Larry Wayne Gatlin (born May 2, 1948 in Seminole, Texas) is an American country music singer. He is best-known for teaming up with his brothers in the late 1970s, where they became one of country music's most successful acts of the 1970s and 1980s. Gatlin has won a total of 33 Top 40 singles, including both his solo recordings and those with his brothers. As their fame grew, the band became known as Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers.
Their popularity lasted throughout much of the 1980s. Their biggest hits together included, "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". Larry Gatlin is known for his rich tenor voice.
Larry Gatlin is known for the string of pop-inflected hit songs he recorded during the 1970s and 80s. During this time, country music trended heavily towards polished 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.
Gatlin was born in Seminole, Texas in 1948. He was raised listening to country and gospel music. Even since childhood, he and his brothers, Steve and Rudy have always sung and performed together. When they were younger, they often sang in their local church. They sometimes performed on local radio stations, and occasionally on television shows. They also recorded a gospel music album for the Gospel label Sword and Shield. After graduating from Odessa High School in 1966, Gatlin attended college at the University of Houston. A wide receiver on the football team, he caught a touchdown pass in a game in which the University of Houston scored 100 points.
He later was auditioning to join a gospel music group called the Imperials. "The Imperials" went on to perform in Las Vegas, Nevada in January 1971 at Jimmy Dean's Las Vegas Revue. While walking through the showroom, he caught legendary country singer Dottie West's attention when she thought he looked like Mickey Newbury.
West soon met Gatlin and was impressed with his songwriting skills. She was so impressed, in fact, that she recorded two of Gatlin's compositions, "You're the Other Half of Me" and "Once You Were Mine." West also passed one of Gatlin's demo tapes around Nashville, Tennessee, and even arranged for him to relocate there, purchasing a plane ticket for him, a story he related on the 11/12/09 episode of "Larry's Country Diner" on RFD-TV. West later recorded other compositions by Gatlin that would later become hits for him, including "Broken Lady", which was put on West's 1978 album, Dottie.
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