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The Statler Brothers


The Statler Brothers were an American country music vocal group founded in 1955 in Staunton, Virginia.

Originally performing gospel music at local churches, the group billed themselves as The Four Star Quartet, and later The Kingsmen. In 1963, when the song "Louie, Louie" by the garage rock band also called The Kingsmen became famous, the group elected to bill themselves as The Statler Brothers. Despite the name, only two members of the group (Don and Harold Reid) are actual brothers and none have the surname of "Statler". The band, in fact, named themselves after a brand of facial tissue they had noticed in a hotel room (they joked that they could have turned out to be the Kleenex Brothers). Don Reid sang lead. Harold Reid, Don's older brother, sang bass. Phil Balsley sang baritone and Jimmy Fortune sang tenor after replacing original tenor Lew DeWitt in the early 1980s due to the latter's ill health. DeWitt died on August 15, 1990 of heart and kidney disease, stemming from complications of Crohn's disease.

The band's style was closely linked to their gospel roots. "We took gospel harmonies," said Harold Reid, "and put them over in country music."

The group remained closely tied to their gospel roots, with a majority of their records containing at least one gospel song. They produced several albums containing only gospel music and recorded a tribute song to the Blackwood Brothers, who influenced their music. The Statler Brothers also wrote a tribute song to Johnny Cash, who discovered them. The song was called "We Got Paid by Cash", and it reminisces about their time with Cash

Since forming, the Statler Brothers have released over 40 albums. They received Grammy Awards in 1966 and 1973. Two of their best-known songs are their first big hit, Flowers on the Wall, and the socially-conscious Bed of Roses. Late in their career they had a regular variety show on the cable television channel then known as The Nashville Network. Throughout their career, much of their appeal was related to their considerable ability for comedy and parody that they frequently interspersed into their musical act; they were frequently nominated for awards for their comedy as well as their singing. They recorded two comedy albums as Lester Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys, and one-half of one side of the album Country Music Then and Now was also devoted to satirizing small-town radio stations' Saturday morning shows.

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 has relocated to Nashville, where he is continuing his music career as a solo artist. He has released three albums as a soloist. The Statlers continue to be the most awarded act in the history of country music.

Since the Statlers' retirement in 2002, Don has pursued a second career as an author. He authored or co-authored three books: Heroes and Outlaws of the Bible, Sunday Morning Memories, and You'll Know It's Christmas When.... He and Harold co-wrote a history of the Statler Brothers titled Random Memories released in February 2008.

The Statler Brothers have been credited as the first country music act to transfer the genre's nostalgia from a rural to a suburban setting. They have also been called "America's Poets" by Kurt Vonnegut.



Song lyric Bed Of Roses BED OF ROSES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric New York City NEW YORK CITY The Statler Brothers
Song lyric I'll Go To My Grave Loving You I'LL GO TO MY GRAVE LOVING YOU The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Elizabeth ELIZABETH The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Do You Remember These DO YOU REMEMBER THESE The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Susan When She Tried SUSAN WHEN SHE TRIED The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott WHATEVER HAPPENED TO RANDOLPH SCOTT The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Do You Know You Are My Sunshine DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Don't Wait On Me DON'T WAIT ON ME The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Carry Me Back CARRY ME BACK The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Thank You World THANK YOU WORLD The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Pictures PICTURES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Turn Your Radio On TURN YOUR RADIO ON The Statler Brothers
Song lyric A Christmas Medley: Silent Night / O Holy Night / First Noel, the / It Came Upon a Midnight Clear / Silent Night A CHRISTMAS MEDLEY: SILENT NIGHT / O HOLY NIGHT / FIRST NOEL, THE / IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR / SILENT NIGHT The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Amazing Grace AMAZING GRACE The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Away In a Manger AWAY IN A MANGER The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Charlotte's Web CHARLOTTE'S WEB The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Don't Forget Yourself DON'T FORGET YOURSELF The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Flowers On The Wall FLOWERS ON THE WALL The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Grandma GRANDMA The Statler Brothers
Song lyric How Are Things in Clay, Kentucky? HOW ARE THINGS IN CLAY, KENTUCKY? The Statler Brothers
Song lyric I'll Fly Away I'LL FLY AWAY The Statler Brothers
Song lyric In the Garden IN THE GARDEN The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Just a Little Talk With Jesus JUST A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Maple Street Memories MAPLE STREET MEMORIES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Movies MOVIES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord NOAH FOUND GRACE IN THE EYES OF THE LORD The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Precious Memories PRECIOUS MEMORIES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Rock of Ages ROCK OF AGES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Somewhere In The Night SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Sweet By And By SWEET BY AND BY The Statler Brothers
Song lyric The All-Girl Gospel Quartet THE ALL-GIRL GOSPEL QUARTET The Statler Brothers
Song lyric The Carols Those Kids Used to Sing THE CAROLS THOSE KIDS USED TO SING The Statler Brothers
Song lyric The Kid's Last Fight THE KID'S LAST FIGHT The Statler Brothers
Song lyric The Movies THE MOVIES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric The Official Historian On Shirley Jean Berrell THE OFFICIAL HISTORIAN ON SHIRLEY JEAN BERRELL The Statler Brothers
Song lyric The Other Side Of The Cross THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CROSS The Statler Brothers
Song lyric This Ole House THIS OLE HOUSE The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Tomorrow Never Comes TOMORROW NEVER COMES The Statler Brothers
Song lyric We Got Paid by Cash WE GOT PAID BY CASH The Statler Brothers
Song lyric Who Do You Think? WHO DO YOU THINK? The Statler Brothers
Song lyric You Are My Sunshine YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE The Statler Brothers
Song lyric You've Been Like a Mother to Me YOU'VE BEEN LIKE A MOTHER TO ME The Statler Brothers