Idol brings, he wouldn’t even be able to have his song played for the Flatts boys.

    And thanks for the link to the Rosanne Cash piece in the NY Times. It’s been several months since she’s had a new column up. What an amazing story too – we all knew Johnny Cash had rhythm, but examples are always valuable.

  13. Matt B.
    January 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    J.R.,

    According to the co-writer, Clint Lagerberg, This song was pushed and promoted by HIM and his publishers, not Sligh or his publisher. It’s that simple.

  14. Jim Malec
    January 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    And I’m sure Clint never mentioned he wrote it with that guy from AI.

  15. Rick
    January 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I can’t believe you guys are arguing about something that involves both Rascal Flatts and American Idol as they both are irrelevant to real country music.(lol)

    Patty Loveless sang four songs off “Sleepless Nights” on A Prairie Home Companion this past Saturday and sounded great. I don’t own the “Sleepless Nights” album and was surprised at how musically awkward the title song was and wished sshe had chosen any other song off the album rather than that cut.

    Its nice that Brad Paisley introduced his concert audience to a great talent like Gene Watson. I would venture to guess the vast majority of audience members had absolutely no idea who Gene is because the radio stations Brad’s fans listen to never play his great older songs. What a shame…

  16. Peter
    January 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Rick, that title track took awhile to sink into my ears too and now it’s my fave off the album – ya don’t often hear a key change in the middle of a verse and i think that’s what may have caused the “awkwardness”

  17. Sam G.
    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I didn’t know there was so much power in finishing in 10th place on American Idol two years ago. I’m sure there was a huge demand for songs from one of the people who did worse than Sanjaya Malakar.

  18. Jim Malec
    January 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    This isn’t how it works. You don’t meet up with an A-list writer and get your first cut on a Rascal Flatts disc unless you’re amazing. Actually, it doesn’t happen even if you’re amazing.

    There’s a reason they say Nashville is a seven year town. The fact that Sligh was about to jump around that? Of course it has something to do with Idol.

    It’s not a criticism, I’d do it to. Good on him for exploiting his resources. But it’s a glaring example of what’s wrong with the Nashville system.

  19. Chris D.
    January 19, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    You also said the writers on Flatts records have to be amazing, and I definitely disagree…

    Yeah, Sligh being on AI has to have something to with it.

    Rick, the title track is by far my favorite track on the album, just keep listening to it!

  20. Rick
    January 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Peter and Chris D., the key change definitely threw me for a loop as this was my first encounter with the song “Sleepless Nights”. I can understand how these types of songs can grow on you as that happened with me on Shelby Lynne’s “Where Do We Go From Here” on her excellent early western swing album “Temptation”. It took my brain a few times through that song to adapt to key changes that baffled me initially.

  21. Leeann Ward
    January 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    The title track from Patty’s album is my favorite too!

  22. Razor X
    January 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    “You don’t meet up with an A-list writer and get your first cut on a Rascal Flatts disc unless you’re amazing.”

    If you’re that amazing, why not hold out for someone amazing to record your song, instead of settling for Rascal Flatts?

  23. Rick
    January 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Rick’s Random Tidbits: Think mainstream country radio can’t get any worse? Guess again! Clear Channel is about to begin a big restructuring that will affect its radio stations nationwide. The details are discussed in this article in the New York Post:

    Link: http://www.nypost.com/seven/01162009/business/clear_channel_plans_revamp_150374.htm

    The paragraph that makes me cringe most is:

    “Clear Channel is also likely to move toward a ‘national programming’ model that would require less local-level staffing, despite being criticized in the past for a similar action using centralized disc jockeys that made it appear as though they were broadcasting from local stations.”

    Uhoh….

  24. Matt B.
    January 19, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Clear Channel is the worst. That being said, they’re cutting mostly unproductive sales staffers and likely are willing to cut free overpriced hacks as well.

  25. Nashville4U
    January 19, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Aside from doing the media thing I also work in the industry and I can agree with Jim that writers do not get A-list cuts unless they are on a show like American Idol, have a connected family member, or put in their dues. In Nashville it is longer than other scenes so to start getting A-list cuts you are going to have to put in 2-3 good cuts as well as have a good catalog and play the politics that are Nashville. If Chris sligh wasn’t on the show then he wouldn’t have gotten the cut.

  26. Jim Malec
    January 20, 2009 at 12:28 am

    “If you’re that amazing, why not hold out for someone amazing to record your song, instead of settling for Rascal Flatts?”

    Because you’ll make a freakin’ boatload of cash. I’d rather have a Rascal Flatts cut than any other artist in Nashville. It’s guaranteed money.

  27. Razor X
    January 20, 2009 at 8:27 am

    “Because you’ll make a freakin’ boatload of cash. I’d rather have a Rascal Flatts cut than any other artist in Nashville. It’s guaranteed money.”

    I’d rather be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing that I didn’t contribute to the further destruction of this genre.

  28. Razor X
    January 20, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Rick, re:

    “Clear Channel is also likely to move toward a ‘national programming’ model that would require less local-level staffing, despite being criticized in the past for a similar action using centralized disc jockeys that made it appear as though they were broadcasting from local stations.”

    Haven’t they been doing that all along?

  29. Paula_W
    January 20, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I’d take a Flatts cut for sure. :-)

  30. CMW
    January 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    A quote from Chris Sligh in a post on the CMT Blog:

    After [co-writer Clint Lagerberg] and I turned that song in last April, our publisher called the next day and was squealing ‘You got a Rascal Flatts hold.’ I didn’t even know what that meant.

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