Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Statler Brothers, Native Sons

The Statler Brothers, famed country and gospel singers, share Staunton as their home town. Only two were brothers (Don and Harold Reid), and none had the surname Statler. They named themselves after a brand of facial tissue. Their career began in 1955 and ended in retirement in 2002, during which time they released 40 albums. Phil Balsley sang baritone and Jimmy Fortune sang tenor from the early 1980s, due to the ill health of original Statler tenor Lew DeWitt. A heavy dose of humor was always incorporated into their live performances. The Statler Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Gospel Hall of Fame in 2007.

Three of the singers still reside in Staunton, but Jimmy Fortune has relocated to Nashville to pursue a solo career. The group maintains a gift shop in Staunton at 1409 N. Augusta Street. Videos, recordings and memorabilia. Open Mon-Fri 11:00a to 3:00p. 540-885-7297.

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