The Gatlin Brothers perform "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer To You)" with the little help from the Oak Ridge Boys!
Larry Wayne Gatlin (born May 2, 1948) is an American country and Southern gospel singer and songwriter. As part of a trio with his younger brothers Steve and Rudy, he achieved considerable success within the country music genre, performing on thirty-three Top 40 singles (combining his solo recordings and those with his brothers). As their fame grew, the band became known as Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers.
Larry Gatlin is known for his rich falsetto singing style and for the unique pop-inflected songs he wrote and recorded in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of Gatlin's 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 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. That year, their name was officially "Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers". In October, they released the album Straight Ahead. It spawned the classic single "All the Gold in California", which became their biggest hit together, reaching No. 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 No. 5 in 1981; they followed up with "What Are We Doin' Lonesome", which peaked at No. 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). In 1983, the group had their third (and last) No. 1 hit, "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)". On January 19, 1985, the Gatlin Brothers sang "All the Gold in California" at the nationally-televised 50th Inaugural Gala, the day before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Even though the group never achieved another No. 1 hit, they had hits that came close, like the jaunty release in 1986, "She Used to Be Somebody's Baby" (which peaked at No. 2), as well as 1987's "Talkin' to the Moon", and 1988's "Love of a Lifetime" (both of which peaked at No. 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". 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. (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 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.
After more than a decade of singing together, in December 1992, the Gatlin Brothers embarked on a farewell tour before retiring to their own theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Gatlin went on to star in the Broadway production of The Will Rogers Follies. In 1994, Gatlin and his brothers opened a 2,000-seat theater in Myrtle Beach. In 1995, he played himself in the TV-movie about Dottie West's life, Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story. West had died four years before in a major car accident.
Gatlin co-wrote with celebrity biographer Jeff Lenburg a memoir called All the Gold in California that was published in 1998. In 1999 Gatlin toured and entertained troops of the 1st CAV division in Bosnia.
Since 2010, Gatlin has contributed to Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network as a political and social commentator. In 2010, Gatlin acted as substitute host for Don Imus on Imus in the Morning and Fox Across America with Spencer Hughes on March 16, 2011. He also hosts radio shows for WSM, including a weekly gospel program and the Grand Ole Opry spin-off Opry Country Classics.