He’s a native of Palestine, Texas.
Born Gary Gene Watson on October 11, 1943, the country singer is one of seven siblings. They lived in an old school bus remodeled by his father for living quarters and transportation from job to job. They moved around Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
While Watson grew up poor – where he had to work from the time he was six, doing jobs from digging potatoes to picking cotton – the country singer noted that they were a happy family.
He grew up in a close-knit musical family.
Watson said that he could remember singing as far back as he can remember talking.
The family members sang in the local Pentecostal Church as well as with each other for their own pure pleasure of music. His father played guitar and blues harmonica, leading to Watson’s love for blues music.
He always wanted to work on cars.
Watson’s love for cars and trucks began when he got a job picking up scrap metal at a car junkyard. During his teen years, he supported his family by doing auto body repairs.