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The Statler Brothers

Named after a brand of tissues, the four members of the Statler Brothers did not in fact share a fraternal bond; what they did share, however, was the distinction of being one of the most successful vocal harmony groups in the history of country music. Formed in the group's home base of Staunton, VA, in 1955, the Statlers were originally a church trio comprised of bass vocalist Harold Reid (born August 21, 1939), baritone Phil Balsley (August 8, 1939), and tenor Lew DeWitt (March 12, 1938). In 1960, Reid's younger brother Don (born June 5, 1945) signed on to take the lead vocal reins, and the quartet performed gospel music under the name the Kingsmen.

After arranging a meeting with the promotional department for a local Johnny Cash concert, the Kingsmen were asked to open the performance. Cash was so impressed that he invited the group to join the tour, and after changing their name to the Statler Brothers, they remained on the road with Cash from 1963 to 1971. The Statlers signed to Columbia Records in 1964 and a year later scored a huge country and pop hit with DeWitt's "Flowers on the Wall," which also lent its name to their 1966 debut album. 1967's The Statler Brothers Sing the Big Hits held true to its title's promise, generating a pair of Top Ten singles in "Ruthless" and "You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith, Too."

In 1969, the quartet moved to Mercury Records, where they remained for over two decades; their first single for the label, 1970's "Bed of Rose's," was a Top Ten hit. In the same year, they held their first Fourth of July picnic; for decades, the celebration remained an annual holiday staple, drawing tens of thousands of fans each summer. Throughout the first half of the 1970s, the Statlers remained fixtures on the Top 40 charts thanks to a string of nostalgic singles like 1972's "Do You Remember These" and "The Class of '57," 1973's "Carry Me Back," and 1974's "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott." Their LPs of the period were often concept records: 1972's The Statler Brothers Sing Country Symphonies in E Major was whimsically formatted like an orchestral performance (complete with side-break "intermission"), while 1975's joint release Holy Bible/Old Testament and Holy Bible/New Testament fulfilled a long-standing dream to record a gospel project. 1973's Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown High School, on the other hand, was a tongue-in-cheek effort recorded under the group's comic alias Lester "Roadhog" Moran & the Cadillac Cowboys.

The sentimental "I'll Go to My Grave Loving You" was a Top Five hit in 1975 and was included on the Statlers' first best-of compilation, released later in the same year. After a series of Top Ten hits that included 1977's "The Movies" (another recurring Statler theme) and "I Was There," they earned their first chart-topper in 1978 with "Do You Know You Are My Sunshine," from the album Entertainers...on & off the Record. In 1980 the Statler Brothers celebrated their first decade on Mercury with 10th Anniversary, which featured the smash "Charlotte's Web," taken from the film Smokey and the Bandit, Pt. 2, in which the group also co-starred.

After 1982's The Legend Goes On, DeWitt was forced to leave the group as a result of Crohn's disease; the illness ultimately killed him on August 15, 1990. The remaining Statlers tapped Jimmy Fortune as his successor, and immediately Fortune earned the group its second number one with his "Elizabeth" (an homage to actress Elizabeth Taylor), from the album Today. Their next two LPs, 1984's Atlanta Blue and 1985's Pardners in Rhyme, were credited to simply the Statlers; each record generated a number one hit -- "My Only Love" and "Too Much on My Heart," respectively -- again composed by Fortune. They returned as the Statler Brothers for the 1986 inspirational release Radio Gospel Favorites, followed later in the year by Four for the Show. 1987's Maple Street Memories produced the Top Ten single "Forever"; 1989's "More Than a Name on the Wall," which peaked at number six, was their last significant hit. They continued releasing albums, however, and in addition to remaining a popular touring act in the 1990s, the Statler Brothers also hosted a long-running variety show on TNN.

In 2002, the Statler Brothers announced their retirement from the road. On October 26, they played their last concert at the 10,000-seat Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA, not far from Staunton, where they'd started and where they continued to maintain their headquarters. Although no longer touring, the group remained active, releasing a new gospel album, Amen, on Crossroads Records and following it in 2003 with a CD/DVD of their final show. In 2006, Mercury Records released Favorites, a 12-song compilation handpicked by the band's remaining members. The album features only the group's original works recorded after the departure of DeWitt, ranging from the years 1983-1993. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best From The Farewell Concert

1. Do You Remember These (Live)

2. Do You Know You Are My Sunshine (Live)

3. Class Of '57 (Live)

4. Bed Of Roses (Live)

5. Memories Are Made Of This (Live)

6. Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott (Live)

7. More Than A Name On A Wall (Live)

8. Flowers On The Wall (Live)

9. Elizabeth (Live)

10. I'll Go To My Grave Loving You (Live)

11. This Ole House (Live)

12. Amazing Grace (Live)

x

Track List: The Statler Brothers: The Definitive Collection

1. Flowers On The Wall

2. Bed Of Rose's

3. Do You Remember These?

4. Class Of '57

5. I'll Go To My Grave Loving You

6. Thank God I've Got You

7. I Was There

8. Do You Know You Are My Sunshine?

9. I'll Even Love You Better Than I Did Then

10. Don't Wait On Me

11. You'll Be Back (Every Night In My Dreams)

12. Oh Baby Mine (I Get So Lonely)

13. Guilty

14. Elizabeth

15. Atlanta Blue

16. One Takes The Blame

17. My Only Love

18. Hello Mary Lou

19. Too Much On My Heart

20. Sweeter And Sweeter

21. Count On Me

22. Forever

23. I'll Be The One

24. Let's Get Started If We're Gonna Break My Heart

25. More Than A Name On A Wall

x

Track List: Amen

1. A Place On Calvary

2. Hide Thou Me

3. It Might Be Jesus

4. He's Gettin' Me Ready

5. God Saw My Need

6. Keep Your Eyes On Jesus

7. Jesus Living Next To Me

8. If It Only Took A Baby

9. Far Side Banks Of Jordan

10. When I Take My Vacation In Heaven

11. I Should Have Known You, Lord

12. A Living Part Of You

x

Track List: The Statlers Greatest Hits

1. Let's Get Started If We're Gonna Break My Heart

2. Elizabeth

3. Count On Me

4. The Best I Know How

5. Moon Pretty Moon

6. More Than A Name On A Wall

7. Guilty

8. My Only Love

9. I'll Be The One

10. Atlanta Blue

x

Track List: Pardners in Rhyme

1. Hello Mary Lou

2. Sweeter And Sweeter

3. Memory Lane

4. Remembering You

5. Too Much On My Heart

6. I'm Sorry You Had To Be The One

7. Her Heart Or Mine

8. You Don't Wear Blue So Well

9. Autumn Leaves

10. Amazing Grace

x

Track List: The Best Of The Statler Bros. Rides Again II

1. Do You Know You Are My Sunshine

2. Here We Are Again

3. The Movies

4. Your Picture In The Paper

5. Some I Wrote

6. How Great Thou Art

7. (I'll Even Love You) Better Than I Did Then

8. How To Be A Country Star

9. Silver Medals And Sweet Memories

10. Who Am I To Say

11. The Official Historian On Shirlyy Jean Berrell

x

Track List: The Best Of The Statler Bros.

1. Bed Of Roses

2. Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott

3. Do You Remember These

4. Carry Me Back

5. Flowers On The Wall

6. The Class Of '57

7. I'll Go To My Grave Loving You

8. Pictures

9. Thank You World

10. New York City

11. Susan When She Tried

x

Track List: Innerview

1. Do You Remember These

2. I'd Rather Be Sorry.

3. Every Day Will Be Sunday Bye And Bye

4. She Thinks I Still Care

5. Got Leavin' On Her Mind

6. I'll Take Care Of You

7. Take Me Home Country Roads

8. Daddy

9. Never Ending Song Of Love

10. A Different Song

11. Since Then

x

Track List: The World Of The Statler Brothers

1. Flowers On The Wall

2. King Of The Road

3. Memphis

4. I'm Not Quite Through Crying

5. My Reward

6. This Ole House

7. Billy Christian

8. Quite A Long, Long Time

9. The Whiffenpoof Song

10. I Still Miss Someone

11. Ruthless

12. Green, Green Grass Of Home

14. Walking In The Sunshine

15. Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town

16. You Can't Have Your Kate And Edith, Too

17. There Goes My Everything

18. Almost Persuaded

20. Shenandoah

x

Track List: Bed of Rose's

1. Bed Of Rose's

2. New York City

3. All I Have To Offer You Is Me

4. Neighborhood Girl

5. Fifteen Years Ago

6. The Junkie's Prayer

7. We

8. This Part Of The World

9. Tomorrow Never Comes

10. Me And Bobby McGee

11. The Last Goodbye

x

Track List: Flowers On The Wall/The Big Hits

1. Flowers On The Wall

2. My Darling Hildegarde

3. King Of The Road

4. Memphis

5. I'm Not Quite Through Crying

6. My Reward

7. This Ole House

8. Billy Christian

10. Quite A Long, Long Time

11. The Whiffenpoof Song

12. I Still Miss Someone

13. Ruthless

14. Green, Green Grass Of Home

15. Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)

16. Walking In The Sunshine

18. Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town

19. You Can't Have Your Kate And Edith, Too

20. There Goes My Everything

21. Almost Persuaded

23. Shenandoah

x

Track List: Best Of The Statler Brothers Gospel Favorites

1. Turn Your Radio On

2. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

3. Just A Little Talk With Jesus

4. Farther Along

5. This Ole House

6. Amazing Grace

7. Daddy Sang Bass

8. How Great Thou Art

9. Sweet By And By

10. Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord

11. Life's Railway To Heaven

12. Precious Memories

Comments

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randrsoeffke r
The greatest thanks cash
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I like how great though aren't
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Class of 57 always reminds me of my brother who would have graduated in 57 but he died in an auto accident in Oct 1956.
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leades43
Oh this song makes me cry every time I hear it.......... . . t h i n k i n g of all the moms and dads who have lost sons and daughters to war.
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psl067
Class of 57 is one of the best. Love these guys.
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One of the great groups from va.
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leades43
My Mom loved the Statler Brothers and she really loved this song!
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Love the gospel songs!!!
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I love to listen to country music
Aspecialy classic country music
And love to read about country
Music
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I love the staler brothers and Ray
Conniff jack Johnson
Anne Murray Peter Nero
Herb Alpert and classical
Piano and country music and
Classic beautifull music
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My grandma fav one
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One of my favorites.
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I always wondered if the four part harmony boy bands of the nineties like nsync liked them...i bet they did.
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Amen
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I don't like Gareth brooks
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psl067
The best ever vocal group....... . . . .
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The Statler brothers are my favorite
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Love the Statler's so much that I have every album/ CD they have recorded.
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cathedrals or Ernie Haase & Signature Sounds
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lea6447
I like the Cathedrals
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Terrific singers...!
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@
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troykeller88 7 8
Always love the Statler Brothers
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mzsatinsanda l s
Love "oh Elizabeth"
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barlar22
Nobody, and I mean nobody, will ever produce the harmonies and joy the Statler's were able to share with an audience, or just an individual. I wore out several tapes while trucking over America. It was always a comfort to have those boy's from Staunton riding with me. I hated it when Lew had to leave the group, but Jimmy Fortune perhaps added another something to the Statler's. Forever a fan I am. Thanks guys - thanks Cash!
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The best, the very best...prais e the Lord!
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I grew up listening to the Statler Brothers and still love them to this day. They have a unique sound that is wonderful.
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personally,i love gospel music more than all other music combined,and these guys are my favorite!!!! ! ! ! ! they certainly loved jesus and proclaiming his name!
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My grandmother to growing up in late 70 and 80 Granny Evelyn listed to this on radio but never showed much emotion very strict women
However I could always tell she enjoyed this music only time she ever seemed to be content calm
funny thing just go to show how different we all can be and still see similarities in folks independent from age or circumstance s , if this got read just reflecting how the smallest things that makes you remember past on positive note Alll most like writing on dairy
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this bring back good memories of car trips with my Grandma She loved this group and the oak ridge boys I miss her so much
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Statler's are the best
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Great harmony. Nice to refamiliariz e myself to them. My sister use to play the same LP over and over ad nauseam. But I'm finally over that.
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Wish that country music was still like this. At least you could understand the words and it was decent for your children to listen to
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Favorite Statler song
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Imissmy39woo d i e

For me, I Statler Bros stand alone as the best vocal harmony group, with the BEST base vocalist.
Also, SB "stories" are often close to realities for many of us!

Note: to P- 1. I'd like to see more Definitive Collection selections. The best SB recordings are there! With this particular group /// more is better.
Others /// not necessarily!

PS: I never thumb down any Oak Ridge Boys music.

Question: rumor. Is RPT coming soon for PandoraOne?
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cheryl19672
I grew up on the statler brothers I love them!!! and my mom did too...she passed in 1985 but she got me started on country music and specifically the statler brothers
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Doesn't get much better than the Statler Brothers. Over 52 years of great music. Thanks, Pandora.
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How to be a country star... You've got to learn to sing like Waylon
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The Statler Brothers is a great band there voice is so great. I heard of there music before but I really would like to here more and more of it so I can get to know them I heard of them in the 90's but anyways I like this song sounds interesting wow really awsom song.
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ifrank9999
Great group.
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djhanson66
Ive Bern to two of their concerts in the 80's
They've been my favorite since I wa a kid. Still love their sound
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The ultimate F-off song
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The Statler Brothers, what a great group of people. Awesome sound, great vocals.
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My mother-in-la w refused to be away from home over night for anything but when we ashed her if she would come to St. Louis and see the Statler Brothers at the old Fox Theater she never hesitated. She said if she had said no her husband would have gone without her. It was one of the greatest things we ever did with them, we all loved it so much.
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The Statler Brothers are great!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! DO YOU REMEMBER THESE great performers?
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Awesome group of all
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fancherl
Kiss ur left hand 2. Say ur crushes name 3. Close ur hand 4. Say a school day 5. Open ur hand 6. Post this on 15 songs and ur crush will ask u out
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Glory!
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The Statler Brothers had such a GREAT sound. I really miss them.
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gifford021
play maple street memories
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