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‘3-Minute Stories’

Gatlin Brothers Draw On Life Experiences When Making Music

The Gatlin Brothers

He doesn’t listen to a lot of music for inspiration.

When he is in his car, Rudy Gatlin will surf radio stations just to hear the latest songs.

Rudy and his two brothers, Larry and Steve, have been playing music for more than six decades and all three members draw on life experiences when playing Country music.

“I guess life is the inspiration behind Country music. Songs are really just three-minute stories about all kinds of these life experiences,” Rudy said.

For more than 62 years now, the Gatlin Brothers have entertained audiences in some of the world’s largest venues and from some of the most iconic stages, including the “Grammy Awards,” “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” “Oprah,” “Hee Haw,” “Love Boat,” “The Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack,” and “The Merv Griffin Show.”

Their music is as popular today as it was when they began.

“Popularity and longevity come from making good music that holds up and stands the test of time through the years. If a song or record from years ago still sounds great today, well, that’s the key,” Rudy said.

The Gatlin Brothers have garnered many achievements including a Grammy for Best Country Song (“Broken Lady”), three Academy of Country Music awards for Single of the Year (“All The Gold In California”), Album of the Year (Straight Ahead) and Male Vocalist of the Year for Larry Gatlin, along with five nominations for Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year, Single, Album and Male Vocalist of the Year. The Gatlin Brothers have accumulated seven No. 1 Singles, 32 Top 40 Records, and 22 studio albums.

Larry, who has written all of the trio’s hits, ranks fourth as Solo Writer’s with the most self-penned top 40 Billboard Hits. His song catalog has been recorded by the Who’s Who of entertainers, including Elvis Presley, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Jones, Dottie West, Charlie Rich, Johnny Mathis and dozens of others, securing his legacy as one of Broadcast Music Inc.’s top solo songwriters of all time.

Rudy said technology has helped the music industry. Now bands can record songs quicker and technology makes recording music less expensive.

“Technology has made ‘making records’ better and easier. And, the music just sounds better, thanks to digital,” he said.

For most bands, being on tour is just part of the lifestyle that goes with the territory. Radio, TV and the internet are great outlets, but those outlets don’t compare to seeing a band perform live. Touring is not easy, but it is where bands make connections with their fans.

“Touring is hard work, make no mistake about it. It’s a great life, but it’s definitely not for everybody,” Rudy said.

If he wasn’t making music, Rudy may have run a business. “I’d probably be in business of some sort, or maybe teaching. Really, there’s no tellin’ where I might have ended up. I have interest in all sorts of things.”

The Gatlin Brothers have performed at many famous venues including the White House, the President Reagan Library, Air Force One, Ford’s Theater, Camp David, The Lincoln Theater, with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden Venetian Room, West Point, The Greek Theater, Radio City Music Hall, Disney World and the Wembley Music Festival. They have also entertained U.S. Troops in Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Germany, and many military bases in the U.S. as well.

Larry, Steve & Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers are scheduled to perform Saturday in Warren, Pa., at Struthers Library Theatre, 302 W. Third Ave. Showtime is 8 p.m. For tickets, contact 814-723-7231 or visit strutherslibrarytheatre.com

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