1970s1980sAustin City LimitsCountry MusicMusicPBS

Music – 1979 – Austin City Limits – Larry Gatlin + The Gatlin Brothers – She Is A Broken Lady


Larry Gatlin is known for his rich falsetto singing style and for the unique pop-inflected songs he wrote and recorded in the 1970’s and 1980’s….with some of his biggest hits include “Broken Lady”….“All the Gold in California”….“Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You)”….“She Used to Be Somebody’s Baby” and “Talkin’ to the Moon”.  During this time, country music trended heavily towards slick pop music arrangements in a style that came to be known as Countrypolitan….when Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers came to prominence and enjoyed their greatest success during this period with hit singles that showcased the brothers’ three-part harmonies and Larry’s poetic lyrics.

In 1979, when Gatlin signed with Columbia Records….he decided to officially have his brothers billed on his singles and on his albums….when in that year, their name was officially “Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers”.  In October, they released the album Straight Ahead….which spawned the classic single “All the Gold in California”….as it became their biggest hit together by reaching # 1 on the Hot Country Songs list. This was Gatlin’s second number one hit and led to his being awarded “Top Male Vocalist of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music that year. On June 6, 1980, Straight Ahead was certified gold. The group’s next big hit came in early 1980 with “Take Me To Your Lovin’ Place”….which peaked at # 5 in 1981….then they followed that up with “What Are We Doin’ Lonesome”….which peaked at # 4 later in the year. They continued their hit success, having top 10 and top 20 hits with “In Like With Each Other” (1982)….“She Used to Sing on Sunday” (1982)….“Sure Feels Like Love” (1982)….“Almost Called Her Baby By Mistake” (1983)….and “Denver” (1984).  Also, in 1983, the group had their third (and last) # 1 hit, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You)”….then on January 19, 1985, the Gatlin Brothers sang “All the Gold in California” at the nationally-televised 50th Inaugural Gala….which was the day before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Even though the group never achieved another # 1 hit….they had hits that came close….like the jaunty release in 1986, “She Used to Be Somebody’s Baby” which peaked at # 2….as well as 1987’s “Talkin’ to the Moon” and 1988’s “Love of a Lifetime”….both of which peaked at # 4).  

The Gatlin Brothers were also one of the first country groups to have music videos, like 1984’s “The Lady Takes the Cowboy Everytime”….and in 1985, Gatlin wrote the song “Indian Summer” with Barry Gibb….which he recorded as a duet with Roy Orbison.  In 1989, the Gatlin Brothers sang the National Anthem before game 3 of the 1989 World Series….which was played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California….and that is when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit just after their National Anthem playing…..as the game was played 10 days later at the same site. They had also sang the National Anthem at Game 5 of the 1985 World Series at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri….and would do so again at Game 6 of the 2005 NBA Finals at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

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