“Farewell Party” is a song by lyricist Lawton Williams. Lawton, originally, made the very first recording of the track in 1960. After a year (1961), Little Jimmy Dickens covered the same tune. Apart from the aforementioned artists, American country musicians Johnny Bush and Gene Watson made their own versions. The last was Alan Jackson who put “Farewell Party” on his Under the Influence album.
You’ll be free at the end of my farewell party
But I’ll go away loving you
In February 1979, Capitol released Gene Watson’s cover as the second single from the album Reflections. The song occupied the 5th spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Even though it was not able to make it to the top of the charts, “Farewell Party”, as many consider, is Watsons’ signature song. In addition, it is the most popular version. Funny enough, he even named his band Farewell Party Band.
Every Gene’s major hit is in his collection, his signature song “Farewell Party” was not left out. One time, Gene Watson said that he had been singing the song in clubs for several years. He did this before he finally recorded it. To his belief, everybody really liked the song.
He admitted that he got this impression that nobody wanted him to record the song. For the reason that they thought the track was too sad. However, it was a song he had in his mind that he had to record.
Mr. Watson knew how people reacted to it, and it was simply phenomenal. Most people, no matter how happy they try to act or appear, have this kind of loneliness. That is one of the spices of life. According to Gene, the song just seemed to have the power to get inside people’s hearts and just tear at them. He saw that when he performed it. “Farewell Party” had all the qualities to dig deep into the people’s heart and soul—something they can never forget.
Shockingly, Watson’s classic tune may not have been a hit if he had not had some extra time left in the recording studio. Gene Watson vividly remembered that they had 20 minutes left at the end of the session. Then, he thought that he would give the song a run. On the original recording, we can say that it was the first cut. In addition, he revealed that it was just one of the magical things that happened.
In 2002, Gene Watson became an inductee into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Also, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Houston Music Hall of Fame in August 2013.