Gene Watson Recalls Larry Gatlin’s Emotional Reaction to His ‘Help Me’ Recording [Exclusive Video]
"Help Me" was written by Larry Gatlin, recorded by Elvis Presley and is now the third track on Gene Watson's newest album, Real. Country. Music. In this exclusive video, Watson tells The Boot's readers why he loves the song and recalls Gatlin's reaction when he first heard Watson's version of the tune.
Prior to recording "Help Me," Watson had heard it sung a few times by the Gatlin Brothers and had listened to Presley's version -- but he wasn't exactly a fan of the latter.
"When Elvis recorded it, he added quite a bit of tempo to it; it was almost a medium- to up-tempo song," Watson explains. "And I love the song, [but] I didn't care for the feel that he had on it."
Still, "Help Me" has been a hugely important part of Watson's personal life: Its confessional, rather desperate lyrics have proven applicable in various situations, the artist says. So, he decided to record "Help Me" for his new record -- at a slow tempo -- and when he was in the studio, something pretty special happened.
"... Somebody tipped [Gatlin] off I was recording it, and he came to the studio while I was recording it, and, of course, he was sitting in the control room, you know, big ol' tears in his eyes," Watson recalls. "What better compliment can an artist have than to have the singer in there and have that much emotion when you record his song?"
“‘The doctor said she’s mighty sick, and she isn’t going to make it much longer,'” Gatlin recalls Cash telling him. “‘This morning, she whispered in my ear. She wants you and those two rascal brothers of yours to sing that “Help Me” song you wrote. That’s her favorite Gatlin Brothers song, and she wants you boys to sing it at her funeral, whenever that is.’
” … It was eight days later,” Gatlin adds. “Brother Steve, Brother Rudy and I were very honored to be able to sing at June’s going away party.”
Five months later, Cash himself passed away, and since then, the Gatlins have played “Help Me” at every show, and they dedicate it each time to Cash and his wife.
Real. Country. Music. is available to order now.
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