Larry, Steve & Rudy, the Gatlin Brothers are Grammy award-winners who have dazzled audiences for more than sixty-seven years. They have accrued a lifetime of noteworthy achievements in their storybook career, including a Grammy for Best Country Song (“Broken Lady”), three ACM awards for Single of the Year (“All The Gold In California”), Album of the Year (Straight Ahead) and Male Vocalist of the Year, along with five nominations for CMA Vocal Group of the Year, Single, Album. The Brothers have accumulated 7 # 1 Singles, 32 Top 40 Records, 24 Studio Albums and 5 BMI “Million-Air” Awards. As a solo writer, Larry ranks 4th on Billboards top 40 self-penned hits. His impressive song catalog has been recorded by the “Who’s Who” of entertainers, including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Kris Kristofferson, Sir Tom Jones, Dottie West, Charlie Rich, Johnny Mathis, and many others, securing his legacy as one of BMI’s top solo songwriters. He was also most recently inducted to the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame.
For more than 67 years, the Gatlin Brothers have entertained audiences in venues and stages all over the world from the Grand Ol’ Opry to Carnegie Hall. They have performed for the Grammy Awards, the American Music Awards, and the People’s Choice Awards. They appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Oprah, Hee-Haw, Love Boat, the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack, the Merv Griffin Show, Solid Gold, the Barbara Mandrell Show and their own variety special on ABC.
Their career began in Abilene, Texas in 1955 when Larry was seven, Steve was four and Rudy was two. The brothers grew up singing gospel music while listening to James Blackwood and the Blackwood Brothers, Hovie Lister, and The Statesmen Quartet as well other accomplished gospel artists. As children the brothers would sing for anyone who would listen. Soon they were singing from coast to coast and appeared at the World’s Fair in 1964 in New York City. They recorded four Gospel records early in their career. In 1966, Larry went to college at the University of Houston where he studied English and Law. In 1971, he auditioned for The Imperials, Elvis’ backup group. While he did not get the job, he met Dottie West, who was the opening act for Jimmy Dean. Dean would later become one of Larry’s oldest and dearest friends. Dottie was initially taken with Larry’s resemblance to Nashville songwriter Mickey Newbury. She told him one night in Las Vegas that he looked so much like Mickey, he had to be able to write great songs too. Encouraged, Larry returned to Houston, wrote eight songs, and sent them to Dottie. She liked them so much she sent him a plane ticket to Nashville.
Through Dottie’s friendship, Larry met Kris Kristofferson, who championed his talents as a writer and singer. Kristofferson’s introduction to Fred Foster at Monument Records resulted in a recording contract with the label. Larry’s first album, The Pilgrim, was released later that year. Johnny Cash wrote the liner notes for the album and dubbed him “The Pilgrim”, a name he called him the rest of his life. At this time Steve and Rudy were still in college at Texas Tech University, but by 1975 they moved to Nashville to join Larry to form the group as we know it today.
The brothers still perform approximately 50 shows per year as well as many performances at the famed Grand Ole’ Opry. They are also in the planning stages of recording some new music. “We are blessed that fans still love our music & attend our shows” says Steve & “we hope to continue as long as that’s the case.”