In 1979, when Larry Gatlin signed with Columbia Records….and decided to officially have his brothers billed on his singles and on his albums….as 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”….which became their biggest hit together….while reaching # 1 on the Hot Country Songs list. This was Gatlin’s second # 1 hit and led to his being awarded “Top Male Vocalist of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music that year….when 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….which they followed up with “What Are We Doin’ Lonesome”….which peaked at # 4 later in the year. They continued their hit success after 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). In 1983, the group had their third and last # 1 hit, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You)”.
On January 1, 1983 they were the stars of the Florida Citrus Bowl….as seen in this video herewith….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.
The Gatlin Brothers were also one of the first country groups to have music videos…..evidenced by “The Lady Takes the Cowboy Everytime” in 1984….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 National Anthem before game three of the 1989 World Series, played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California….when Incidentally, the Loma Prieta earthquake hit just after their National Anthem playing….and the game was played 10 days later at the same site. They had also sung the National Anthem at game five of the 1985 World Series at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, and would do so again at game six of the 2005 NBA Finals at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
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…..and 1987’s“Talkin’ to the Moon”….along with “Love of a Lifetime” in 1988 both of which peaked at # 4.