My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Statler Brothers – ‘How to Be A Country Star’

5 responses to “Classic Rewind: Statler Brothers – ‘How to Be A Country Star’

  1. Ken Johnson June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    A #7 hit for the Statlers from late May 1979. They first performed the song on the 1978 CMA Awards show and received a huge ovation. I was at that show and the line that everybody was talking about afterward was “…get a gimic like Charley Pride got….” Pure genius. Written by Harold & Don Reid.

  2. Paul W Dennis June 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    The Lew Dewitt version of the Statler Brothers was absolutely my favorite all-time country vocal group . Jimmy Fortune, Lew’s replacement was a fine singer but there was something about Lew’s tenor harmony that just couldn’t be replicated or replaced

    • Ken Johnson June 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      No question that Lew and his unique contributions were missed after his departure. However I believe that the addition of Jimmy Fortune added a breath of fresh air to the group that allowed them to gain a lot of new fans during the 1980’s. As the youngest Statler he appealed to younger fans yet he did not alienate their long-time followers. As a songwriter he added yet another dimension and his vocals provided the group with a fresh new sound. Had Jimmy not joined the act I firmly believe that the group probably would not have been chart active beyond the early 1980’s. They did not seem to evolve until after Jimmy’s arrival.

      I still miss their Saturday night TNN show. Hope that the new incarnation of TNN later this year brings it back for re-runs.

      • luckyoldsun June 22, 2012 at 12:09 am

        I don’t think there’s any doubt that Jimmy Fortune revitalized the group and extended their success for several more years.

        The Oak Ridge Boys also had a change in personel, though the circumstances were different.

  3. Ken Johnson June 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Some very sad news that I just received concerning one of the Statlers:

    Condolences to the Statler Brothers’ Phil Balsley. His 49 year old son Greg Balsley drowned at Nags Head, NC. Survivors include Greg’s wife, four children and a grandchild.

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