For more than 62 years, the Gatlin Brothers have entertained audiences and wracked up accolade after accolade along the way, including a Grammy Award, American Country Music awards, five Country Music Award nominations, seven number one singles and 32 Top 40 records.
This weekend, the trio will bring some of those award-winning songs, including “Broken Road” and “All the Gold in California” to the Palace Theatre stage at 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg, and do what they do best - entertain.
“Several years ago Larry King was interviewing Ringo Starr and he asked him why he continued to perform after so many years, and before he blurted out his answer, I said, ‘it’s what we do,’” said Rudy Gatlin. Starr’s answer was exactly the same.
The trio first sang publicly at a talent show in Abilene Texas when Larry was 7, Steve was 4 and Rudy was just 2. They went on to win that talent show, which earned them a chance to sing on the KRLD radio show with Slim Willet.
But Rudy Gatlin said it wasn’t until the early 1970s that they began to realize that music was what they were meant to do full time.
In early 1971, Larry Gatlin released his first album, “The Pilgrim,” and after they finished their time at Texas Tech University in 1975, Steve and Rudy joined their brother in Nashville. They both became back up singers for Tammy Wynette.
“Then we started recording a few songs and got to the point that we wanted it real bad,” said Rudy Gatlin. “By June of 1976, we knew we were going to do this.”
It was that year that the brothers released the chart-topping hit, and later Grammy-winning song “Broken Road.”
They were on the fast track to success. By 1979, their song “All the Gold in California” was rising on the charts, eventually hitting number one on the Billboard charts.
“We were one of the hottest bands out of Nashville,” said Rudy Gatlin.
And over the last four decades the brothers have sang at such places as the White House, the Ryman Theater, Radio City Music Hall, the Johnny Carson Show, Oprah and dozens of other high caliber places.
In 2015, the brothers celebrated 60 years of making music together and released the album “The Gospel According to Gatlin.”
Rudy Gatlin said they have no plans to quit traveling and performing any time soon.
“We’re going to do it until we can’t do it anymore,” he said. “It would have to be because we physically just couldn’t travel or perform anymore.”
Over the years, traveling has gotten harder with all of the regulations and the work that goes into it.
“This isn’t a hobby,” Rudy Gatlin said.
“It’s work. It’s enjoyable but it’s still work. The routine can get overwhelming getting up in the morning to head to the airport, check in our luggage and instruments, pick it all up after we land, go to the hotel and check in and then go to the venue to do sound check and then perform the show. It’s a full day.”
Tour buses do make it a little easier, he said.
The brothers are no strangers to the Pittsburgh area, playing Heinz Hall and even Three Rivers Stadium in the 1980s when they toured with Kenny Rogers.
The show is set to take stage 7:30 p.m. June 21. Tickets start at $75 and are available at www.thepalacetheatre.org, at 724-836-8000 or at the door.