[Back to TCMHOF]
Texas Country Music Hall of Fame
Gene Watson &
the Farewell Party Band
Gene Watson was born in Palestine, Texas, in 1943. He began his music career in the early 1970's performing in local clubs at night while working in a Houston auto body shop during the day. His national success came when Capitol Records picked up his album "Love in the Hot Afternoon." It continued throughout the late 1970's and early 1980's, as he recorded several Billboard top-40 hits, including Where Love Begins, Paper Rosie, Should I Go Home or Should I Go Crazy, Nothing Sure Looked Good on You, and Farewell Party, which became his signature song and the namesake of his Farewell Party Band.
Gene continues to tour with his band and is still putting out the hits. He and his band are popular everywhere they go and have a very large fan base. He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002.
Barbara Fairchild has been performing since she was five years old. She moved to Branson in 1992 to perform on the Mel Tillis Show and has been an important member of the Branson community, now hosting her own show.
Throughout Fairchild's exciting career she has received many awards and honors. Her nomination for two prestigious Grammy awards, one for her #1 hit, The Teddy Bear Song and the other for Lullaby for Teddy highlighted her career. She is recognized as one of the finest female entertainers in country music. Many who visit her show in Branson come back again and again because of the great entertainment and the personal connection they feel after seeing and meeting her. Throughout her travels across the United States, she has a message to share that entertains, inspires, and encourages others everywhere she goes.
Ronnie McDowell has an amazing string of hit songs that he has amassed over the years, but it is his riveting stage presence and genuine warmth that brings people to see his performances again and again. Following the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, McDowell came out of nowhere to dazzle the world with his heartfelt and self-penned tribute song, The King is Gone. The record took off immediately and has sold more than 5 million copies.
McDowell scored a second hit title I Love You, I Love You, I Love You". Between 1979 and 1986 every single release became a Top 10 hit including the chart toppers Older Women, You're Going to Ruin My Bad Reputation, Watching Girls Go By, You Made a Wanted Man of Me, and In a New York Minute. In 1986 he scored a Top 10 hit with It's Only Make Believe, a duet with Conway Twitty. Two years later he teamed up with Jerry Lee Lewis for a rocking duet that McDowell wrote titled You're Never Too Old to Rock 'n Roll. He also recorded another Top 10 hit with his version of the pop standard Unchained Melody, which also became a #1 country music video. McDowell continues to entertain audiences with his own blend of romantic intimacy and country excitement and seems to grow better with each passing year.
Moore and Moore
Having sung together all their lives, twin sisters Debbie and Carrie Moore have a special close-knit harmony. Adept at working an audience and making them a part of their performance, Moore and Moore give the all-out kind of show that comes from the heart.
In the late 90's, they toured with the Statler Brothers and many of the top country artists. Over the years, they have received numerous awards including "Country Duo of the Year" and Internet "Entertainer of the Year". Hosting duties are on the agenda for Debbie and Carrie as filming has begun for a new show "Show Me Your Country". The musical blend of their voices that were born to sing together, the sense of humor complimented by the best in upbeat country songs make for a really great show.
With a string of hits, both as an artist and a writer, Ed Bruce has maintained a successful career for more than four decades. Mamma's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys, After All, When You Fall in Love Everything's a Waltz, My First Taste of Texas, and The Last Cowboy Song are just a few of the self-penned hit songs from this great artist. Then there's Texas When I Die and The Man That Turned My Mama On which were giant hits for Tanya Tucker.
In 1963, See the Big Man Cry recorded by Charlie Louvin earned Bruce his first BMI award. He has had a varied career, working in radio, television and movies. In the late 70's, he represented the Volunteer State as "The Tennessean" in a nationwide campaign promoting tourism. Ed Bruce's career now spans both sides of the Atlantic. He has gained an enormous following in Europe and performs there at least once a year.
In the 1960's, Joe Stampley was the main singer for the rock group, The Uniques based in Shreveport, Louisiana. They recorded Not Too Long Ago and one year later, they followed with All These Things. In 1971, Stampley recorded seven country albums that produced such hits as Soul Song, Too Far Gone, I'm Still Loving You, and the remake of All These Things as a two-step, which reached #1 on the country chart. He released thirteen albums that included such hits as Roll on Big Mama, Red Wine and Blue Memories, If You've Got Ten Minutes Let's Fall in Love, Do You Ever Fool Around, and I'm Gonna Love You Back to Lovin' Me Again.
Billboard Top Country Singles rank Stampley 52nd among all country artists from 1944-1993 for charted singles. In 1976, Stampley had eight singles which charted on the Billboard country charts and was awarded "Billboard's Single Artist of the Year" for that accomplishment. During the height of his success, Stampley began teaming up with Moe Bandy on a string of duets, and they were recognized as the Country Music Association's 1980 "Vocal Duo of the Year" and the Academy of Country Music's Vocal Duo award for two consecutive years.
Tommy Overstreet grew up in Houston and Abilene, Texas. He decided on a singing career when he was very young, influenced by his cousin, "Uncle Gene Austin." Austin was a singing star of the 1920's and 1930's. He sang on country and western star Slim Willet's television show in Abilene and in the late 1950's, started a group called "The Shadows".
In 1967, Overstreet was hired to manage Dot Records in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1970, he decided to pursue a recording career, quickly establishing himself as a country hit maker with a top hit Gwen. He made frequent guest appearances on the TV variety show Hee Haw. Over the years he had many top-20 hits which included: I don't Know You Anymore, Heaven is My Woman's Love, Jeannie Marie You Were a Lady, I'm a Believer, and Ann, Don't Go Runnin'.