Gene Watson

Love in the Hot Afternoon

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Gene Watson's first album included the hits "Love in the Hot Afternoon," "Where Love Begins," and "You Could Know as Much About a Stranger." Relying wholly on outside material, there wasn't much distinctive to Watson's approach to set him aside as a major talent. But his understated brand of country-pop with a honky tonk flavor was pleasing enough, and he was savvy enough to take material by some superior writers, like "Bad Water" (which was co-written by Jackie DeShannon), "Through the Eyes of Love" (by Jack Clement), and "For the First Time" (by Jessi Colter). Much of this mix of romantic ballads and moderately uptempo tunes was routine in melody and lyrical focus, though "This Is My Year for Mexico" added a nice Tex-Mex touch. But Watson did bring an unfettered sincerity to the proceedings, and the production, featuring top Nashville session cats like Charlie McCoy and Hargus "Pig" Robbins, didn't try to lay on too much. Love in the Hot Afternoon was paired with Watson's third album, 1977's Paper Rosie, on a 2002 single-disc CD reissue by Hux.

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