Gene Watson, a highly respected traditional vocalist that steamrolled the Billboard charts for more than a decade beginning with breakout 1975 hit “Love In The Hot Afternoon,” will be appearing at the Marion Cultural & Civic Center at 7 p.m. Friday.

Doors open at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $46, $33 and $27 and can be purchased at the Civic Center or by calling 618-997-4030.

The show is sponsored by The Kentucky Opry.

Watson is the unforgettable voice behind powerhouse ballad “Farewell Party,” which consistently appears on Top 10 lists of greatest country songs of all time, and other hits like “Nothing Sure Looked Good On You,” “Paper Rosie,” “I Don't Need A Thing At All” and his No. 1 single “14 Carat Mind.”

The 73-year-old native Texan. He was sweating out a living working in an auto body shop when he launched his career in Houston-area clubs during the mid-1960s. He honed his craft for several years on the rough road house circuit before regional success with “Bad Water” led to a major record deal.

Watson released his 33rd studio album, “Real Country Music,” last year and the project's first single, “Enough For You,” was written by Kris Kristofferson.

— Vince Hoffard

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