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About The Statler Brothers

By

Statler Brothers

Statler Brothers

Ron Newcomer

The Statlers have a song called "We Got Paid By Cash" that tells the tale of how their career began, in "March of ‘64." The moving melody captures everything that makes the early Statlers so great - close-knit four-part harmony, humor, a snappy melody, and the clever play on words that typifies their music (as in songs "Bed of Rose's" and "You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith, Too"). Johnny Cash discovered them in 1964 and hired them immediately as backup singers for his show (if you listen close to any Cash recording from ‘64 to ‘72, you'll hear the Statlers, including on the hit "Daddy Sang Bass"). Their first hit, "Flowers on the Wall," was released in 1965, but their success as a group didn't come about until they left Cash in 1972, after signing with Mercury Records in 1970. The original members, Don Reid, Harold Reid, Phil Balsley, and Lew DeWitt, recorded until 1982, when DeWitt was forced to retire due to a battle with Crohn's Disease (DeWitt passed away in 1990). His tenor was replaced by Jimmy Fortune, and the Statlers continued on, although their distinct sound changed somewhat as country music itself changed. They retain the title of most-awarded act in country music. As they sang, "We were there when June became Johnny's loving bride/ and we sang the hymn that morning our buddy Luther died/ and we were there when the son was born that filled them both with pride/ and we were there when John remembered God was on his side."

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