Dick's Hot Pix
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The Gatlin Bros.
Over 40 years ago, Larry, Steve, and Rudy Gatlin started singing in their hometown of Abilene, Texas, and from there went on to make music history. Over the course of a four-decade career that has taken the Gatlin brothers from dusty Texas stages to White House performances, from Broadway to Grammy Awards to the top of the country charts, there has been one unifying element, music. Thereís no harmony quite as pure as family harmony. ìGatlin harmonies spin with high and light precision and their music bleeds and screams of love and a lot of living.î Country Capsule in New York.
After high school, Larry went to the university of Houston on a football scholarship. He majored in English and quickly developed ìa love affair with the English languageî that later served him well in his song writing. On the strength of his song writing talents and exceptional vocal ability, his life was changed by the legendary Dottie West who saw gold just under the unpolished surface of young Gatlin. The early 70ís found Steve and Rudy in college while Larry, aided by West, moved to Nashville to write songs that would be recorded by names like Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Streisand, Tom Jones, and yes, Elvis Presley.
In 1972, Larry landed a solo deal with Monument Records through friend Kris Kristofferson and invited his siblings up to Nashville to sing backup on his first two albumsñ1974ís The Pilgrim and 1975ís Rain Rainbow. The release of The Pilgrim landed Gatlin his first hit with ìSweet Becky Walker,î and then found himself at #1 on the charts the next year with ìBroken Lady,î a song that captured him a Grammy in '76. The same year all three brothers were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. 1977ís High Time, credited to ìLarry Gatlin with Brothers and Friends,î featured the No. 1 hit ìI Just Wish You Were Someone I Love.î The success of this album encouraged the brothers to become an official trio and in 1979, they signed a group deal with Columbia records. When demand from hit records sent them on the road, The Gatlin Brothers proved more than capable of fulfilling the musical call on their lives. In concert, their performances were simply magical events, filled with incredible family harmonies, total professionalism, and downright fun for both the trio and their audiences. Over the next decade the Brothers scored more than a dozen Top 40 hits, including ìDenver,î ìHouston (Mean That Iím One Day Closer To You),î ìMidnight Choir (Mogen David),î and ìShe Used To Be Somebody's Baby,î ì Don't Want To Cry,î ìStatues Without Hearts,î ìWhat Are We Doing Lonesome,î ìIíve Done Enough Dyiní Today,ì ìTake Me To Your Loviní Place,î ìNight Time Magic,î ìLove Is Just A Game,î ìThe Lady Takes The Cowboy Every Time,î and ìTalkiní To The Moon.î It was also in í79 that Larry Gatlin won the ACMís ìTop Male Vocalist,î ìStraight Aheadî won ìAlbum of the Year,î and ìAll The Gold In Californiaî won ìSingle of the Year.î
Larry, Steve and Rudy love to sing together. Raised on Gospel music, the brothers first began entertaining audiences in churches and appearances on the Slim Willet radio and TV show in Abilene when they were 2, 4, 6 years old. ìRudy could barely sing at the time and we all dressed in cowboy suits and looked real cute,î recalls Steve. While their talents have since blossomed far beyond just looking cute, the brothers still maintain their passion for the music they were reared on. ìGospel music was our first love and always will be. it is where we learned to sing,î says Rudy. Larry says their history as ìGospel music junkiesî came from those early roots. ìOur folks took us to those Southern style quartet concerts and it was love at first sound!î ìMy first hero was James Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet-I just knew somehow from that moment that I wanted to be a singer for the rest of my lifeî says Larry. The Gatlin Brothers paid tribute to their roots with the release of ìGatlin Brothers Gospel,î a CD of six standards and six originals penned by Larry. ìDo you like the title?î deadpans Steve. ìIt took me hours to come up with that!î
Throughout the 70ís and 80ís, the Gatlin Brothers lit up major marquees and packed concert halls across America. Then, in 1992 after much soul searching and prayer, the brothers made a decision to stop touring. They ended with ìThe Adios Tourî along with an accompanying album release of the same name, and it gave the boys a chance to say goodbye to their fans and for the fans to say goodbye to the Gatlin Brothers. Explains Larry, ìWe just thought our time in the spotlight was probably over. We had a great run and are thankful for it. We felt it was someone elseîs turn in the spot light.î
As Larry says, ìYou know what Bob Dylan saidÖthings they are a changiní,î According to Larry, a promoter in Dover, Delaware ìmade us an offer we couldnít understandîÖso we took it! Since then a popular ground swell, maybe not a large popular ground swell, but a ground sell nontheless, has arisen that has persuaded us to do some selected dates that we are calling ìThe Gatlin Brothers Never Ending Reunion Tour.î
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