Larry Gatlin, Gatlin Brothers bring SCERA ‘Night Time Magic’
Legendary country band Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers are on their way to Orem to perform as part of their “Never Ending Reunion Tour” and the SCERA Center for the Arts ’ 2018 summer outdoor season.
Though the Grand Ole Opry inductees have been singing together from a young age, the Texan brothers rose to fame in the 1970s, subsequently producing several Top 40 hits like “All the Gold in California,” “Houston” and “She Used to be Somebody’s Baby.”
Rudy Gatlin recently took some time in a phone interview from his home in Franklin, Tennessee, to tell the Daily Herald about the upcoming Orem concert and share some career memories. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
DAILY HERALD: What are your plans for this show at the SCERA?
RUDY GATLIN: To have a big time, to sing a bunch of hits, and we’ll throw in a couple of misses to make you appreciate the hits, and cut up and … hopefully entertain the folks and sing them some great songs and great records that we’ve been blessed to have and just have fun overall. …
We’ll do the hits like “Houston,” “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” “I Wish You Were Someone I Love,” “Night Time Magic,” and of course “Broken Lady” and “All the Gold.” We’ve had, I think, 30 Top 40 country records through the years a long time ago, but can’t do them all, but we’ll do a bunch of them. … Love Utah. Can’t wait to get there.
DH: And out of those hits that you sing, is there one that’s particularly meaningful to you or a favorite song that you like to perform?
GATLIN: Well, “All the Gold” is kind of our signature song. It was a real, real, real big hit in 1979. That’s a good one. I always enjoy doing that one. The people really respond to that one.
DH: Looking back on your career, you’ve had a lot of great opportunities. Are there any favorite memories or experiences that you would like to share from that?
GATLIN: Well I would say there are too many to numerate. We’ve had so many. We’ve been doing this for so long, and we have had so many incredible experiences. It’s tough to narrow it down, but good Lord, the shows we did with Johnny Cash, John and June, were very near and dear to us. The shows we did with various artists through the years. We toured with the Bellamy Brothers, we’ve done shows with Charlie Daniels, we did shows with Anne Murray, we did, good Lord, shows with, a couple of years ago, we went up onstage with Brad Paisley, invited us back to the Houston Rodeo to sing “Houston,” which was a big hit for us, and they still play it at the Houston Rodeo. A show with the Oak Ridge Boys. … TV shows, touring with Glen Campbell in Europe for two weeks back in 1988. Gosh, the list goes on and on. When you’ve been doing it at long as we have, you have a lot of memories.
DH: Since you’ve been in the business for more than 60 years, what’s it like to still be out on the road, and what do you think it takes to have a career that lasts that long?
GATLIN: We’ve been blessed. We’ve been blessed to be able to continue to do this, and we’re thankful. … Like I say, it’s what we do. Well, Ringo Starr said that. I grabbed that from him when he and Paul McCartney were asked by I think it was Larry King, “Why do y’all keep doing this?” Ringo said, “It’s what we do.” So we’re blessed to still be able to do it and people will pay their hard-earned money to come see us do it and hear us, and so we do it. We can still physically sing, and although we’ve had … four throat surgeries and I had two, but we still sing and play and feel good about doing it. There will come a time when we can’t, I guess. … But we’ll be doing it for as long as we can physically do it. And I think mentally and emotionally and spiritually, we’ll always want to do it, but physically, there may come a time when we just can’t do it.
DH: How has it been working with your brothers in the music industry?
GATLIN: Well, we get along. We get along. We’ve had our moments, ups and downs, but we get along pretty good considering the time we’ve spent together, so it’s been a pretty neat deal to work with them, and I think they’d feel the same way.
DH: What do you hope will be the takeaway of your show?
GATLIN: Oh, that we’ve been blessed, and we are very mindful to give praise and to give thanks where it is due, and that’s to our almighty Father, almighty God, first of all, and to the men and women in the audience that served our country and helped preserve the freedom that we have in this country to go and do and be wherever we want to be. We’re real appreciative of their service. And then third, I guess, would be the fans that have come back to see us, and new fans and old fans that may not have seen us in a while, they come back to see us and they have a good time and they understand that we’re having a good time and we’re blessed and thankful to still be able to do what we do, what we think we’ve had a calling to do.