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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

Watercolour Ponies (1987)

Updated: Mar 15


Watercolour Ponies is the fifth studio album by Christian singer - songwriter Wayne Watson, released in 1987 on DaySpring/Word Records. Watson co-produced the album with Paul Mills.


Watercolour Ponies became a breakthrough and benchmark for Watson, showcasing his growth and maturity as a singer and songwriter. The lead single "Friend of a Wounded Heart," co-written with songwriter Claire Cloninger, gave him his first number one song on the Christian AC chart and was a multi-format hit on Christian CHR and Inspirational radio charts. The self-written title song was another number one and multi-format hit as well. Both tracks were

recognized by CCM Magazine in 2006 in their book The 100 Greatest Songs in Christian Music with "Friend of a Wounded Heart" ranking at number 77 and

"Watercolour Ponies" ranking at number 68.


According to Watson, the title song was born in the family kitchen. Watson was sitting at the kitchen counter and noticed a school painting by his son Adam, sticking to the refrigerator door. Watson said, "It sort of looked like a pony but there were elements and other things I couldn't identify. The house was cluttered with kid stuff; I thought of how soon the clutter would change to other stuff and then be gone altogether. It helped me take a deep breath and appreciate the gift in front of me-children in my care." The song was later released as a children's book Watson authored in 1992.


Other songs also charted from the album including "Material Magic," "I Still Believe" and "Would I Know You." Watercolour Ponies was a big seller and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart. Watson won his first Dove Awards: the album won Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year in 1988 and the following year won Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for co-writing "Friend of a Wounded Heart" with Cloninger. Watson earned his first Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Performance, Male for the album.


Watson also released a live concert video on VHS titled Wayne Watson - In Concert in 1987 performing songs from Watercolour Ponies as well as two songs from his previous album Giants in the Land.


NOTE: Christian country artist Susan Ashton provided backing vocals and was a guest vocalist on the title song. She was credited by her birth name Susan Rae Hill on this album.


Track listing

All songs were written by Wayne Watson, except where noted.


1. I Still Believe (Wayne Watson, Paul Mills) -6:54

2. Material Magic -4:08

3. Watercolour Ponies (guest vocals by Susan Ashton) -4:40

4. Friend of a Wounded Heart (Wayne Watson, Claire Cloninger) -5:25

5. Is There No Harbor (Wayne Watson, Phil Naish) -4:39

6. 2 Loves -6:03

7. Rose Coloured Glasses -4:56

8. The Hunger -4:57

9. Jesus Sings -5:29

10. Would I Know You -3:47


Accolades

Dove Award -1988 Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year (Watercolour Ponies)

1989 Male Vocalist of the Year

1989 Song of the Year ("Friend of a Wounded Heart" by Wayne

Watson and Claire Cloninger)


Radio singles

1987 "Friend of a Wounded Heart" -#5 Christian CHR, #1 Christian AC for 6 weeks

1987 "Material Magic" -#2 Christian CHR, #2 Christian AC

1987 -1988 "Watercolour Ponies" -#12 Christian CHR, #1 Christian AC for 2 weeks

1988 "I Still Believe" -#9 Christian CHR, #36 Christian AC

1988 "Would I Know You" -#13 Christian AC


Previous release: Giants in the Land (1985)

Next release: The Fine Line (1988)

Watch the live concert video Wayne Watson - In Concert here:


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