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LARRY GATLIN & THE GATLIN BROTHERS TAKE HOME ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC'S PIONEER AWARD
GI  
Randy Houser, Thompson Square Paid Homage to Gatlins with Performance of
Classic Hit “Houston (Means That I’m One Step Closer To You)”

Nashville, Tenn. (September 20, 2011) – Country music legends Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers were the recipients of the Academy of Country Music’s Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award tonight at the organization’s 5th Annual ACM Honors ceremony, held at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

The GRAMMY Award-winning trio was honored, along with country superstarGarth Brooks, with the prestigious award.  The award honors true pioneers of the musical genre.

“I can’t tell you how much love we felt, on and offstage, at tonight’s ceremony,” notes Larry Gatlin.  “We are honored, humbled and filled with joy to have been chosen for such an amazing award.  A big Texas ‘Thank you’ from the Gatlin boys to the Academy of Country Music.”

Paying tribute to the Gatlins, country music's Randy Houser and Thompson Squaretook the stage of the Ryman, performing the brothers’ classic hit, “Houston (Means That I’m One Step Closer To You).”

In addition, award-winning Bluegrass / Southern Gospel group The Isaacs performed a medley of Gatlin hits, including the Larry Gatlin penned “Broken Lady,” “I Don’t Want To Cry,” and “I’ve Done Enough Dyin’ Today.”

The legendary Oak Ridge Boys, also past recipients, presented the Gatlins with the award, welcoming their fellow musical colleagues, and friends, onstage to accept.

The Gatlins would later return to the stage for a special performance (dedicated to country music industry veteran John Dorris) of “All The Gold In California.”  Before the brothers could make it through the first verse, Larry Gatlin halted the song, inviting Reggae starRomain Virgo onstage for an island rendition of the classic hit.  Gatlin and Virgo recently collaborated, recording an all-new Reggae version of the song, featured on the recently released John Rich co-produced Reggae’s Gone Country album.  The album debuted at#2 on the Billboard Reggae Chart.

The close family harmonies of Larry, Rudy and Steve Gatlin gave the trio a signature sound that led to country classics like “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You).” The brothers won a GRAMMY Award for their 1976 breakthrough hit, “Broken Lady,” and reached #1 with “I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love” two years later. Along with five career nominations for the ACM Vocal Group, the Gatlin Brothers picked up three 1979 trophies – Single of the Year (“All The Gold In California”), Album of the Year (Straight Ahead) and Male Vocalist of the Year for Larry Gatlin, also a talented songwriter who composed all of the group’s singles. To date, the brothers hold 36 Top 40 Hits to their credit.

Additional ACM Honors recipients included Hank Cochran (posthumously), John Dorris, Tom T. Hall, Reba, Taylor Swift and the film Country Strong, winners of the MBI (Musician, Bandleader, Instrumentalist) categories Chuck Ainlay, Eddie Bayers, Tom Bukovac, Dan Dugmore, Aubrey Haynie, Gordon Mote, Bryan Sutton, Glenn Worf and Paul Worley and winners of the Industry Awards categories, Steve “Bogie” Bogdanovich, Romeo Entertainment Group, Sally Williams, Ryman Auditorium, Joe’s Bar (Chicago, IL), Mohegan Sun Casino (Uncasville, CT), Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN).

For additional information on Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, visit www.gatlinbrothers.com.

***Gatlin Brothers photo courtesy Curtis Hilbun

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