It has been said that the power of two has a greater impact but the influence of four has the most powerful bearing. Four heads, four voices, four charisma, and four individuals with different personalities. But united to cater music to everyone especially to country music enthusiasts. Indeed, greatest entertainers they are, “The Statler Brothers”.
The Story Behind The Band’s Name “Statler Brothers”…
Despite the name, only two members of the group are actual brothers Harold and Don Reid. None of the participants has the surname of Statler. The band, in fact, named themselves after a brand of facial tissue. They were in a hotel room wherein they noticed a tissue, as a joke, they adopted the name.
About The Statler Brothers…
The Statler Brothers was a quartet group. They are Harold Reid, the bass; Phil Balsley, the baritone; Jimmy Fortune, tenor, and guitarist; and Don Reid, the lead. The original tenor and guitarist were Lew DeWitt. Due to health problems, he was replaced.
The group sang country songs but focused on gospels. The group was formed in 1955 performing locally. In 1964, they began singing as a backup for Johnny Cash which made their career known all over the world.
The Statler Brothers continued performing with their gospel songs. Majority of their records contained at least one gospel. In addition, they produced several albums containing only gospel music. As a tribute to the Blackwood Brothers, who influenced their music, the group recorded a particular song. Also, The Statler Brothers also wrote a tribute song entitled “We Got Paid by Cash” to Johnny Cash, the person behind their discovery and success. The song was about their time with Cash.
The Rise To Prominence…
Two of Statler Brothers’ most popular songs are “Flowers on the Wall”, their first major hit composed and written by Lew DeWitt. The second was the socially conscious “Bed of Roses”. In the 1980s, The Statler Brothers were a mainstay on The Nashville Network wherein their videos were shown regularly. Also, they hosted their own show, “The Statler Brothers Show”, which was the channel’s top-rated program for its entire run.
Throughout their career, much of their entreaty was related to their incorporation of comedy and parody into their musical act. This is because of the humorous talent of Harold Reid. In fact, they frequently nominated for awards for their comedy as well as their singing. They recorded two comedy albums such as “Lester “Roadhog” Moran” and “The Cadillac Cowboys”.
The Parting And The Retirement…
The group disbanded and retired after completing a farewell tour on October 26, 2002. Balsley and the Reid brothers continue to reside in Staunton. While Fortune relocated to Nashville, where he is continuing his music career as a soloist. Additionally, he has released three albums as a solo artist.
Since the Statlers’ retirement in 2002, Don Reid pursued a second career as an author. He co-authored three books, “Heroes and Outlaws of the Bible”, “Sunday Morning Memories”, and “You’ll Know It’s Christmas When”. He and his brother Harold co-wrote a history of The Statler Brothers entitled “Random Memories”.
The Statlers remain one of the most awarded acts in the history of country music.
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