The 10 Best Gene Watson Songs of All-Time

Gene Watson

Texas-born and raised Gene Watson officially began his music career in 1962, performing in local clubs at night while working at an auto body shop during the day. The start of his recording career saw a few regional releases until he was signed with Capitol Records in 1975. Now at a national success level, Watson was at the peak of his career from the mid-1970s until the early 1980s that not only saw hit singles reach US Billboard country charts but crossed into US Billboard Hot 100 charts as well. In 2002, Watson was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2013, into the Houston Music Hall of Fame. In 2018, Watson received Entertainer of the Year from the R.O.P.E. Awards. On January 17, 2020, Watson was invited by Vince Gill to join the Grand Ole Opry and was officially inducted on February 7, 2020. The sixty-year-long career of Gene Watson in the entertainment industry so far sees thirty-three studio albums to his credit, along with eight compilation albums, five music videos, and sixty-one singles. From 1975 until 1992, Watson’s released singles became charted hits, most of them reaching within the top forty among Canadian and American country music charts.

10. Don’t Waste It on the Blues

 

(Don’t Waste It on the Blues) served to be the final top ten hit for Gene Watson as it peaked as high as number five on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at number six on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart. The 1989 Year-End chart for the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart saw Don’t Waste It on the Blues register at number eighty-nine while on same annual chart for Canada placed the single at number seventy-three. From the album, (Back in the Fire), it was also the first of four singles that were released from it.

9. Memories to Burn

 

In 1985, (Memories to Burn) was the second of three singles released from the album, which was also titled (Memories to Burn). On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the single peaked at number one and on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart, it peaked at number two.

8. Pick the Wildwood Flower

 

The third of three singles from Gene Watson’s 1978 album, (Reflections), was (Pick the Wildwood Flower), which became a number five hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1979. On the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart, the single peaked at number five. On the Year-End US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, Pick the Wildwood Flower registered at number thirty-six.

7. Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy)

 

(Should I Come Home (Or Should I Go Crazy)) was the title track from Gene Watson’s 1979 album and became a number three hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. On the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart, it peaked as high as number six. It also became the cover song for Joe Nichols, who recorded it in 2005 for his album, III.

6. You’re Out Doing What I’m Here Doing Without

 

On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, (You’re Out Doing What I’m Here Doing Without) peaked at number two in 1983. On the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart, this single peaked at number five. The Year-End US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart saw You’re Out Doing What I’m Here Doing Without at number forty-eight. The single was the first of two released from the album, (Sometimes I Get Lucky)

5. Nothing Sure Looked Good on You

 

The album, (Should I Come Home) was released in 1979, and (Nothing Sure Looked Good on You) was the second of three singles that were released from it. In 1980, on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it peaked at number four and was a number three hit on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart. Nothing Sure Looked Good on You was also charted at number forty-five on the 1980 Year-End US Billboard Hot Country Songs list that keeps track of all the favored hits that have been released throughout the year.

4. Love in the Hot Afternoon

 

In 1975, (Love in the Hot Afternoon) served as Gene Watson’s first big breakthrough hit as it peaked as high as number three on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the Canadian RPM Canadian Country Tracks chart. It was the second of four singles the album, also titled (Love in the Hot Afternoon) released, as well as the most successful. Vicki Lawrence covered the single from a woman’s perspective in 1977 and it was covered in 2010 by Bonnie Billy and Matt Sweeney for the Adult Swim Singles Program.

3. Paper Rosie

 

(Paper Rosie) was originally recorded by Dallas Harms in 1975, which charted at number twenty-one on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart at the time. In 1977, Gene Watson’s Paper Rosie managed to peak at number one on the same Canadian chart, as well as number three on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It was the first and only time Gene Watson realized a chart-topping hit in Canada. The 1977 Year-End of the US Billboard Hot Country Songs charted Paper Rosie at number eighteen.

2. Fourteen Carat Mind

 

(Fourteen Carat Mind) was released in 1981 and became the first and only single recorded by Gene Watson that became a chart-topping hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. On the Canadian RPM Country Tracks, it peaked at number five. It was the first of two singles released from Watson’s album, (Old Loves Never Die), as well as the most successful. The appeal and popularity of the song were covered in 1991 by the Osborne Brothers for their album, Hillbilly Fever, as did Daniel Donato for his 2021 album, Cosmic Country & Western Songs.

1. Farewell Party

 

Not only did (Farewell Party) become Gene Watson’s signature song, but served as the namesake to the Farewell Party Band. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it peaked as high as number five, and on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart at number nine. Farewell Party was originally recorded by Lawton Williams in 1960, then recorded by Little Jimmy Dickens in 1961. Johnny Bush and Waylon Jennings, but it was Watson’s 1979 version that was released as a single and earned a place on the music charts between Canada and the US. On the Year-End chart of the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, Farewell Party was ranked at number twenty-nine for 1979.

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