Now there was a song: Gene Watson

ZZ Gene Watson

Gene Watson/photo submitted

By Doug Davis

This week in 1980: three Federal agencies agreed to pay $2.1 billion for bankrupt Penn Central Railroad; 80 people died in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas; in Italy 3,000 people were killed in Europe’s biggest earthquake since 1915; and a singer from Palestine, Texas had his 18th hit record!

Songs come from many different sources and situations. The 1940’s song “No One Will Ever Know” was written while the co-writer Mel Foree was serving on guard duty in the U.S. Navy.

According to Foree, “Fred Rose was in New York on business and he invited me to join him. I was in the Navy at the time, but managed to get a three day pass. One afternoon while we were walking down Broadway, Fred told me about an idea for a song he had in mind and asked me if I would try my hand at working on it. I told him I would try to work on his idea and he told me to just “cry my heart out in the lyrics.”

We ended our visit and I returned to base and as soon as I got back, I was assigned to guard duty. While I was walking back and forth on the post, I started thinking about the idea that Fred had told me about and I wrote the lyrics to “No One Will Ever Know” that night while on duty. A few days later I finished a lead sheet on the song and mailed it to Fred Rose. He made a few changes and then played the song for Roy Acuff. Roy liked the song immediately and recorded it in 1945.

Frank Ifield recorded the song in 1966 and scored a number 42 hit on it. Gene Watson recorded “No One Will Ever Know” in 1980 and his version peaked at number 13. It was his 18th charted song and was on the charts for 14 weeks.


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