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Context Music / TheStatlerBrothers

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1[[quoteright:350:]] ² ²A [[LongRunner long-running]] CountryMusic Quartet (nearly 50 years!) from Staunton [[note]]pronounced [[ItIsPronouncedTropay STAN-ton]][[/note]], Virginia. Former members are: lead vocalist Don Reid (June 5, 1945-), bass vocalist Harold Reid (August 21, 1939-April 24, 2020), baritone Phil Balsley (August 8, 1939-), and tenor Lew [=DeWitt=] (March 8, 1938-August 15, 1990). [=DeWitt=] left in 1983 due to health issues and was replaced by Jimmy Fortune (March 11, 1955-). The group released "Flowers on the Wall" in 1965, a song that became a huge crossover hit and even netted them a UsefulNotes/GrammyAward. From then until the late 1980s, they were a somewhat constant presence on the country charts, scoring even more {{Signature Song}}s along the way, such as "Do You Remember These", "The Class of '57", "I'll Go to My Grave Loving You", "Do You Know You Are My Sunshine", "The Official Historian of Shirley Jean Berrell" and "Elizabeth".²²Due to the typical makeup of vocal groups (tenor, lead, baritone, bass), their songs are sometimes confused with ones performed by Music/TheOakRidgeBoys. Musically, however, the Statlers always maintained a strong connection to gospel music, and the distinction was even greater visually, as the Statlers typically all wore three-piece suits while the Oak Ridge Boys favored their regular clothes.²²The Statler Brothers continued to tour until 2002.²²!!Countin' Tropes on the wall, that don't bother me at all.²* BandOfRelatives: Double-subverted in that while they weren't ''all'' brothers, Don and Harold Reid were. However, no one in the group had the last name Statler.²* BassoProfundo: Harold Reid can hit some really low notes.²* BrilliantButLazy: In their memoir Don and Harold Reid portray Lew [=DeWitt=] as this. He wrote "Flowers on the Wall" but was content to let the Reids handle most of the songwriting after that, as well as the day-to-day business of the group. His later health problems only added to it.²* ClassReunion: "The Class of '57" gives the rundown on how a group of classmates fared, from millionaire's wife and CattleBaron to mainstream success (teachers, deliverymen for Sears, grocery store owners and factory workers) to insane ward and suicide. (Well, except for one: "Where Mavis finally wound up is anybody's bet.")²* ConceptAlbum: The Statlers would frequently release albums reflecting a theme. Examples are ''Pictures of Moments To Remember'' which centered on memories and ''Sons of the Motherland'' which focused on their love for America. Perhaps their most significant themed album was their gospel album released in 1975, entitled ''Holy Bible'', [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin which has song versions of the bible stories and divided up into a two record set called Old Testament and New Testament]]²* CoolShades: Lew [=DeWitt=] wore these starting in the early 1970s ... taking them off only for the Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys comedy skits.²* CoordinatedClothes: The group routinely wore matching suits through the 1970s and 1980s. Taken UpToEleven during a TV appearance with Barbara Mandrell where the guys wore coordinated ''dresses.''²* EverytownAmerica: The nominal setting for a number of their songs, but always based on their hometown of Staunton, Virginia.²* IncrediblyLongNote: At the end of "Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord," [=DeWitt=] or Fortune would blast out the word "high" on an A4 note for as long as possible before the entire group would conclude on "...and dry!" ²* KnockKnockJoke: They somehow work one into "Do You Remember These".²-->Knock-knock jokes - who's there? Dewey! Dewey who?\²Do we remember these? Yes we do!²* LineOfSightName: The group was named for a box of Statler tissues in their hotel room. ²* LongRunnerLineUp: Two of them, actually. The group was Don and Harold Reid, Phil Balsley, and Lew [=DeWitt=] from 1960 to 1982 (22 years), when [=DeWitt=] had to quit because of Crohn's Disease ([=DeWitt=] eventually died of it in 1990), then the Reids, Balsley, and Jimmy Fortune from Fortune replacing [=DeWitt=] in 1982 to 2004 when the band called it a day (22 years).²* TheMoralSubstitute: Unusually gave this treatment to one of the their own hits. A few years after scoring big with the Don Reid-penned "I'll Go to My Grave Loving You", Harold Reid wrote a new set of lyrics for it called "He Went to the Cross Loving You", which they recorded and released.²* NonIndicativeName: Only two (Don and Harold Reid) were brothers, and none were named Statler. The band named itself after a brand of tissue. (The members used to joke that they could have easily become the Kleenex Brothers instead.)²* NostalgiaFilter: Many of their biggest hit songs fit this trope, including "Do You Remember These" (reviving pop culture and personal memories of the late 1930s through late 1950s) and "The Movies" (a roll call of the biggest movie hits and stars, from the earliest days to the then-present 1977). Other "memory-type" songs are more bittersweet, such as "Class of '57," reflecting on classmates who had great success and those who were struggling (or worse). Rounding out the trope: covers of oldies and adult standards.²* ObsessionSong: "The Official Historian on Shirley Jean Berrell" comes across as this, given the near-exhaustive knowledge the narrator has of the girl in question. Subverted in the final verse when he has to admit that "The only thing that I don't know is where she is right now."²* OldFlameFizzle: Treated with subtle humor in "Atlanta Blue" where the singer never got over his old love, but doesn't want her to come back because the memories always seem better than the reality. ²* ParentalSubstitute: Uncle Roy and Aunt Kathleen step in after the death of a parent in "You Can't Go Home." ²* {{Pun}}: ²** "We Got Paid by Cash," a look back at the days when the Statlers opened for Music/JohnnyCash.²** Two of their bigger early hits were "Ruthless" (about a guy whose lover named Ruth walked out on him) and "You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith Too" (about how Kate's boyfriend is trying to get with the singer's girlfriend Edith).²* ShoutOut: Creator/KurtVonnegut was a big fan and discussed some of their songs in an essay included in his book ''Palm Sunday''.²** The Statlers themselves included musical shout outs to Johnny Cash in "We Got Paid By Cash" - the song opens with the distinctive bass entry to "Big River" and closes on the mariachi trumpets of "Ring of Fire." ²* SleepsInTheNude: From "(I'll Even Love You) Better Than I Did Then": ²-->When you're lying there in bed, late at night and all alone,²-->With nothing on but the radio ... ²* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: "Silver Medals and Sweet Memories", sung by the "someone".²--> And she never heard from him again, and he never heard of me.²* SpellMyNameWithAThe: In the title performance on ''Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown High School'' by Lester "Roadhog" Moran & The Cadillac Cowboys, Roadhog is very [[InsistentTerminology insistent]] in calling the school '''The''' Johnny Mack Brown High School.²* StealthInsult: The charmingly snarky "Don't Wait On Me" where a young man promises he'll come back to his lady ... on the day the Fourth of July parade is canceled by a blizzard. Or other equally likely events.²** And a hilarious real life subversion occurred when one of the lines - "When the lights go on at Wrigley Field" - became reality seven years later. They changed the lyrics to putting a dome over it.²** Well, Madelyn O'Hare isn't going to become a priest[[note]]For those of you who don't know, Ms. O'Hare was a militant atheist.[[/note]] any time soon[[note]]Aside from her atheism, she's ''dead''[[/note]], so that still holds.²* StraightManAndWiseGuy: Don (straight man) & Harold (wise guy) (the actual brothers of the group) sometimes perform this routine between songs [[ as shown here]] (begins at 3:25)²* StylisticSuck: They did an album as "Lester 'Roadhog' Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys", a deliberately bad country group.²* TheOneThatGotAway: The lead singer finds an old sweetheart has married someone else in both "Maple Street Memories" and "I Saw Your Picture in the Paper Sunday Morning." In both cases, the lead has by now found a SecondLove of his own and can move on from the memories. ²* ThisBedOfRoses: Their song "Bed of Rose's" is the TropeNamer.²* UnrelatedBrothers: Don and Harold Reid really were brothers, but none of the other "Brothers" were related.²* UnreliableNarrator: Possibly in "New York City". He mourns his pregnant girlfriend's decision to move to New York and speculates what life might be like there for his son. When the song was recorded (1971) New York was the most prominent of the four states that allowed abortion on demand in the pre-Roe V. Wade era. If a woman with an unplanned pregnancy said she was going to New York City, it was usually code indicating she was getting an abortion.²* WeddingBellsForSomeoneElse: "I Was There" seems to set up a childhood romance that's heading to the altar until the singer mentions that he took his place at the wedding ... with the friends of the bride. Later subverted when the marriage breaks up and the singer takes her in. ²* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The "Class of '57" was about this.²* VocalTagTeam: Don Reid was usually the lead vocalist, but some songs have more than one of the members singing lead. Some songs ("Class of '57", "Thank You World") even had each member sing a verse. However, Fortune usually sang lead during his tenure.²----


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