This Day In Country Music – The Statler Brothers Call It A Career
Country music has long been known for its delicate and sweet harmonies. The harmony that comes from blood, family members, is amazing. When the harmony comes from four totally unrelated gentlemen and the result is spine tingling then you have The Statler Brothers.
It was on this day in 2002 as the last notes of Amazing Grace resonated into silence at the Salem Virginia Civic Center the Statler Brothers walked off the stage and into retirement. Harold Reid, Phil Balsley, Jimmy Fortune and Don Reid were calling it a career. At least as far as touring and live performances go.
Their career begin in 1964 standing behind the Man in Black, Johny Cash, as backup singers. That relationship would last for over 8 years. While with Cash the Statlers were regulars on his TV show, his stage show and they served as the backup voices on many of Johnny’s hit recordings. It was during this time the Statler Brothers hit it big with a huge hit of their own.
Flowers On The Wall was written by Lew Dewitt the groups Tenor at the time. Dewitt would leave the group in 1982 because of illness. He later passed away in 1990. Flowers On The Wall would peak at number two on the charts and stay there for four weeks. The song was featured in the movie Pulp Fiction.
In 1978 Do You Know You Are My Sunshine would top the Billboard Charts. In 1984 Elizabeth would take the top spot followed by My Only Love and Too Much on My Heart in 1985. The Statlers can lay claim to being the most awarded group in country music history. This includes 3 Grammy awards and an unprecedented run at the CMA’s where they were chosen as vocal group of the year 9 times.
Do you know how the group got their name? There are two brothers in the group but they don’t have the last name of Statler. Their name is Reid. So why the Statler Brothers? The group took their name from a box of facial tissues that was sitting on a desk in a hotel room. One of the guys even joked, they could have just as easily been known as the Kleenex brothers.